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Cigar festivities: Cuban peasants collect tobacco leaves in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on Tuesday during a cigar festival.

Aruba: Fabric isn't a match

ORANJESTAD — An FBI analysis of fabric collected from a crab trap off Aruba showed the material did not match clothing worn by missing American Natalee Holloway, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The fabric was recovered in January by divers in about 90 feet of water as they searched for the body of the missing woman, the Aruban public prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Britain: Earthquake felt widely

MANCHESTER — An earthquake struck Britain early Wednesday and was felt across large parts of the country. No injuries or damage were immediately reported.

The 4.7-magnitude quake struck at about 1 a.m. and was centered about 125 miles north of London, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"It was like a huge freight train outside the front door," Sky News reporter Lukwesa Burak reported from Leicestershire in central England.

Canada: Mad cow case found

OTTAWA — Canadian officials confirmed a new case of mad cow disease Tuesday, the second such case in two months and the 12th since the disease was first discovered in Canada in 2003.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said no part of the carcass entered the human food or animal feed chains. The cow was detected in Alberta under a national monitoring program that targets cattle most at risk for the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Colombia: Hostage rescue OK'd

BOGOTA — Venezuelan helicopters have been given the green light to fly into Colombia on a mission to recover four rebel-held hostages after more than six years of captivity, a Red Cross official confirmed on Tuesday.

Two Venezuelan aircraft marked with the Red Cross logo will travel to the southern Colombian city of San Jose del Guaviare Wednesday morning, said Barbara Hintermann, head of operations in Colombia for the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is overseeing the mission.

Cuba: High-level church meeting

HAVANA — Raul Castro met behind closed doors with the Vatican's No. 2 official Tuesday, in his first encounter with a foreign dignitary as Cuba's president.

The talks with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Pope Benedict XVI's secretary of state, came two days after the 76-year-old Castro succeeded his older brother Fidel to become the first new Cuban head of state in 49 years.

Iran: Rocket a domestic product

TEHRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the research rocket Iran recently launched was built in just nine months without using any foreign models.

Iran's launch of a rocket in early February provoked unease in an international community already suspicious over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program since the technology involved can also be used to deliver warheads.

Israel: Comatose Sharon is 80

JERUSALEM — Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned 80 on Tuesday, more than two years after he was rendered comatose by a stroke while serving in Israel's top job.

Dov Weisglass, formerly Sharon's top adviser, said there had been little change in his condition over the past year. He is breathing without the help of machines and his vital signs are good, which means his current state could continue for some time.