Sierra Leone

FREETOWN - A Nigerian-led intervention force has captured Sierra Leone's second-largest city and freed 15 Roman Catholic missionaries trapped by fighting in the area, a church official said.

West Bank

KALANDIA REFUGEE CAMP - In a scene reminiscent of the six-year intefadeh, Palestinians battered Israeli army jeeps with stones from rooftops, and Israeli troops fired live rounds as they came to the rescue of a trapped soldier.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO - Tamil Tiger rebels said they had killed more than 50 Sri Lankan soldiers in fierce fighting as government troops advanced toward a key northern town held by the guerrillas.

Thailand

BANGKOK - Thai opposition parties have charged that the government of premier Chuan Leekpai is linked to illegal logging and plan to submit a censure motion in parliament against it, opposition sources said.

India

HYDERABAD - At least seven Maoist militants were killed when Indian police raided a meeting of an outlawed rebel group in southern Andhra Pradesh state, a senior police officer said.

Australia

CANBERRA - Australia seized a Honduran fishing vessel for poaching the rare Patagonian Toothfish.

Japan

TOKYO - Japanese prosecutors recommended a 10-year prison term for the wife of the doomsday cult guru accused of masterminding a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995.

Zimbabwe

HARARE - Calls are mounting for Zimbabwe's embattled President Robert Mugabe to quit in the wake of an economic and social crisis blamed by many political analysts on his 18-year-old rule.

China

BEIJING - China's Communist elite gathered behind closed doors for a three-day plenum, one week before the opening of the annual session of parliament, party sources said.

Kenya

NAIROBI - U.N. agencies and relief groups working in flood-affected areas of Somalia launched an emergency appeal for $15.3 million they said was needed to continue operations until the end of June.

Burundi

BUJUMBURA - A Burundi military court freed former president Jean-Baptiste Bagaza from house arrest but referred to a higher court charges that he attempted to assassinate the country's current military ruler.

Malaysia

KUCHING - Environmentalists said they had been excluded from key talks at a conference on banning rich nations from dumping their toxic waste in developing countries.

Slovenia

LJUBLJANA - Slovenian Defense Minister Tit Turnsek resigned amid growing pressure from his own party after two intelligence officers were arrested in Croatia in January, Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek announced.

Cyprus

NICOSIA - Cyprus' Cabinet resigned, paving the way for the appointment of a new government after President Glafcos Clerides' re-election earlier this month, officials said.

Turkey

ANKARA - Turkey condemned neighbor and traditional rival Greece for rejecting its call for dialogue on disputed territory in the Aegean Sea.