Michel Spingler, Associated Press
Jean Sarkozy

France: Son breaks ranks

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE — President Nicolas Sarkozy's home base was in political disarray a month before municipal elections, with his son, Jean Sarkozy, breaking ranks Sunday with the president's favored candidate.

The race in the posh Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine — where Sarkozy long served as mayor — has shaped up as a test for the president, whose poll numbers have fallen recently and whose once-hearty appetite for reform has shrunk.

Afghanistan: Harsh winter

HERAT — Several men lay side by side in hospital beds, the stubs of their amputated arms and legs wrapped in fresh bandages. They are not victims of war or land mines but of frostbite.

It's the coldest this impoverished, war-ravaged nation has been in at least a decade — that's as far back as Afghanistan's weather records go — and so far, the harsh weather has been blamed for more than 650 deaths.

Britain: Scare is false alarm

LONDON — A bomb scare that prompted the military to begin airlifting workers from a North Sea oil rig Sunday was a false alarm, police said.

Helicopters had begun evacuating workers from the Safe Scandinavia oil platform 170 miles off the coast of Aberdeen in eastern Scotland, officials said.

A 23-year-old British woman was being taken ashore for questioning, police said.

Britain: Fire's cause sought

LONDON — Firefighters dug through the wreckage of London's famed Camden market Sunday trying to determine what sparked a massive blaze that damaged the market and area buildings.

It took 100 firefighters three hours to put out the fire Saturday night. There were no casualties, but the blaze damaged clothing and craft market stalls and nearby buildings.

Israel: Olmert deflects ire

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday ruled out a broad military operation in the Gaza Strip, deflecting rising anger after an 8-year-old boy lost a leg in a Palestinian rocket attack.

But Israel's top diplomat warned it will be impossible to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians as long as the Hamas rulers of Gaza continue to foment violence.

Japan: Marine arrested

TOKYO — Japanese police have arrested a U.S. Marine accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in southern Japan, authorities said today.

Tyrone Luther Hadnott, 38, of Camp Courtney in Okinawa, allegedly raped the girl in a parked car Sunday evening, an Okinawa police official said.

Okinawa police took custody of Hadnott for investigation, the official said.

Kenya: No return looming

NAIROBI — A senior U.N. official warned Sunday that a majority of the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans displaced by the postelection violence will not be able to return home any time soon because of the fear of more violence.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga are under enormous international pressure to resolve the dispute after weeks of ethnic violence.

Norway: Afghan embassy shuts

OSLO — Norway closed its embassy in the Afghan capital because of terror threats Sunday, nearly a month after a Norwegian journalist was among eight people killed in a suicide attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul.

The Nordic nation, which recently said it would send more troops to the NATO force in Afghanistan, has been singled out at least twice as a potential target by al-Qaida.