GOMA - Congolese rebels are considering a proposal to hold peace talks with the government and several neighboring countries despite rebel objections to Zimbabwe's desire to stage and mediate the discussions, one of their leaders said Friday.


LOS MOCHIS - Hurricane Isis caused widespread devastation in two northern Mexican states, killing at least eight people and destroying hundreds of homes before it dissipated, officials said Friday.


KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's ousted deputy prime minister lambasted the country's leader Friday, saying people were "sick and tired" of government repression and corruption.


MOSCOW - An explosion killed three people and wounded 60 in the troubled southern Russian region of Dagestan on Friday, Interfax news agency said.


PANAMA CITY - The presidents of Peru and Ecuador held a closed-door meeting in Panama Friday in an effort to jump-start peace talks and reach a settlement to their long-standing border dispute before the end of the year.


BRASILIA - An Indian tribe has filed an official complaint against conservative Brazilian Deputy Roland Lavigne, accusing him of duping tribal women to undergo sterilization.


LYON - A veteran bear-handler was mauled to death while feeding two bears he had considered having put to death because of their increasingly aggressive behavior.

North Korea

PANMUNJOM - North Korea returned three sets of skeletal remains Friday believed to be those of U.S. soldiers missing from the Korean War.


THE HAGUE - The U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands was evacuated following a bomb threat by an anonymous telephone caller, police said Friday.


DUNDEE - A British nurse convicted of murder in Saudi Arabia but later freed, pleaded innocent in Scotland on Friday to separate charges of theft and fraud.

Sierra Leone

FREETOWN - The rebel leader who sparked Sierra Leone's civil war in 1991 and whose soldiers continue to brutalize this West African nation was charged Friday with treason.


BEIJING - China released a CBS television producer Friday after detaining her for two days, apparently because she was working without government press credentials.


TAIPEI - A Taiwanese air force trainer jet crashed Friday while landing at an air base near the southern city of Kaohsiung, the air force said. The pilot escaped unhurt.

Czech Republic

PRAGUE - A nuclear plant worker was contaminated with radioactive material Friday, a television station reported.


SIMRI - Floodwaters began receding in northern India Friday, and aid workers braced for the grim task of cremating hundreds of people who drowned in the deep waters.


TEHRAN - Hard-line militants assaulted an Iranian deputy president and the culture minister Friday as they left a prayer service in central Tehran.