Canada: Informant testifies

BRAMPTON, Ontario — The Canadian government's key witness against an alleged terrorism cell testified Friday that he was paid nearly $300,000 for infiltrating the group as a police informant.

At the trial of a purported cell member, Mubin Shaikh said he initially agreed to do the job for about $75,000. Shaikh said he eventually earned $292,000 over the several months that he acted as an informant in a case that led to the arrests of 18 people in 2006.

The suspects were accused of plotting to take hostages in Parliament and set off bombs in Toronto and Ottawa.

China: Brick factory buried

BEIJING — China's official news agency says a landslide in northern China has buried a brick factory, killing at least 16 workers.

The report says rescuers are working today to pull out two others who remain trapped after the landslide hit Friday morning in northern Shanxi province near Luliang town.

China: Blast leaves 27 dead

BEIJING — Twenty-seven miners were found dead today following an explosion at a Chinese coal mine, and rescuers were working to free seven more who remain trapped, state media reported.

Miners were trapped when explosives went off accidentally Friday deep in the pit of the mine located on the outskirts of Xiaoyi city, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Ecuador: Alleged plot detailed

QUITO — Two Colombians arrested in an alleged plot against President Rafael Correa claimed to have links to Colombian paramilitaries and said they were offered $1.5 million to kill Ecuador's leader, according to security officials and police documents.

Police in Ecuador's capital arrested four men — three Colombians and an Ecuadorean — in a hotel across from the presidential palace on Thursday. Officials said the men were planning to assassinate the president, but Correa himself suggested the suspects may have been con men.

Japan: 7.0-earthquake hits

TOKYO — A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked a rural area of northern Japan today, killing at least two people, triggering landslides and reportedly knocking down a bridge. News reports said dozens of people were injured.

Two nuclear power plants in the area were undergoing inspections but there were no immediate reports of damage, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura. Electricity had been cut to about 29,000 households in the quake zone, he said. There was no danger of tsunami.

Zimbabwe: Violence threatened

HARARE — President Robert Mugabe said Friday that his supporters are ready to fight if the opposition wins an upcoming presidential runoff election, hardening the rhetoric of a campaign that already has seen widespread violence against government opponents.

"I'm even prepared to join the fight," the 84-year-old Mugabe told a conference of his party's youth wing.

Mugabe said the veterans of the war of independence in 1980 had approached him after the first round of voting in March and threatened to take up arms again if opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai wins the June 27 runoff.