Muhammed Muheisen, Associated Press
A young Palestinian Muslim girl looks on in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque during the third Friday prayers of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Egypt: Al-Qaida releases video

CAIRO — Al-Qaida threatened major new attacks in Afghanistan and dismissed setbacks in Iraq, vowing to continue its fight in a video marking the Sept. 11 attack, released Friday more than a week after the anniversary.

The lag in release, apparently due to problems in militant Web sites where al-Qaida posts its videos, raised questions among counterterror specialists over whether the terror network's propaganda machine was faltering.

England: Gates says avoid war

WOODSTOCK — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Friday the world should keep its powder dry as it reckons with a newly assertive Russia, avoiding military confrontation as U.S. presidents did during the Cold War.

"With the added perspective of having signed nearly 1,400 condolence letters since taking this post, I see no reason to change that approach now." Gates said. He was referring to the number of families of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to whom he has offered regrets since becoming Pentagon chief in December 2006.

Italy: Immigrants protest

ROME — Hundreds of African immigrants took their anger over the alleged mafia killing of six Africans to the streets on Friday, hurling rocks and smashing windows in a town north of Naples.

Several hundred people participated in the demonstration, which continued into the evening, police said. The demonstrators were protesting the shooting deaths of six immigrants from Ghana, Togo and Liberia late Thursday in what authorities say may have been a hit by the Camorra crime syndicate — punishment for trying to compete in the drug trade.

Russia: Medvedev pushes back

MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday derided U.S. accusations that Russia was sliding into irrelevance, saying defiantly that Moscow would set its own course without isolating itself behind a new Iron Curtain.

One day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a blistering attack on the Kremlin leadership, Medvedev pushed back in a tough speech, saying NATO and the Bush administration were provoking Russia.

Thailand: Reporter detained

BANGKOK — An Associated Press reporter in Vietnam was punched, choked and hit over the head with a camera by police who detained him Friday while he covered a Catholic prayer vigil in the communist country.

Ben Stocking, 49, the Hanoi bureau chief for The Associated Press, was released from police custody after about 2 1/2 hours and required four stitches on the back of his head.

United Nations: Food needed

Nearly 17 million people in the Horn of Africa urgently need food, up from 9 million in early 2008, as crippling drought, soaring food prices and conflict take an increasing toll on the region, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Friday.

John Holmes said the humanitarian emergency hasn't yet escalated to a famine, but he warned that if donors don't provide $716 million very quickly the Horn could return to the famine situations of the 1980s and the 1990s.