Sergei Chuzavkov, Associated Press
Holy visit: Members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate hold portraits of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexi II, head of Russia's Orthodox Church, before his visit for a service at the Monastery of Caves in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday.

Cambodia: Elections today

PHNOM PENH — A dispute with neighboring Thailand over border land near an 11th century Hindu temple has sparked nationalist pride throughout Cambodia and strengthened the longtime prime minister's popularity ahead of parliamentary elections today.

Thailand sent troops to the border after Thai anti-government demonstrators assembled near the Preah Vihear temple earlier this month. Cambodia responded by sending its own troops, and its government says the dispute has triggered "an imminent state of war."

Colombia: Asylum rejected

BOGOTA — A senior Colombian rebel commander is rejecting asylum in France or anywhere else for jailed guerrillas freed in any potential prisoner swap.

Rebel commander Ivan Marquez called the government's asylum abroad proposal an insult to guerrilla dignity. The offer was made earlier this year before Colombia's military tricked FARC rebels into freeing their most prized hostages — dual French national Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans. French officials have said they would accept guerrillas who renounce violence.

Cuba: Castro warns U.S.

SANTIAGO — President Raul Castro warned Washington that Cuba would keep its defenses up no matter who wins November's U.S. presidential election, but failed to announce any new changes to the communist system during a speech Saturday.

In a 48-minute Revolution Day address, Castro also told Cubans to prepare for tough times ahead as rising oil and commodity prices take a toll on the island's economy.

Mexico: Dead sea turtles

ACAPULCO — Environmental officials in Mexico say dozens of dead sea turtles apparently killed in fishing nets have washed up on beaches in recent days.

Authorities say 59 Olive Ridley turtles have been found on beaches in and around the resort of Acapulco.

Nigeria: Oil workers freed

PORT HARCOURT — Eight foreign oil workers kidnapped Saturday in Nigeria have been released unharmed, a military spokesman said.

Six unidentified men in a speed boat seized the workers at gunpoint from a liquefied petroleum tanker earlier in the day in the restive Niger delta. State military spokesman Sagir Musa said no ransom was paid to obtain their release.

Philippines: Jet investigation

MANILA — Australian investigators are exploring the possibility that an oxygen cylinder could have exploded midflight on the Qantas jumbo jet that made a harrowing emergency landing in the Philippines with a giant hole in its fuselage, an official said Sunday.

The Boeing 747-400 was cruising at 29,000 feet on Friday with 346 passengers aboard when it was shaken by what passengers described as an explosion.

Samoa: Rice visits Pacific

APIA — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed Fiji's military-led government Saturday to keep its promise to restore democracy early next year, during a rare visit by America's top diplomat to the far-flung South Pacific.

Rice held talks with counterparts from 16 island nations from the region, which is struggling with a range of issues from rising sea levels to rampant poverty, instability and ethnic strife.