Madagascar’s president to run for re-election

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina will stand for re-election in July, despite earlier assurances that he would not run to help return stability to the Indian Ocean island nation. A showdown looms between Rajoelina and…

Next Iran president likely to have gentler touch

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — For eight years, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has played the role of global provocateur-in-chief: questioning the Holocaust, saying Israel should be erased from the map and painting U.N resolutions as worthless. His provocative style…

Iraq PM’s group wins largest bloc in several areas

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi electoral officials say a coalition led by Iraq’s prime minister has won the largest single bloc of seats in seven of 12 provinces participating in local elections, and tied in eighth, although it failed…

Outlook grim in Venezuela’s essential oil industry

MORON, Venezuela (AP) — Only the filthy water from broken sewer pipes keeps the dust down in front of Ramon Boet’s shop, which sells statues of saints and other religious objects. In the distance, massive tankers pull up…

Saudis allow some girls’ schools to offer sports

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s official press agency says private girls’ schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in the kingdom, “according to the rules of Shariah.” Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Shariah,…

Bangladesh toll 547; search becomes more gruesome

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Ten days after the horrifying collapse of a garment-factory building, life has become still more gruesome for crews working to recover bodies at the site. The death toll rose to 547 on Saturday and…

Police: 39 killed in Nigerian ethnic clash

YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — A health official says at least 24 people have been killed in ethnic violence in a rural town in Nigeria. The attack happened Friday in Wukari, a town in Nigeria’s Taraba state. A state…

Rights group: Iraqi panel needs help probing raid

BAGHDAD (AP) — Human Rights Watch on Saturday urged Iraqi authorities to give more financial and political backing to a government panel probing a deadly raid by security forces at a protest camp last week to find out…

7 American service members killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the director of the CIA assured him that regular funding his government receives from the agency will not be cut off. He says Afghanistan has been receiving such funding…

Saudi security court has issued 2,145 sentences

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Saudi Justice Ministry says a special security court has issued 2,145 jail sentences for “supporting terrorism” since it was formed four and a half years ago. The Specialized Criminal Court often tries…

China city quashes protest against petro plant

BEIJING (AP) — After word spread about an environmental protest that was planned for Saturday in the central Chinese city of Chengdu, drugstores and printing shops were ordered to report anyone making certain purchases. Microbloggers say government fliers…

Bodies of 2 US crew found at Kyrgyzstan crash site

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Kyrgyzstan’s emergencies minister says the bodies of two American crew members have been found after a U.S. military refueling plane crashed in rugged mountains, while the search for the third crew member continues. Kubatbek…

Sunnis flee Syrian city after reports of killings

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say thousands of Sunni Muslims are fleeing a city on Syria’s Mediterranean coast following the alleged mass killing of Sunni villagers by regime troops and pro-government militiamen. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights…

Danish philosopher’s tough ideas adapted for kids

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish philosopher Soeren Kierkegaard’s work is so dense that he himself lamented: “People understand me so little that they do not even understand when I complain of being misunderstood.” So it’s something of a…

Pakistani fishermen hold political rally _ at sea

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Wearing life jackets and bobbing on the gentle waves of the Arabian Sea, supporters of a candidate in Pakistan’s upcoming nationwide election held a waterborne rally to highlight the challenges faced by their embattled…

Notre Dame’s new pipe organ bears history’s weight

PARIS (AP) — From the moment the teenage musician caught sight of the organ in France’s most famous cathedral, he knew where he wanted to play. In the five decades since, Philippe Lefebvre has traveled the world to…

WHITE HOUSE NOTEBOOK: ‘Ticos,’ songs and cheese

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — It was a party atmosphere along Barack Obama’s motorcade route from the airport after he arrived in this Central American country for his first visit as president. Thousands of locals, who are…

Saudi Arabia reports 3 cases of SARS-like virus

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has confirmed three more cases of a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 10 the number of cases it reported this week, including five deadly ones. The…

Anti-militia protest attacked in Libya

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Hundreds of Libyan pro-democracy advocates have marched in Tripoli, denouncing militias’ recent intimidation of state institutions and coming under attack briefly by supporters of the armed groups. It was the latest sign of the…

Rat meat sold as lamb in latest China food scandal

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police have broken up a criminal ring accused of taking meat from rats and foxes and selling it as lamb in the country’s latest food safety scandal. The Ministry of Public Security released results…