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World Briefing - 2002-10-09

At least three policemen and one Muslim militant have been killed in Indian Kashmir, during the fourth and final round of voting in legislative elections in the troubled region. Police say the four men were killed when two Muslim militants attacked a polling station near the Pakistani border.

Pakistan has conducted another missile test, its second in five days. Last week, Pakistan and India both carried out missile tests within hours of each other. A Pakistani defense ministry statement said the second test was a follow-up to confirm the data from the first test.

Brazilian leftist candidate Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva secured 46% of the vote in Sunday’s first round of elections, finishing far ahead of his three main rivals for the presidency. Mr. Da Silva will face the second place finisher, government-backed candidate Jose Serra, in a second round of voting on October 27th. Partial results from Saturday’s general elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina show the nationalist Muslim Party of Democratic Action ahead of the multi-ethnic Social Democrats, who have been pushing for reforms in the Muslim-Croat Federation. The Serb Democratic Party and the Croat Democratic Union also scored significant gains in regions dominated by their communities.

Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to hold more talks in London on the latest crisis in Northern Ireland. The crisis stems from a police raid Friday on the Belfast offices of Sinn Fein. Police took four Sinn Fein members into custody. On Tuesday, Northern Ireland’s First Minister David Trimble told Mr. Blair his party will withdraw from the province’s power-sharing government within a week unless Britain expels Sinn Fein ministers.

The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis is en route to a rendezvous with the International Space Station after a long-delayed launch Monday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The mission had been delayed since potentially dangerous fuel line cracks grounded the entire shuttle fleet in July.

And finally, the Nobel Physics Committee says Japan’s Masatoshi Koshiba and Raymond Davis of the United States will share half of the one million dollar prize for their research into cosmic neutrinos. American Ricardo Giacconi will get the other half million-dollar award for his work, which has led to the discoveries of cosmic x-ray sources. They will be awarded their prices at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on December 10th.