Vatican City

Pope John Paul II will visit Mexico and the American city of St. Louis next January, the Vatican said.

Germany

STUTTGART - A report by a German anti-extremist agency accused members of the U.S.-based Church of Scientology of snooping on their opponents in Germany to get information about them.

Indonesia

JAKARTA - Most of the raging forest fires devastating Indonesia's Borneo province of East Kalimantan are out, partly because of rain, partly because there is nothing left to burn, an official said.

JAKARTA - Health workers are running low on blood for transfusions in a dengue fever outbreak, blamed for at least 422 deaths this year.

India

BOMBAY - A freight train rammed a stationary passenger train in western India, killing at least 24 people and injuring 13.

Zimbabwe

HARARE - Riot police fought running battles at Harare's University of Zimbabwe with students trying to march into town to protest against Wednesday's shooting of a student by a police officer.

Australia

SYDNEY - The powerful dockworkers' union was close to a deal that would allow sacked workers back on the wharves and safeguard the union's own long-term future.

Japan

TOKYO - The Cabinet adopted a $127 billion plan aimed at reviving the ailing economy with tax cuts and spending for new public works projects.

France

PARIS - The National Assembly passed a bill to scrap anti-personnel land mines, implementing an international convention signed in Ottawa last December.

Croatia

ZAGREB - The government made a formal demand for the extradition of World War II concentration camp commander Din-ko Sakic from Argentina, state news agency HINA reported.

Ireland

DUBLIN - Former U.S. senator George Mitchell is to be honored by Ireland's top university next week for brokering the Northern Ireland peace agreement, a government spokesman said.

China

BEIJING - After two days of digging, rescue workers recovered the bodies of eight people killed when a building collapsed in south China.

Thailand

BANGKOK - Prison authorities are proposing that Thailand switch its method of execution from machine gun to injection, a newspaper reported.

Turkey

ANKARA - Under pressure from an opposition leader, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has agreed to hold early parliamentary elections in March.

Bosnia

SARAJEVO - A mob of several hundred angry Croats hurled stones at U.N. police monitors and set one of their temporary buildings on fire in the western Bosnian town of Drvar, the United Nations said.

Greece

ATHENS - Jewish leaders asked Greek authorities to secure their main offices after a firebombing by a pro-Palestinian group that vowed to carry out more attacks.

Sweden

STOCKHOLM - The Nobel prizes, the world's most prestigious awards for literature, sciences and efforts to bring peace, will be worth $990,000 each this year, the Nobel Foundation said.