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World datelines

Britain

LONDON — Islamic extremists, including members of al-Qaida, have tried to acquire chemical or radiological weapons to use in attacks against Britain and other Western targets, a senior British diplomat said Monday.

China

BEIJING — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Gary Roughead, began a visit to China on Monday in a trip aimed at strengthening ties between the two navies and gaining insight into the Asian power's military buildup.

Congo

KINSHASA — Scores of homeless children and others living on the streets of this capital city have been rounded up and accused of starting a protest that led to violence as an increasingly tense nation awaits presidential election results.

Georgia

TSKHINVALI — South Ossetians voted overwhelmingly for independence in their second referendum since breaking away from Georgia in the 1990s, officials in the tiny mountainous region said Monday, in balloting that neither the United States nor Europe intends to recognize.

India

MUMBAI — Police with dogs searched hundreds of thousands of Mumbai train commuters during the evening rush hour Monday as part of a security drill to monitor the city's ability to deal with terror threats.

Indonesia

JAKARTA — Protesters called Monday for the Indonesian government to cancel a Nov. 20 visit by President Bush because of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are widely unpopular in this Muslim nation.

Lebanon

BEIRUT — A weakened Lebanese government Monday approved a U.N. plan for an international tribunal for suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri — despite the resignation of six ministers and objections of the president.

Norway

OSLO — Norwegian hunters killed 546 minke whales this year, falling far short of their commercial whaling quota because bad weather spoiled much of the season, government and industry officials said Monday.

Poland

WARSAW — Poland's ruling socially conservative Law and Justice party suffered losses in big cities and at the regional level in weekend local elections but maintained a strong hold in rural districts, according to preliminary returns released Monday.

Serbia

BELGRADE — Two former Serb commandos pleaded not guilty Monday to aiding in the 1999 murders of three Albanian-American brothers captured as volunteer fighters during the Kosovo conflict.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO — A U.N. representative Monday accused the Sri Lankan military of helping an armed group to recruit children as fighters against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Although child rights groups and the United Nations have long accused the Tigers of recruiting children during their separatist campaign, it was the first such allegation against the government by a high-profile representative.

South Africa

CAPE TOWN — More than 235,000 South Africans with AIDS are receiving anti-retroviral medicines in the public health sector, up 55,000 from the end of June, the government said Monday, saying this proved its commitment to giving free drugs to all those in need.

South Korea

SEOUL— South Korea Monday turned down a U.S. request for help intercepting North Korean ships suspected of carrying supplies for the Communist regime's programs to build weapons of mass destruction.

Sudan

The United Nations said Monday it has pledged about $77 million in personnel and equipment to help the overwhelmed African Union force in Darfur as Sudan blocks the world body from sending its own peacekeepers to the war-torn region.