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World datelines


BRUSSELS — A Belgian court ruled on Tuesday that a case against an Israeli general for alleged crimes against humanity could proceed. A Brussels court decided that an appeal by a group of Palestinians to try former Israeli army commander Amos Yaron over a 1982 massacre in Lebanese refugee camps was admissible.


TORONTO — Health authorities in Canada's biggest city scrambled Tuesday to explain possible new SARS cases at one hospital and how a recent visitor from the United States came down with the illness after returning home. The 15 patients showing symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome at a hospital outside Toronto, and the U.S. man with SARS under quarantine at his home near Raleigh, N.C., renewed fears that the World Health Organization could impose another travel warning for the city.


HONG KONG — A 2-year-old boy has died of anthrax in Hong Kong, the first such case in nine years, health officials said Tuesday. The boy died May 30 after becoming sick with a fever, abdominal pain and vomiting, said Dr. Tse Lai-yin of the Department of Health. He said that there was no evidence of a terrorist attack.


BUNIA — More French troops arrived Tuesday in northeast Congo to lead an international force aimed at restoring order in a region where tribal fighting has killed hundreds of people and forced thousands to flee their homes.


LONDON — A gunman ambushed a prison transport van and freed three prisoners who were headed to court Tuesday, police said. A guard in the van was shot in the leg. One of the prisoners later surrendered, police at Scotland Yard headquarters said. They described the other two as attempted robbery suspects and extremely dangerous.


PARIS — A widespread strike by France's powerful unions disrupted trains, delayed flights and brought protesters into the streets Tuesday as workers pressured the government to drop plans to overhaul the retirement system. Unions intensified work stoppages as Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin took the contested pension plan before parliament for debate.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — The appointment of a new police chief is not enough to prove Haiti's government is committed to reforming the police force, U.S. Ambassador Brian Dean Curran said Tuesday. Five days after former officer Jean-Robert Faveur's appointment, the ambassador said deeper changes were needed to ensure security for legislative elections.


TOKYO — Japan barred a North Korean cargo ship from leaving port Tuesday because of safety violations, amid efforts by Tokyo and Washington to crack down on illicit commerce with the communist country and rein in its nuclear programs. The beefed-up security comes days after a North Korean ferry canceled plans to dock in northern Japan in the face of Tokyo's pledge to scrutinize that ship for customs, immigration, health and safety problems.


AYACUCHO — Sixty people seized by suspected rebels during a raid on a remote pipeline construction camp were released Tuesday, army sources said. An army officer said troops encountered the hostages around 1 p.m. in the jungle near the town of Palma Pampa.


DOHA — The world's leading oil producers appear likely to maintain their production levels as world markets prepare for the unfettered return of Iraqi oil. Oil ministers from OPEC, gathering Tuesday for a one-day meeting to discuss the restoration of Iraq's full participation in the market, said they saw little reason for an immediate change.


CHIANG MAI — A plot to blow up tourist sites and five Western embassies in Thailand — allegedly including the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok — was foiled with the arrest of four suspected terrorists, authorities said Tuesday. Three of the suspects were arrested Tuesday in early morning raids in southern Thailand.


CARACAS — Two former military officers accused of participating in a coup against President Hugo Chavez were granted safe conduct on Tuesday to leave Venezuela for asylum in Peru. In April 2002, the two officers allegedly participated in a short-lived coup against Chavez. Four other dissident officers have recently left Peru for the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.