Europeans shovel mud from homes; Swiss evacuate

REUTHE, Austria - Flood victims waded into their homes Wednesday to shovel out mud and cleanup crews cleared the debris from streets after heavy rains deluged central and southern Europe.

More than 250 residents from a submerged section of Bern, the Swiss capital, were evacuated by helicopter, and Romanian officials said seven people drowned overnight when waters surged into their homes.

The storms have killed 34 people across Europe this week, authorities said Wednesday, warning the number could climb as the missing are accounted for.

Egyptian police raid Sinai strongholds for bombing suspects

EL-ARISH, Egypt - Egyptian security forces stormed four militant strongholds in the northern Sinai Peninsula early Wednesday, fighting intense gunbattles and arresting 26 people in a search for suspects linked to recent bombings in the rugged desert region.

A total of 650 people have been arrested in Sinai since a force of 4,000 security personnel backed by armored vehicles launched the sweep Sunday through Sinai's desert plains and soaring mountains, a police official said.

Authorities were looking for suspects in a triple bombing that killed at least 64 people last month at Egypt's popular Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik on the southern tip of the Sinai.

Palestinians say at least two killed in Israeli raid on camp

JERUSALEM - At least two Palestinians were killed in an exchange of fire after Israeli troops entered a West Bank refugee camp late Wednesday, residents said. There were unconfirmed reports of five dead.

Earlier, a Palestinian stabbed two young ultra-Orthodox

Jews in Jerusalem's Old City, police said, calling it a terror attack. One of the victims later died of his wounds. The assailant escaped.

The two incidents represented a surge in violence after a lull during Israel's withdrawal from settlements in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Britain ready to act on anti-terrorism measure within days

LONDON - Britain is ready to act within days against ''a number'' of people to either deport them or bar them from the country under new anti-terrorism measures aimed at extremists, the government said Wednesday.

Foreigners who ''seek to create fear, distrust and division'' will no longer be welcome, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said after publishing new criteria he will use to decide who will be targeted.

The measures, adopted in response to last month's transit bombings, are expected to be directed primarily against radical Islamic clerics and extremists who come to Britain and preach hatred.

Iran's leader says it will offer new nuclear proposals

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran will soon offer new proposals for negotiations with Europe over its controversial nuclear program, the country's ultraconservative president said Wednesday. The Bush administration responded by saying the European diplomatic process ''still has legs.''

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he instructed the Supreme National Security Council to draw up a new set of proposals over Iran's uranium enrichment program.

Annan says world body determined to ensure aid for Niger

NIAMEY, Niger - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday the United Nations was determined to get aid to all those in need in hunger-stricken Niger, days after an aid group said the U.N. response to the hunger crisis here was inadequate.

Annan was wrapping up a two-day trip aimed at highlighting the plight of 5 million people across northwest Africa, most of them in Niger, facing food shortages after their crops were ravaged by drought and locusts.

- From wire reports