Ricardo Stuckert, Getty Images
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva uses binoculars to look at the surroundings of the Brazilian base of Comandante Ferraz in Antarctica on Sunday. Lula visited the base to mark its 25th anniversary.

Cyprus: President eliminated

NICOSIA — President Tassos Papadopoulos was eliminated Sunday in a cliff-hanger first round of Cyprus' presidential election — a surprise result that could signal a renewed drive to end the island's decades-old division.

Communist party leader Demetris Christofias, 61, and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, 59, will now vie for the presidency in a Feb. 24 runoff.

India: Fighting Maoist rebels

BHUBANESWAR — Hundreds of police and paramilitary soldiers battled Maoist rebels Sunday in eastern India, two days after militant attacks on police compounds killed 15 people, an official said.

The battle started Saturday evening when police and soldiers were searching forests for the militants, said Gopal Chandra Nanda, the director general of the state police.

Iran: Deity defends nukes?

TEHRAN — Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that God would punish Iranians if they do not support the country's disputed nuclear program, state radio reported.

"The Iranian people openly announce that they will defend their rights ... God will reprimand them if they do not do so," state radio quoted Khamenei as saying.

Kenya: U.S. raises pressure

NAIROBI — The United States intensified pressure on Kenya's rival politicians to end a bloody political crisis as the country's foreign minister warned Sunday that any solution imposed by foreigners would ultimately fail.

Washington is pressing Kenya's rivals to strike a power-sharing deal to end the turmoil that has engulfed much of the country since Dec. 27.

South Korea: Leader questioned

SEOUL — A special prosecutor's team questioned South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak on Sunday over allegations of financial fraud a week ahead of his inauguration, a news report said.

Lee was questioned for about three hours at an unidentified location in Seoul over claims that he was involved in a 2001 stock manipulation case, Yonhap news agency said.

United Nations: Fall kills woman

A woman who worked for the United Nations died Sunday after falling from the 19th floor of the U.N.'s Secretariat Building, authorities said.

Police and U.N. security officers at the scene said the woman in her 40s had jumped from a window after showing up to work early in the morning.

Venezuela: Chavez soothing

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez sent a soothing message to American motorists on Sunday, saying that Venezuela is not preparing to cut off oil shipments to the United States.

The socialist leader rattled oil markets a week ago when he threatened to halt shipments to the United States in retaliation for Exxon Mobil Corp.'s success in convincing courts in the U.S. and Europe to freeze Venezuelan assets.