Israel

JERUSALEM - The Israeli parliament has backed a compromise to resolve a dispute between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox streams of Judaism by giving rabbis of the more liberal Conservative and Reform movements a role in religious conversions.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO - Sri Lankan warships and aircraft searched for 38 soldiers and sailors missing after Tamil suicide bombers sank two navy ships, killing at least 28 people.

Egypt

CAIRO - Police arrested five Muslim extremists accused of planning to bomb the American and Israeli embassies in Cairo, a leading Arabic newspaper reported.

Denmark

COPENHAGEN - Count Andre de Laborde de Monpezat, the father of Denmark's Prince Henrik and father-in-law of Queen Margrethe, died Monday at age 90.

England

LONDON - Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II's sister, suffered a mild stroke while on vacation in the Caribbean island of Mustique, Buckingham Palace said.

Philippines

MANILA - The government has launched a new hunt in Switzerland, New York and Hong Kong for more assets supposedly stashed away by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a senior official said.

Indonesia

JAKARTA - Some 1,000 forest fires were burning in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province, heightening fears that Southeast Asia could be choked by a haze disaster as bad as one last year.

Thailand

BANGKOK - The government set a host of new and modest economic targets and raised taxes on a number of products as it tried to overcome its worst economic crisis in decades.

Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE - At least five people were killed and some 20 injured in Haiti's capital when a carnival float on a truck plowed into a crowd.

Japan

TOKYO - A controversial shipment of nuclear waste is due to arrive in northern Japan on March 10, Japanese electric utility companies said.

Malaysia

KUCHING - The environmental group Greenpeace slammed rich countries for trying to continue dumping toxic waste on poor nations despite an international ban.

China

HONG KONG - The government said it will lift a ban on five chicken farms as they met new hygiene standards designed to keep out the deadly "bird flu."

Taiwan

TAIPEI - China signalled that it could accept Taiwan's cautious terms for ending a 31-month-old impasse in semi-official talks but made clear that full-blown political negotiations remained its goal.

Germany

BERLIN - CNN Deutschland, Cable News Network's German-language service, said on Tuesday it planned to more than double its distribution in the country beginning next month.

Russia

MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin told his government to decide at a special meeting on Friday when and where the remains of the last Russian tsar and his family should be buried, a spokesman said.

Sweden

STOCKHOLM - An advertisement depicting a naked woman strolling into a lake and designed to attract votes for Sweden's Centre Party has prompted a furious response from some female members.