England: Negotiations with Iran
LONDON An 18-month attempt to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment collapsed Friday after a senior EU envoy failed to dent Iran's resolve to expand the technology, despite the threat of new U.N. sanctions.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after the end of the London meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged the Security Council to "put an end to its illegal consideration of Iran's nuclear issue." He argued that "there has been no legal basis ... for the referral of Iran" to the council.
France: Chad rebels declare war
PARIS A Chad rebel group on Friday declared a "state of war" against French and other foreign armies, an apparent warning to a European force that will soon deploy to protect refugees fleeing violence in neighboring Darfur.
In a statement on its Web site, the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development, or UFDD, urged the Chadian people to "mobilize" against any foreign troop presence.
Gaza Strip: Airstrike kills 4
GAZA CITY An Israeli airstrike killed four Palestinian militants early Saturday in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian witnesses and officials said. Moaiya Hassanain, of the Gaza Health Ministry, said nine others were wounded in the strike, including two who were in critical condition.
Hamas officials said the dead included two of its men and two from another militant group who were on a night patrol east of Khan Younis, a town in the southern Gaza Strip. The army said it carried out the strike after identifying armed men near its border with Gaza.
Indonesia: Earthquake strikes
JAKARTA A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia on Saturday, geological agencies said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The temblor had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 and was centered 65 miles from Sibolga, a city on Sumatra island, the U.S. Geological Survey. The Indonesian geological agency did not issue a tsunami warning.
Iraq: Sunni leader's son arrested
BAGHDAD Iraqi troops arrested the son of a leading Sunni politician and dozens of his associates after a car bomb was discovered near his compound and keys to the vehicle were found on one of his bodyguards, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Friday.
Five U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi civilian were injured when they detonated the car bomb near the compound of Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of the biggest Sunni bloc in parliament, the U.S. military said. The arrests threaten to inflame sectarian tensions at a time when U.S. officials are pushing Iraqi politicians to take advantage of a decline in violence to forge power-sharing agreements among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.
Puerto Rico: Pageant probe
SAN JUAN The evening gown and makeup brush of a Puerto Rican beauty queen tested negative for pepper spray, forensic experts said Friday, casting doubt on claims that her belongings had been doused with the chemical in a bid to sabotage her pageant bid.
But a delay of at least four days in submitting the items for testing could have affected the outcome, said Abigail Marrero, spokeswoman of the island's Forensic Science Institute. Miss Puerto Rico Universe winner Ingrid Marie Rivera was composed while strutting before pageant judges last week but backstage stripped off her clothes and applied ice bags to her face and body as she swelled and broke out in hives after applying makeup. She beat 29 rivals to win the crown nonetheless.
Turkey: All 57 on plane killed
YESILYURT An Atlasjet plane crashed on a rocky mountain shortly before it was due to land in southwest Turkey on Friday, killing all 57 people on board, including a 6-week-old baby going to see her grandparents for the first time.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-83, carrying 50 passengers and seven crew members, took off from Istanbul around 1 a.m. for the one-hour flight to Isparta province, but it went off the radar just before landing at the airport. The plane crashed on a mountain around 5,000 feet high, and rescuers initially had difficulty reaching the wreckage because of the rugged terrain.