Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO - Caribbean nations signed a trade pact doubling their market Saturday at a summit marked by the overnight conversion of Fidel Castro from regional bogeyman to elder statesman.


LUCKNOW - Boulders hurtled toward rescue workers Saturday in a remote Himalayan village, forcing them to abandon the hunt for survivors of an earlier landslide that may have killed 202 people.


MANILA - Men breaking into line set off a stampede Saturday at a presidential office in Manila that offers jobs and help for the poor, killing at least two people, authorities and witnesses said.


YANGON - Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's health was improving Saturday on the 11th day of her roadside standoff with Myanmar's military government, her colleagues said.


SIDON - Israeli forces shelled suspected guerrilla hideouts and villages in southern Lebanon on Saturday, wounding a civilian, Lebanese security officials said.


VATICAN CITY - The Vatican denounced writings by a popular Jesuit author Saturday, warning of "dangers" contained in his works. It said several works by Anthony de Mello, an Indian-born Jesuit priest, contradict orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine.


BONN - Opposition candidate Gerhard Schroeder kicked off the final stretch of his election campaign Saturday by pledging to restore programs to help the most vulnerable members of society.

North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea - Torrential rain, hail and tidal waves have damaged crops in North Korea, which already is suffering through a famine after years of disastrous weather, the country's news media reported Saturday.