VLADIVOSTOK - The majority of voters in the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok have rejected all the candidates for mayor, according to preliminary results.


KUALA LUMPUR - The wife of Malaysia's ousted deputy prime minister defied authorities and spoke in her husband's defense, and his supporters vowed to continue protesting his arrest.


BLACKPOOL - Government leaders say they are determined to stick to the centrist policies that brought the Labor Party to power, despite pressure from leftists at the party's annual conference.


BRATISLAVA - An apparent victory by Slovakia's opposition in the young country's second nationwide election has opened a new door for the West into Eastern Europe. It also sets the stage for the departure from power of one of Europe's few remaining autocrats.


YANGON - Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy resolved on Monday to annul two laws used by successive governments to suppress dissent, a move likely to escalate tensions between it and the ruling military.


BEIJING - China's Communist Party on Monday used an official ceremony to honor heroes of the country's recent flooding and squeeze valuable political capital from the disaster.


CILEUNGSI - An angry mob attacked and torched a complex of nightclubs and guest-houses on the outskirts of Jakarta on Monday, which locals said was a center for prostitution.


ZAGREB - Croatian officials say a Nazi-hunting organization was wrong to ask the Pope to postpone beatification of a controversial World War II archbishop and say suggestions he collaborated with the Nazis are an insult.


TEHRAN - Iran has put in place 95 percent of the forces, weaponry and equipment to be deployed for war games close to the border with Afghanistan, a military spokesman said on Monday.

TEHRAN - A grand ayatollah in Qom, stronghold of Iran's Shi'ite Moslem clergy, said it was the duty of all Moslems to carry out the death decree against British author Salman Rushdie.


JERUSALEM - Two Israeli teenagers from the West Bank were convicted on Monday of killing an Arab farmer hit with a plank of wood from a moving car in June, a court official said.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO - Raging battles in northern Sri Lanka have left at least 237 soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels dead after the guerrillas attacked the military's defense lines, the defense ministry said on Monday.


KHARTOUM - Sudan has put the country on a general mobilization footing to confront what it called an attack by Uganda and Eritrea in southern Sudan, state radio said on Monday.


SYDNEY - Australia's Labor opposition made a last-ditch effort on Monday to scare voters away from Prime Minister John Howard in this weekend's national election, saying Howard's tax plans would damage the nation's health.