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World datelines


BERLIN — Some 5,000 residents of a Berlin suburb were evacuated from their homes Saturday while explosives experts defused a 550-pound U.S. bomb believed dropped during the last months of World War II, police said. The bomb was found during excavation work on the grounds of a hospital.


BOLOGNINA DI CREVALCORE — Rescue workers on Saturday pried apart the mangled remains of two trains that collided head-on in northern Italy, finding four more bodies one day after the crash, firefighters said, raising the death toll to 17. The force of the crash, which occurred Friday in heavy fog on the Bologna-Verona line, left one carriage standing on end nearly perpendicular with the tracks.


TOKYO — To expedite re-entry procedures for Japanese who travel abroad, the Justice Ministry has decided to introduce cards with fingerprint data and an express immigration control system that will identify travelers by their fingerprints, ministry officials said. Cards with integrated circuit chips will be issued only to those who wish to carry them. Cardholders will be allowed to move straight through turnstiles at international airports in Japan, bypassing passport checks at immigration. The system will operate in a similar way to the electronic toll collection system on highways.


NAIROBI — Secretary of State Colin Powell declined to say Saturday whether Sudan was still committing genocide through a campaign of killings, rapes and other abuses by government-sponsored Arab militias that have left 1.2 million black Africans homeless in the country's western region of Darfur. Four months ago, in a dramatic statement, Powell said the government in Khartoum had committed genocide and "genocide may still be occurring."


MONTERREY — The convictions of 10 men in the killings of a dozen women in Juarez have done little to appease victims' relatives and activists, who say authorities may be more interested in closing cases than in finding the true culprits.


ISLAMABAD — A Shiite Muslim was ambushed as he drove through this once serene Himalayan tourist destination Saturday, sparking a rampage of sectarian violence and arson that left at least 11 people dead, including a family of six that was burned alive in its home.


ROSTOV-ON-DON — More than 100 police and security agents backed by five armored personnel carriers surrounded a house Saturday in the restive southern Russian region of Ingushetia and killed five alleged militants in a shootout, the Interior Ministry said. The suspects had resisted capture, opening fire with automatic weapons and throwing grenades, said Yuri Smolyaninov, a spokesman for the regional branch of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the Soviet KGB. He said the special operation to eliminate the militants was completed by Saturday afternoon.

South Korea

SEOUL — North Korea said Saturday it was willing to abandon its nuclear weapons programs, but it demanded a change in American policy as a California congressman critical of the communist state's human rights records visited Pyongyang. The statement, which echoed the North's earlier stance, appeared to be timed for a visit by Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee.


VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II on Saturday reiterated concern about the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, while encouraging openness on the communist-run island. The pope met Saturday with Cuba's new ambassador to the Vatican, Raul Roa Kouri, and the pontiff's remarks were provided in a statement.


EL CHARCOTE — Government officials escorted by troops and police descended on a privately owned cattle ranch Saturday to determine whether some lands may be turned over to poor farmers as part of an agrarian reform. The vast El Charcote Ranch, 125 miles southwest of Caracas, is one of many across Venezuela being eyed by authorities as they move forward on a sweeping plan to re-evaluate uses of agricultural lands in this South American country.