Farewell held for Prince Rainier

MONACO - Prince Rainier III was reunited in death with his beloved Princess Grace on Friday in Monaco's cathedral, with an emotional and pomp-filled funeral at the site where the two began their fairy-tale marriage nearly half a century ago.

Their children - heir Prince Albert II and Princesses Caroline and Stephanie - followed the funeral cortege with faces frozen in grief.

The only sound across the tiny principality was the slow tolling of bells for Europe's longest-serving monarch, who died April 6 at the age of 81.

Pro-Syrian lawmaker named Lebanese premier

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanon's president on Friday named moderate pro-Syrian lawmaker Najib Mikati as prime minister, breaking a political deadlock and reviving chances for holding parliamentary elections next month.

The elections are crucial for the opposition, which backed the Harvard-educated millionaire businessman in an effort to end the impasse in forming a government and open the way for the balloting that many believe will end Damascus' hold on parliament.

Vatican staff takes oath of secrecy

VATICAN CITY - Housekeepers, elevator operators and others who will come in contact with cardinals as they choose a new pope took an oath of secrecy Friday.

With one hand on the book of the Gospels, each of several dozen Vatican officials and workers swore to keep secret anything they might learn about the cardinals' discussions and votes during the conclave, which begins Monday afternoon.

Afghan toddler dies after return home from U.S.

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan toddler taken to the United States for surgery to fix a life-threatening heart ailment died Friday, two days after returning home to a muddy refugee camp, breaking the hearts of his family and U.S. soldiers who arranged his unlikely trip.

The cause of death could not be determined because the Afghan tradition of burying the dead quickly made an autopsy impossible.

Iraqi cleric calls on president to release detainees

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An important Sunni cleric urged Iraq's new president Friday to buck U.S. pressure and free thousands of suspected rebels, a sign the religious group most often associated with the Iraqi insurgency might be willing to work with the new


- From wire reports