Fox's Top Aide Resigns

With Public Complaint

MEXICO CITY -- The chief aide to President Vicente Fox resigned on Monday, complaining about first lady Martha Sahagun's presidential ambitions.

"The country has certainly advanced politically, enough that it is ready for a woman to reach the presidency of the republic," Alfonso Durazo said in a letter of resignation, which was widely quoted by Mexican news media.

"Nonetheless, it is not prepared to have the president leave the presidency to his wife."

Agustin Gutierrez Canet, a presidential spokesman, said Fox had accepted the resignation.

Durazo has served as Fox's private secretary since shortly after the July 2000 election and stayed on when Fox took office in December of that year, ending 71 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Durazo took on the additional job of chief presidential spokesman in July 2003.

AFRICA

* OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso -- Burkina Faso said military and civilian planes from neighboring Ivory Coast had repeatedly violated its airspace and threatened to take any steps necessary to protect its territory.

"Burkina Faso . . . wishes to inform the Ivorian authorities that it will take all necessary measures, including the most extreme, to assure its airspace is not violated," a government spokesman said, quoting from a letter sent to Ivory Coast.

Tension has been high between the two West African countries since Ivory Coast accused Burkina Faso of backing a rebellion in 2002 that led to civil war in the world's top cocoa grower.

* DAKAR, Senegal -- Rebels holding the Sahara's most-wanted terrorism suspect accused Libya of spoiling a deal to surrender the Islamic extremist to the West.

Amari Saifi, the former number two man of Algeria's Salafist Group for Call and Combat, was captured by rebels in Chad earlier this year as West African armed forces backed by France and the United States chased him across the Sahara.

Chadian rebels said they had turned over two of Saifi's accomplices to Libyan agents at the border separating the two countries on June 25.

* ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- The African Union said it would send several hundred peacekeepers to the Darfur region of western Sudan, where thousands have been killed and more than 1 million black Africans have fled attacks by Arab militias.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* NABLUS, West Bank -- Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in a gun battle in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday during which a soldier was also killed, security sources said. In a separate incident in the city, witnesses and medics said an Israeli helicopter gunship struck a home with a missile, killing a Palestinian academic and his 16-year-old son.

On Monday, Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian during a shootout at a house in the West Bank town of Jenin, medics and witnesses said.

* VIENNA -- Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, hopes to get Israel to begin talks on ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons, whether it admits to having them or not, when he flies to the Jewish state on Tuesday, a diplomat said.

EUROPE

* MADRID -- Several hundred animal rights activists -- some in their underwear, others topless -- marched through the streets of Pamplona to condemn bullfighting on the eve of the Spanish city's wildly popular running of the bulls.

About 200 supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals came from 15 countries to march along the same cobblestone route that bulls and daredevil humans cover every July in a series of mad dashes from a holding pen to the bullring.

* MUNICH -- The German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, visited Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Munich clinic where Mubarak is recovering from back surgery.

The two men discussed Iraq, the Gaza Strip and Mubarak's health, according to Fischer.

* STOCKHOLM -- An iron curtain is descending between the West and the Muslim world, according to Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Political injustices, poverty and illiteracy are fueling religious fundamentalism and terrorism, he said in a speech while on a visit to Sweden, urging rich countries to help Muslim nations with investment and socioeconomic reforms.

* PARIS -- Ten suspected Islamic militants have been ordered to stand trial in France this year, accused of plotting to bomb a Christmas market in Strasbourg on New Year's Eve 2000, judicial sources said. The trial on charges of "conspiracy in a terrorist undertaking" would probably start in October.

-- From News Services