BEIT JALLA, West Bank (AP) -- Israeli troops withdrew early Thursday from the Palestinian town of Beit Jalla after a two-day incursion, the longest in 11 months of fighting. Fierce gun battles erupted elsewhere in the West Bank, and two Palestinians -- a gunman and a doctor -- were killed by Israeli fire.
Twenty-six Palestinians were wounded, doctors said.
Also Thursday, a 60-year-old Israeli man was killed in a restaurant in a Palestinian village as he waited for his food to be served. The man, who was friendly with the restaurant owner, was shot in the head by a masked man, witnesses said.
The Israeli pullback from Beit Jalla was the result of intense Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy over the telephone, with help from U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and European Union officials.
LIQUICA, East Timor (AP) -- Two years ago, the sense of fear was palpable in this coastal town as voters huddled under the midday sun, waiting silently to cast their ballots. Nearby, drunken militiamen wearing red berets and black T-shirts glowered at the crowd.
The vote came months after 50 townspeople had been hacked or shot to death in a church, allegedly by the militias and their Indonesian military supporters, as part of their campaign to intimidate East Timor to vote to remain part of Indonesia in the U.N.-supervised referendum.
Vatican urges nations to
apologize for slave trade
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Nearly a decade ago, Pope John Paul II went to Africa and asked forgiveness for Christians' role in slavery. Now the Vatican is urging nations that took part in the slave trade to consider apologizing, too.
The Vatican released a document Wednesday outlining its positions on some of the issues to be discussed this week at a U.N. conference on race, including whether there should be reparations for those whose ancestors were sold or born into slavery.
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