TIES RESTORED: Iraq's top diplomat in Ankara on Sunday welcomed Turkey's decision to restore full diplomatic ties after more than seven years of sour relations between the neighbors. Deputy Premier Bulent Ecevit announced Saturday that Turkey was sending an ambassador to Baghdad. Iraq's own ambassador to Ankara left last year for what Iraqi charge d'affaires T. Hamandi said were administrative reasons, rather than political.

RUSHDIE DEBATE: Many Iranians seem to agree that little has changed after Iran's announcement that it would distance itself from the Islamic edict calling for the death of British writer Salman Rushdie. On Sunday, both newspapers and ordinary Iranians debated the announcement made Thursday in New York by Iran's foreign minister. Rushdie has said he sees new safety in the decision to distance the Iranian government from a $2.5 million reward for his death. But the hard-line Jomhuri Eslami said in an editorial that the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's "fatwa," or Islamic edict, calling for Rushdie's death was still applicable.MALAYSIA PROTESTS: Police batons, tear gas, water cannons and more than 150 arrests have not stopped protesters from swarming into Kuala Lumpur's streets to call for the resignation of Malaysia's prime minister. If anything, the movement opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began appears to be gaining momentum a week after his arrest. Anwar, Malaysia's former deputy prime minister, is accused of crimes that include unlawful sex acts and leaking state secrets. He has denied the charges, however, saying they were politically motivated.