President Bush on Monday formally ended a nearly 20-year-old trade embargo against Libya, in return for Libya's admission that it had a weapons-of-mass-destruction program and for its pledge to dismantle it.
Bush's actions, conveyed in a letters to Congress and to Secretary of State Colin Powell, was largely symbolic because he lifted most commercial sanctions against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government in April, which allowed American businesses to invest in Libya and buy its oil for the first time since 1986.
Monday's order permits a resumption of commercial air service to Libya and released $1.3-billion in frozen Libyan assets. As a condition for lifting the remaining sanctions, Libya is expected to pay more than $1-billion to the families of victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
Libya last year agreed to accept responsibility for the bombing and pay $2.7-billion in compensation to the victims' families, and made a partial payment. Two hundred fifty-nine people _ including 189 Americans _ aboard the plane and 11 people on the ground were killed when the Boeing 747 crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland.
Russia may free Chechen's killer
MOSCOW _ The fate of an army colonel convicted of murdering a Chechen woman will be decided by President Vladimir Putin after a Russian governor's decision to support pardoning the officer, Russian media reported Monday.
Ulyanovsk Gov. Vladimir Shamanov gave his backing to a regional commission's recommendation to pardon Col. Yuri Budanov, sending the case forward to the Kremlin for Putin's endorsement, Interfax said, citing defense lawyer Pavel Astakhov.
The Ulyanovsk region in the Volga area is where Budanov is serving a 10-year sentence for the kidnapping and murder of Heda Kungayeva, 18, whom Budanov accused of being a sniper; its governor was Budanov's former commanding officer in Chechnya.
Elsewhere . . .
GAZA AIRSTRIKE: Two Hamas militants were killed when an explosion ripped through their vehicle in Gaza City on Monday in an Israeli airstrike, the second in two days. Hamas threatened to retaliate with suicide bombings inside Israel.
As on previous days, Palestinians fired several rockets and mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza and towns just outside the fence on Monday. No one was hurt.
COLOMBIA AMBUSH: The leader of a paramilitary faction involved in peace talks was apparently one of five insurgents killed in an ambush Monday, officials said. The bodies were found in the central plains region where Miguel Arroyave's Centauros faction of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia is based.