Bolivia: 2 justices resign
LA PAZ Two of five justices on Bolivia's highest court resigned Friday, a victory for President Evo Morales in a nearly yearlong struggle for control of the Andean country's judicial branch.
But the departure of two judges named by past conservative governments does not guarantee Morales can tilt the Constitutional Tribunal in his favor before it is expected to hear challenges to several of the populist president's key reforms next year. New appointees will still require two-thirds approval in a fiercely divided Congress.
Congo: Floods kill at least 30
KINSHASA Heavy rains swelled into a torrent of water that swamped Congo's sprawling capital, killing 30 people in less than 24 hours, the government said Friday.
The death toll was likely to rise, an official at Congo's humanitarian affairs ministry said, because relief workers have not been able to reach many flooded neighborhoods.
England: Attack sentence
LONDON A man who urinated on a disabled woman as she lay dying in the street while his friend filmed the incident was sentenced Friday to three years in prison.
Anthony Anderson, 27, was found guilty of the charge of outraging public decency in the attack on Christine Lakinski, 50, who collapsed in a street in Hartlepool, northeast England, in July.
Lakinski, who had physical and learning disabilities, fell and hit her head while walking home. A post mortem determined she died of pancreatic failure.
France: Terror conviction
PARIS An Algerian man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Friday for helping fund and organize a string of terror attacks that killed eight people in Paris more than a decade ago.
The now-defunct Armed Islamic Group claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, saying it was punishing France for supporting the military-backed government of Algeria against Islamic insurgents. Rachid Ramda was found guilty in a July 1995 blast in the Saint-Michel train station that killed eight people and injured 150, as well as attacks in October 1995 at a subway stop and the Musee d'Orsay train station that injured another 44 people.
Libya: Peace talks boycotted
TRIPOLI Two major Darfur rebel groups said Friday they plan to boycott upcoming peace talks, a major blow to negotiations the United Nations hoped could reach a new agreement for the Sudanese region torn by years of fighting.
U.N. and African Union mediators said they would press on with the conference, beginning today in Sirte, Libya. But the absence of the Justice and Equality Movement and SLA-Unity groups means that at most only a few minor rebel factions will attend.
Myanmar: Activists released
YANGON The military government released 50 members of Myanmar's pro-democracy party on the same day it met with their leader in a response to international pressure over the crushing of peaceful demonstrations, a party spokesman said Friday.
Ibrahim Gambari, the U.N. envoy trying to broker a compromise between party leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta, told reporters in Japan the meeting was a good beginning.
Puerto Rico: Dogs rescued
SAN JUAN Twelve street dogs were flown Friday to a shelter in Orlando, Fla., as part of a rescue effort fueled by fears of animal abuse in Puerto Rico.
Central Florida's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had offered to take as many as 50 dogs after dozens of pets were seized from housing projects in this Caribbean territory earlier this month and hurled from a 50-foot-high bridge. Police are investigating a private animal control company they say is involved, although its owner has denied responsibility.