PARIS - Officials unveiled new rules for women in the military, saying they would have access to most jobs but would generally be barred from "direct and prolonged contact with the enemy."


KABUL - The nation's Taliban said it was ready to talk to the United Nations on repealing its ban on women's education.


HANOI - The government has enacted its first law that specifically aims at stemming the country's swelling tide of corruption, official media said.


BONN - An new opinion poll showed Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrats falling further behind a resurgent opposition.

South Africa

JOHANNESBURG - President Nelson Mandela will testify in a case involving allegations of graft and racism in rugby, his office said.


LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair said participants in Northern Ireland peace talks were "agonizingly close" to an outline political agreement to end three decades of sectarian conflict in the British-ruled province.


DUSHANBE - The Supreme Court sentenced six people to death for their part in a grenade attack on President Imomali Rakhmonov a year ago.


ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of people, many of them U.N. employees, were evacuated from a high-rise building in the capital after an anonymous bomb threat. Pakistan has been rattled by a string of bomb attacks in the past two months that have left 39 people dead and more than 100 wounded.


MADRAS - A medical student who killed a first-year student and cut up his body over a homework dispute has been sentenced to two life terms in jail in southern India.


MEXICO CITY - Cuba could become a little less isolated under a plan by port authorities on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to provide ferry service later this year to the island-nation.


BANGKOK - A Thai general promised to beef up forces along the frontier with Myanmar after cross-border raiders torched a refugee camp.


OTTAWA - The government issued a news release announcing the itinerary of the visit to Canada by Prince Charles and his two sons, referring at one point to the royal personage as "The Prince of Whales."


BEIJING - Government efforts to resettle the 1.2 million people to be displaced by the dam at the Three Gorges are faltering, foreign activist groups alleged in a new report. It blamed popular resistance, official deception and corruption.

El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR - Health officials issued a warning that outbreaks of cholera in Honduras and Nicaragua could spread.


ISTANBUL - Plans are afoot for 600 years of previously hard-to-reach Ottoman history to become available on the Internet, Turkish officials said.


ROME - Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government was hit by a political storm over a junior minister's refusal to resign over suspicion of collusion with the Mafia.