Karim Kadim, Associated Press
Iraqis pray under two giant Iraqi flags in Sadr City on Friday. Thousands of Shiites streamed out of mosques to join protests against a security agreement with the U.S.

Iraq: Thousands protest

BAGHDAD — Two Shiite militia leaders surrendered to American soldiers Friday, while tens of thousands of supporters of hard-line Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr streamed out of mosques to protest against an agreement that could keep U.S. troops here for years.

The arrests and demonstrations occurred on the eve of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's trip to Shiite-dominated Iran, his second visit there in a year.

One of those who surrendered early Friday allegedly ordered attacks on U.S. troops, directed the kidnapping of Iraqis and helped smuggle Iranian weapons into Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Honduras: 28 immigrants held

TEGUCIGALPA — Police say more than 2 dozen Cuban immigrants are being held by immigration officials in Honduras.

Members of the group say they spent 15 days at sea in a small boat and weathered five strong storms. Local police spokesman Angel Velez says the group arrived Friday in the coastal city of Trujillo, 300 miles northwest of the capital, and all are in good health.

Mexico: Experts track sharks

ACAPULCO — A scientist says experts will use sonar to track sharks off Mexico's Pacific Coast in the hopes of preventing new attacks on humans.

Government officials had previously said scientists would monitor sharks by satellite.

But shark expert Jose Castillo said Friday that would be too expensive. He said scientists would instead attach acoustic transmitters on the sharks and install sonic receptors on ocean floors to track them. Sharks recently killed two surfers and wounded a third near the southwestern resort of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

Myanmar: Aircraft on standby

YANGON — The U.S. military said Friday it is keeping 22 helicopters on standby in case Myanmar's ruling junta reverses its rejection of help for cyclone victims, saying the aircraft could ferry emergency supplies to most survivors within three days.

Myanmar's government, meanwhile, lashed out at its own citizens and foreign media for what it called distorted coverage of the aftermath of the devastating storm a month ago. It said the country's image had been tarnished by false claims that aid isn't getting to people.

Russia: Leader opposes NATO

STRELNA — Russia's new president met Friday with leaders of a fractious alliance of ex-Soviet republics, warning Ukraine and Georgia not to lead their countries into NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

President Dmitry Medvedev told the leaders of the two nations that joining the Western alliance would hurt their relations with Russia and seriously increase tension on the edges of the former Soviet Union, according to Lavrov.

Venezuela: Live missiles fired

LA ORCHILA — Venezuela fired live missiles from fighter jets and ships Friday during exercises intended to demonstrate the firepower of President Hugo Chavez's military.

Smoke rose from ships off the La Orchila island military base as Otomat MK2 missiles arced into the sky and Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets flew in formation. The televised war games allowed the military to showcase some of the hardware bought under Chavez, who says Venezuela's main threat is the United States.