Afghanistan: Re-election bid

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai hinted Sunday that he plans to run for a second term, saying he has goals left to accomplish.

The comments were his first public indication that he will stand for re-election in 2009 despite discontent over his government, which is widely seen as weak.

"I pray to God that the people of Afghanistan are happy with me ... and will allow me to complete the work that I started — if they vote for me," Karzai said on the grounds of the presidential palace.

Britain: More Heathrow woes

LONDON — Passengers faced more travel misery at London's Heathrow airport on Sunday after heavy snow and continued baggage-handling problems led to further cancellations and delays.

The airport operator, BAA, said that 185 flights into and out of the airport were canceled Sunday, mostly due to snow and ice. The weather wrecked efforts to finally run a full schedule at Heathrow's Terminal 5, which opened with great fanfare on March 27 but has been plagued by troubles since.

France: Support for hostage

PARIS — The president of Argentina, France's new first lady and the French foreign minister joined marchers who rallied Sunday in Paris to demand freedom for kidnapped Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

Marchers — led by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy — demonstrated near the Paris Opera to show support for Betancourt, who was taken hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in 2002 while campaigning for the country's presidency.

Gaza Strip: Blast kills boy

GAZA CITY — An 8-year-old Palestinian boy was killed on Sunday in an explosion in the central Gaza Strip near the border with Israel, medical officials said.

The boy, Abdullah Buhar, was hit by shrapnel to his head and chest, the officials said. It was not immediately clear whether the boy was killed by Israeli forces operating in the area or by Palestinian militants who may have misfired a mortar shell.

Doctors said a 16-year-old boy also was wounded.

India: Dalai Lama speaks out

DHARMSALA — The Dalai Lama said Sunday the recent anti-government demonstrations in Tibet were "outbursts of long pent-up physical and mental anguish" that proved most Tibetans want freedom from Chinese rule.

In a strongly worded statement, the Tibetan spiritual leader said people in Tibet felt "deep resentment against the suppression of the rights of Tibetan people (and) lack of religious freedom."

He also accused Chinese authorities, who have repeatedly blamed him for the unrest, of "trying to distort the truth at every occasion."

Israel: Big birthday plans

JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday rolled out its plans for this year's 60th anniversary celebrations, promising concerts, Holocaust remembrance events and a workshop promoting Arab-Israeli coexistence.

Cabinet minister Ruhama Avraham Balila said some of the $28 million budget would go to projects which would last far beyond this year's Independence Day celebrations, including a 750-mile trans-Israel bicycle trail, a footpath circling the Sea of Galilee and the renovation of war memorials around the country.

Sri Lanka: Attack kills 14

COLOMBO — A suicide bomber killed 14 people at an opening ceremony for a marathon Sunday, including a government minister who was nearing the starting line with a flag and a former Olympian. More than 90 others were wounded in the attack.

Officials blamed the bombing on the Tamil Tigers, rebels who have fought since 1983 for an independent homeland for the ethnic minority Tamils, marginalized for decades by successive governments run by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

Yemen: Compound attacked

SAN'A — A housing complex used by foreigners in Yemen's capital came under attack late Sunday, with explosions shattering windows and prompting residents to evacuate with suitcases and boxes.

Nobody was injured in the attack on the upscale Haddah neighborhood. The U.S. Embassy said "three explosive rounds" hit the compound, with two blowing up inside and the third outside.