OSLO - Aviation authorities said on Sunday a huge runaway weather balloon would probably enter Norwegian air space at around midnight over the Arctic Ocean southwest of the Spitzbergen archipelago.


HONG KONG - Twenty-five people were hospitalized, including one in critical condition, and 350 people were evacuated following a chemical leak at a factory, according to police and radio reports.


HANOI - The first hailstorm in memory caused serious damage in a southern Vietnamese village and sparked rumors that it was a harbinger of doomsday.


DHAKA - Gunmen killed a newspaper editor with a barrage of machine gun fire as he was riding home in a rickshaw in a western Bangladesh city, an official said.


OAXACA - Three suspected leftist rebels have admitted carrying out two daring kidnappings four years ago that shook Mexico's elite, netting their organization $40 million in ransom, police say.


PANAMA CITY - Who will be in charge of Panama when it takes control of the hemisphere's key canal next year is anyone's guess now that voters have told their president he cannot run again.

Northern Ireland

BELFAST - The Irish Republican Army has called on a splinter group of dissidents responsible for the deadliest attack in the three-decade Northern Ireland conflict to disband quickly.


JAKARTA - Violence flared in three towns in Indonesia on Monday as anger at deepening poverty, army atrocities and alleged government corruption exploded into rioting.


ALGIERS - At least 10 people were killed and 15 wounded on Monday when a bomb exploded near a market in central Algiers, Algeria's security forces said.


KABUL - Afghanistan's Taliban movement on Monday accused neighboring Iran of threatening behavior for conducting military maneuvers on its border and warned Tehran against any escalation of tensions.


BAGHDAD - Iraq's Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan has left for Sudan to discuss coordinated opposition to this month's U.S. military strike on a Khartoum factory, the Iraqi News Agency INA said on Monday.


PARIS - A mass trial of 138 suspected members of an Islamic guerrilla group opens in France on Tuesday with most defense lawyers threatening to boycott proceedings in protest against the way prosecutors have handled the case.


VIENNA - EU finance ministers are debating whether to hold an emergency meeting to discuss Russia's financial woes before their scheduled gathering at the end of September, the Austrian EU presidency said on Monday.


LAGOS - At least 163 executives of failed Nigerian banks began a hunger strike on Monday to protest against their detention without trial for up to four years, a statement on their behalf said.


SYDNEY - Australia's political leaders hit the campaign trail on Monday for an October general election, selling rival economic visions to voters in the shadow of world financial turmoil.