Bahamas: Storm toll rising

NASSAU — A powerful Caribbean storm drenched the Bahamas and Cuba on Thursday while rescue workers in the Dominican Republic headed out in boats and helicopters to reach dozens of communities isolated by floods and mudslides. The death toll rose to 108.

Noel was upgraded to a hurricane Thursday evening, after doing most of its damage as a tropical storm and becoming the deadliest tempest of the Atlantic region this year.

Iran: Assurance on Iraq

Iran apparently has assured the Iraqi government that it will stop the flow into Iraq of bombmaking materials and other weaponry that U.S. officials say has inflamed insurgent violence and caused many American troop casualties, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

"It is my understanding that they have provided such assurances," Gates told a Pentagon news conference. "I don't know whether to believe them. I'll wait and see." He said he did not know who in Tehran made the promise.

Mexico: Tabasco flooding

VILLAHERMOSA — Thousands of people clung to rooftops, huddled inside waterlogged homes or hunkered down in shelters Thursday in an attempt to survive the worst flooding the low-lying Gulf state of Tabasco has seen in 50 years.

A week of heavy rains caused rivers to overflow, leaving at least 70 percent of the state — and 80 percent of the capital — under water. At least one death was reported. Nearly all services, including drinking water and public transportation, were shut down in Villahermosa.

Netherlands: Photos removed

AMSTERDAM — A Dutch court on Thursday barred a pedophile support group from publishing photos of children of the royal family on its Web site, a week after it displayed pictures of the 3-year-old daughter of the heir to the throne.

The Amsterdam District Court said the photos on the site of the group Martijn violated the privacy of the royal family and was "a breach of the portrait rights of the children."

North Korea: U.S. team arrives

A team of U.S. experts landed in the North Korean capital on Thursday to start work on disabling the country's main nuclear complex.

The process was expected to begin this week at a reactor that produces plutonium for bombs at the Yongbyon nuclear complex.

The nuclear experts arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday afternoon, broadcaster APTN said in a report from the North Korean capital.

Venezuela: Reforms protested

CARACAS — Soldiers used tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannons to scatter tens of thousands who massed Thursday to protest constitutional reforms that would permit Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely.

Led by university students, protesters chanted "Freedom! Freedom!" and warned that 69 amendments drafted by the Chavista-dominated National Assembly would derail democracy.