France Revamps Emergency Plans

After London Transit Bombings

PARIS -- The French capital has revamped its emergency plans following the July 7 bombings of London's transit system, the newspaper Liberation said on Wednesday.

Instead of preparing for a single attack, the new contingency plan for Paris assumes a spate of blasts similar to the four that killed more than 50 people in London, the paper said.

Although France opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, officials believe the nation remains a target because it shares intelligence with the United States and Britain, Washington's main military ally in Iraq.

The Americas

* BRASILIA -- The head of Brazil's lower house of Congress resigned over bribery accusations, setting off a fight to fill the powerful position as the government struggles to weather a political crisis.

Severino Cavalcanti, a key government ally, was the most senior politician to resign during a wider scandal over vote-buying and illegal funding by the ruling Workers' Party. His departure could expose President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to calls for impeachment if the opposition takes his post.

Asia

* TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- One of 15 defendants testified that he launched a revolt with help from abroad to usher in Islamic rule in the former Soviet republic, a confession that rights groups say was coerced for the trial of alleged participants in the uprising.

Rights groups said more than 700 people were killed in May during the suppression of a protest in the city of Andijan. The government has put the death toll at 187.

-- From News Services