JERUSALEM - In a sign of behind-the-scenes progress, Israel has softened its position on a key precondition for withdrawing from more land in the West Bank, an official said.


LUCKNOW - Army personnel were rushed to the eastern part of India'a Uttar Pradesh state on Monday to battle rising floodwaters that have left thousands marooned, officials said.


HANOI - A Vietnam court has postponed until next month the trial of a former newspaper editor charged with "abusing democracy" in connection with articles that detailed alleged corruption at the customs department.


SYDNEY, Australia - Indonesian troops killed five Australian-based journalists in an East Timor village in October 1975 to conceal Indonesia's invasion of the territory, the International Commission of Jurists said on Monday.


LONDON - A British woman said in a British newspaper on Monday she was the long-lost half-sister of ex-Beatle John Lennon but said she never met one of the world's most famous pop stars.


RIGA - Latvia should know on Wednesday whether a con-tro-ver-sial referendum designed to prevent the Russian minority from gaining easier access to citizenship will go ahead, the electoral committee said on Monday.


WARRI - At least 50 people have been killed in fighting between two ethnic communities in Nigeria's midwest over failure to pay a boundary tax, witnesses said on Monday.


LISBON, Portugal - Angolan rebel group UNITA decided on Monday to end cooperation with a troika of peace observers comprising Portugal, the United States and Russia, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - All foreigners working for the United Nations in Afghanistan have left the country for security reasons, a U.N. spokesperson said on Monday.


TBILISI - A bomb in a Georgian city bordering the breakaway Abkhazia region killed two people on Monday and injured up to 30, the head of the regional police said.

South Korea

SEOUL - South Korea's unification ministry said on Monday North Korea might be exaggerating recent flood damage to secure international food aid and in case this year's harvest was a failure.

ULSAN - Management and union officials of strike-bound Hyundai Motor Co. reached a compromise to end a 36-day labor dispute at the nation's largest automaker.


BONN - About 2 billion marks of state assets that went unaccounted for after the collapse of communist East Germany have been unearthed by investigators, a Bonn government minister said on Monday.


BEIJING - Beijing is revising its laws to make it tougher for foreigners to adopt Chinese babies but easier for Chinese, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

Dominican Republic

BANI - Playing to an enthusiastic crowd during a diplomatic visit, Fidel Castro hailed a 19th-century Dominican general who fought for Cuba's independence from Spain.