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World datelines


MANAMA — Bahrain authorities released six men Wednesday who were detained the day before on suspicion of plotting terror attacks. The men were arrested in pre-dawn raids Tuesday after being monitored by authorities for a month.


DHAKA — Jail officials in southwestern Bangladesh allegedly beat two journalists after news reports about suspected prison corruption, police and journalists said Wednesday. Reporter Mozaffer Rahman and photographer Monirul Islam were allegedly kicked and beaten with batons Tuesday at the jail in the town of Satkhira, about 110 miles southwest of the capital, Dhaka. They both work for a local newspaper, Patradut.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The International Criminal Court is launching an investigation of war crimes committed during conflicts in Congo — the court's first formal case since its creation two years ago, the chief prosecutor said Wednesday. The court, which has been monitoring events in Congo for nearly a year, would investigate accusations of atrocities among warring tribes and insurgents from neighboring Rwanda, including allegations of summary executions, cannibalism and torture.


LONDON — Some of the courts-martial planned for British soldiers accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners could be held in Iraq in front of the families of the alleged victims, a senior British official said Wednesday. Four British soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are scheduled to face courts-martial on charges of abusing prisoners in Iraq, and other cases of alleged abuses by British forces are being investigated, the government says.


TEHRAN — Iran is no longer holding eight British troops in custody, but the handover of the men to British officials has yet to be worked out, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. A ministry spokeswoman did not say where the six Royal Marines and two British sailors were located but insisted they were "free to leave."

North Korea

BEIJING — The United States presented North Korea with a proposal on Wednesday for phasing out its nuclear program in exchange for aid and security guarantees, as senior Bush administration officials acknowledged that they were softening their hard-line stance in negotiations with North Korea. James A. Kelly, the chief U.S. negotiator, presented a seven-page proposal to his North Korean counterparts on the opening day of six-nation nuclear talks in Beijing, a senior administration official said, adding that "it was time to start getting specific" in the so-far inconclusive negotiations.


ISLAMABAD — America's Sept. 11 commission made false observations that Pakistan had contacts with al-Qaida, a Pakistani official said Wednesday, denying any links with the terror network. "We have had no truck with al-Qaida and its associates," said Masood Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.


MANILA — The Philippine Congress proclaimed incumbent Gloria Macapagal Arroyo the winner of last month's presidential election early Thursday after an all-night session. The opposition repeated claims that massive vote fraud stole the May 10 election from action film star Fernando Poe Jr. and warned of a "people's power" revolt like the ones that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and President Joseph Estrada in 2001.


VLADIKAVKAZ — A nighttime attack this week in the Russian republic of Ingushetia by militants near the border of war-ravaged Chechnya killed 92 people and wounded 125, a regional government official said Wednesday. Among the dead were 67 members of law enforcement agencies, said the official, Magomed Ziyaudinnov. About 1,000 militants had taken part in the attacks late Monday night, Ziyaudinnov said, quoting the Ingush Interior Ministry. Ingush officials had previously said about 200 fighters had participated.


MADRID — One of Spain's top bullfighters was gored, thrown and trampled by a bull, leaving him with a 10-inch gash through his leg. Enrique Ponce, 32, was preparing to finish off the animal at a bullfight Tuesday evening in the southeastern city of Alicante when the incident occurred. The bull tossed him into the air, then trampled him.