KARACHI - An air force jet jettisoned its fuel tanks over a residential area, setting off a fire that killed at least seven people and injured six, police said. The pilot of the Mirage fighter, which landed safely at an air force base, dumped the tanks after the plane developed engine trouble, a military spokesman said.


LONDON - Irish leader John Bruton urged the IRA to take the opportunity offered by Britain's election of a Labor government and call a cease-fire.


TOKYO - Parliament replaced a century-old law to give the country's Ainu minority official status as Japan's original inhabitants.


PARIS - The nation's top terrorism judge has asked a court to try in absentia six Libyans - including Moammar Gadhafi's brother-in-law - for the 1989 bombing of a French jetliner in which 170 people died.


RANGOON - More than 20,000 people from a Burmese group backed by the government staged a rally in Karen State this week and attacked the United States for interfering in the country's internal affairs.


DHAKA - An earthquake jolted the nation and parts of India on Thursday, causing some damage to older buildings but no deaths, government officials said.


PHNOM PENH - King Norodom Sihanouk says he is prepared to face trial alongside Pol Pot and other Khmer Rouge leaders to fight charges he was partly responsible for the "killing fields" rule of the late 1970s.

South Korea

SEOUL - Red Cross talks between North and South Korea are expected to resume this month after they failed to reach agreement on food aid for the north at a meeting in Beijing this week, officials said.


SANAA - The government is doing all it can to limit the smuggling of African rhinoceros horn, an official said in response to renewed claims that this poor Arab country plays a key role in the illicit trade.


ISTANBUL - Two Turkish pilots reportedly died when a light military aircraft crashed during a training flight in western Turkey.


MOSCOW - A Japanese passenger hanged himself in a toilet aboard an All-Nippon Airways Boeing 747 flying from Frankfurt to Tokyo, forcing the plane to make an unscheduled landing in Moscow, Russian police.


TAIPEI - Tjiu Mau-ying, chairman of the Council of Agriculture, offered to resign, becoming the third cabinet member to tender his resignation, state television reported.


LIMA - A university conferred an honorary doctor's degree on Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl to mark the 50th anniversary of his ocean voyage in the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki.

New Zealand

CHRISTCHURCH - A U.S. Air Force jet made a rare winter landing in Antarctica Thursday to retrieve the body of American staffer Charles Gallagher who died of heart failure last week at McMurdo Base.


TORONTO - A Detroit man was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for driving his sports car onto a crowded sidewalk, killing a Toronto lawyer and injuring three others.