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World datelines

Afghanistan

KABUL — Afghanistan's interior minister, one of the most prominent faces in President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet, announced his resignation Tuesday after struggling to combat Afghanistan's booming drug trade. Karzai's office played down the significance of Ahmad Ali Jalali's decision to quit, ostensibly to pursue an academic career in the United States. The president's chief of staff, Jawed Ludin, denied Jalali had disagreements with Karzai on fighting narcotics.

Britain

LONDON — A man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the failed July 21 bomb attacks on three London subway trains and a bus, police said. Four suspected bombers are already in custody over the attacks, in which no one was hurt. The attacks came two weeks after 56 people, including four bombers, died in blasts that also targeted three Underground trains and a bus.

Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that Haitian authorities must move more quickly to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections set for Nov. 20. Rice called the elections a potential "new start" for Haiti as the country tries to overcome two decades of democratic failure accompanied by widespread political violence.

Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN — Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo said Tuesday that planned October elections will not be held because rebels who control the northern half of the West African nation have failed to disarm.

Lebanon

BEIRUT — Lebanon's defense minister said Syrian intelligence officials in Lebanon threatened him months before an attempt on his life in a July car bombing, an accusation Syria denied. The allegation by Elias Murr, who is also deputy prime minister, was the first time that a traditionally pro-Syrian politician in Lebanon has accused Syrian officials of playing a role in the mysterious series of bombings that have occurred in the past year.

Mexico

MEXICO CITY — A small eruption Tuesday of the Volcano of Fire in western Mexico scattered ash onto adjacent towns, the Jalisco state civil defense agency said. No injuries were reported.

Northern Ireland

BELFAST — Embittered leaders of Northern Ireland's Protestant majority, for decades a target of Irish Republican Army violence, said Tuesday they do not believe the IRA has fully disarmed and will not cooperate with Sinn Fein for years — if ever. In a breakthrough that took more than a decade of grueling diplomacy, arms inspectors on Monday announced they had disposed of the IRA's entire weapons stockpile.

Russia

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin told the nation Tuesday that he was against changing the constitution to extend his rule, but he dropped a vague hint about a mysterious new role he might assume after stepping down. The remarks, in a televised question-and-answer session with the public, were likely to fuel speculation that the Kremlin was mulling ways for Putin to remain at the helm after his second term ends in 2008.

Togo

LOME — Togo said security forces and opposition members were both to blame for political violence earlier this year, making the admission after U.N. report said the government was mostly responsible for mayhem that killed as many as 500 people. The government said in a statement late Monday it would study the conclusions of the report released earlier that day by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Uzbekistan

TASHKENT — A senior State Department official said Tuesday the president of Uzbekistan made it clear that U.S. forces must leave their air base in the Central Asian country, and the U.S. intends to do so "without further discussion." The demand came as relations soured following U.S. criticism of Uzbekistan's crackdown on anti-government protesters in May in the city of Andijan.

Vietnam

THANH HOA — After killing at least 31 people in China and the Philippines, Typhoon Damrey slammed ashore Tuesday in Vietnam, forcing the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people along the coastal region. The typhoon injured nine people after it landed in Thanh Hoa province, packing winds of up to 60 mph.