Italy

GAETA - A U.S. Navy pilot ejected safely Friday before his fighter jet crashed into the western Mediterranean. The F/A-18 Hornet went into the water 80 miles off Toulon, France, about 20 miles from its carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 6th Fleet command said.

Iraq

BAGHDAD - A group of American activists arrived here to deliver medicine, violating a travel ban on visits to the country under U.N. sanctions. The Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness has been visiting Iraq for the past eight years.

Lesotho

MASERU - Lesotho's capital appeared calm after three days of looting and gunfire, but pillaging has reportedly spread to other areas of the monarchy surrounded by South Africa.

Philippines

MANILA - The government will inspect all ships in the country that are similar in design to a ferry that sank last week in a tropical storm, killing at least 46 people, officials said.

Japan

TOKYO - A fairly strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 rocked northern Japan Friday morning. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Russia

MOSCOW - Two buses collided head-on near the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, killing eight people and injuring three, news reports said.

Poland

WARSAW - Russia's political and financial crisis might speed up the pace of Poland's talks on entry to the European Union, Poland's chief negotiator with the EU said.

Slovakia

BRATISLAVA - Polls opened in Slovakia's two-day parliamentary election, which analysts say will determine the future of economic and political reform in the troubled post-communist country.

China

SHANGHAI - French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin toured Shanghai's old waterfront business district after meeting China's president in a flood-hit region of the country.

Myanmar

YANGON - The nation's military intelligence chief warned the opposition National League for Democracy to refrain from activity that could push the government into taking stern action against it.

Taiwan

TAIPEI - The government ruled out political talks with rival China during an October visit by its top negotiator and asked the public not to expect too much from the trip.

India

NEW DELHI - Twenty-five people, including 16 children, were killed and 25 were seriously injured when a railway engine rammed into a bus in southern India, the United News of India said.

Iran

TEHRAN - President Mohammad Khatami said Iran would continue to work through diplomatic channels to ease tension with Afghanistan but was ready to use force if diplomacy failed.

Peru

LIMA - Two dozen school children and two adults died when a cargo truck plunged off a remote mountain road into a ravine in Peru's Andes, police said.

Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Riot police chased thousands of people out of Kuala Lumpur's main mosque when Muslim prayers turned into a rally for Malaysia's jailed opposition leader.