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Israeli missile kills Hamas leader in Gaza

An Israeli helicopter fired a missile at a car in Gaza City late Sunday, residents said, killing a senior Hamas leader, the latest Israeli attack in the territory it plans to leave next year.

Witnesses said parts of a dismembered body were pulled from the wreckage. Hospital officials said six were wounded, two seriously, all bystanders returning from a mosque.

The Israeli military had no official comment. Hamas identified the dead man as Khaled Abu Shamiyeh, 30, from the Shati refugee camp next to Gaza City. Hamas did not say what role he played in the violent Islamic group, which has claimed responsibility for dozens of suicide bombings in Israel.

Report: Bush to end Libya sanctions

WASHINGTON _ President Bush has decided to lift sanctions against Libya, which he expects to trigger release of more than $1-billion to families of Pan Am 103 victims, the Associated Press reported, quoting a senior administration official as saying Sunday.

Bush could announce the step as early as today, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because Bush prefers to publicize such moves himself. The deadline for settlement with Moammar Gadhafi's government is Wednesday. The official said the deal is not final until the formal announcement.

Iran defies U.N. nuclear agency

TEHRAN, Iran _ Iran on Sunday rejected a call by the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency to freeze all its uranium enrichment programs and warned that it will drop out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if its case is sent to the Security Council.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, said at a news conference that his nation will not accept any outside limitation on its uranium enrichment programs and said, "No international body can force Iran to do so."

In elections . . .

GERMANY: Voters in two east German states angry over high unemployment and cuts in social programs handed a rebuke Sunday to Germany's two biggest parties, giving big gains to far right and former Communist groups, projections showed.

Though projections based on partial returns gave the fringe parties no share of power in Saxony or Brandenburg, the results were a fresh setback for Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats and his opposition.

INDONESIA: Voting began today in historic elections in Indonesia with opinion polls showing a former general who has pledged to end rampant graft, fix the economy and fight terrorism set for a comfortable win over President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

The runoff vote between Megawati and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was the second round in Indonesia's first-ever direct elections. Results from exit polls should be available today or Tuesday, but the official tally will not be announced for two weeks.

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