Rice to Press Sudan

To Curb Rape in Darfur

DAKAR, Senegal -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that she would press the government of Sudan to take specific steps to reduce the recurring rapes of women in camps housing about 2 million people displaced by ethnic violence in the Darfur region.

Rice, who will attend an economic conference here Wednesday before flying to Khartoum, said she wanted the Sudanese government to denounce the attacks in a major public statement, launch a campaign to isolate and apprehend people who hurt women in the camps and demonstrate a "very strong willingness" to punish anyone caught attacking women.

Rice on Thursday plans to visit one the largest camps, Abu Shouk, where about 80,000 people are housed in acres of mud-brick homes. About 1.9 million people live in more than 100 camps in Sudan -- and more are in camps across the border in Chad -- and tens of thousands have died in the Darfur conflict.

-- Glenn Kessler


* TOKYO -- A new round of six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear programs will begin on July 26 in Beijing, the Chinese and South Korean foreign ministries announced.

U.S. officials had previously said that North Korean diplomats, during a meeting in Beijing this month, agreed to rejoin the talks the week of July 25.

-- Anthony Faiola

The Middle east

* BEIRUT -- Lebanon's prime minister-designate announced his new cabinet, a government dominated by opponents of Syria but including a member of Hezbollah, a guerrilla group listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization.

The 24-member cabinet, the first since Syria withdrew troops from Lebanon, omits followers of former Gen. Michel Aoun.

The U.S. government welcomed the announcement. "The international community. . . looks forward to working with the new cabinet," said State Department spokesman J. Adam Ereli.

-- From News Services