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Datelines

Iraq

UNITED NATIONS - Iraqis blocked U.N. weapons inspectors from three sites over the past few days, raising the prospect of new, tougher sanctions against Baghdad, U.N. officials said.

Afghanistan

KABUL - A bomb slammed into a U.N. camp for Tajik refugees in northern Afghanistan, killing two people, wounding 15 others and sending hundreds fleeing for safety, U.N. officials said.

Israel

JERUSALEM - An 84-year-old Israeli who was critically wounded in a July 30 suicide bombing by Islamic militants died Friday. Baruch Ostrov-sky's death brought to 18 the number of people killed in the blast, including the two assailants.

Mexico

GUADALAJARA - Police in the state of Jalisco have arrested five men for allegedly building a 165-foot tunnel from an apartment bedroom to a bank in the city of Guadalajara.

Guatemala

ALDEA TEXCUACO - Torrential rains battering the southern Guatemala countryside have forced authorities to evacuate more than 350 families after the swollen Coyolate River burst its banks.

Japan

TOKYO - An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale hit Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Friday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage.

Cambodia

PHNOM PENH - The country needs more than $12 million from the international community to fund a general election scheduled for May next year, but polling plans are on track, a senior government official said.

Italy

ROME - The leader of the major party in Italy's coalition government was quoted as proposing Nov. 30 as a general election date if agreement over the 1998 budget proved impossible with the hard left.

Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's environment department said the clear skies over the country now could again be shrouded with smog from Indonesian forest fires if the current wind conditions change.

Tunisia

TUNIS - The League for the Defense of Human Rights urged the Tunisian authorities to release its vice president Khemais Ksila, arrested and charged this week with "offenses" and "spreading false information."

Kenya

NAIROBI - The Kenya National Union of Teachers said it will resume negotiations next week to try to end a crippling strike that has paralyzed the state education system.

Turkey

ANKARA - The semi-official Anatolian news agency said neighbors Syria and Iran had deployed troops near a Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq in an apparent response to a Turkish military raid into Iraq.

Germany

STUTTGART - Former U.S. President George Bush, honored by Germany for his efforts to end the Cold War, said the country's unification had captured the world's imagination and paved the way for a safer future. Bush was speaking at a ceremony on German Unity Day, marking the seventh anniversary of unification.

Colombia

BOGOTA - A bomb blast targeting the armed forces chief did not injure the general but killed a man in another car.

Egypt

CAIRO - Munir Bashir, an Iraqi musician whose use of the oud, a pear-shaped stringed instrument, promoted Arabic music around the world, died Monday at age 67.