Iraqi electrical workers protest insurgent attacks

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Hundreds of power workers shouting ''No, no to terror!'' marched through Baghdad on Thursday to protest attacks that have killed dozens of their colleagues.

The demonstrations came as negotiators for the two biggest factions in the new National Assembly worked out details of an Iraqi government that U.S. officials hope will pave the way for the eventual withdrawal of coalition forces.

Kyrgyzstan falls to opposition

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - President Askar Akayev's government collapsed Thursday after opposition protesters took over the presidential compound and government offices.

The popular uprising in this impoverished Central Asian nation of 5 million forced Akayev to flee and resulted in only a few dozen injured.

Palestinians ask U.S. to help block expansion

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Senior Palestinian officials on Thursday asked two U.S. envoys to help block the expansion of the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, saying it endangers peace prospects and isolates east Jerusalem.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the envoys expressed opposition to the Israeli plan to build 3,500 housing units around Maaleh Adumim, three miles east of Jerusalem.

U.S. call for Israeli relations rejected by Arab League

WASHINGTON - Dismissing a U.S. overture, the Arab League's chief envoy on Thursday ruled out Arab diplomatic relations with Israel unless it comes to term with the Palestinians.

The 22-nation league turned down a proposal by Jordan for negotiations that would not require Israel to relinquish all the territory the Arabs lost in the 1967 Mideast war.

Canada denies refugee status to U.S. soldier

TORONTO - Canada on Thursday denied refugee status to a former U.S. Army paratrooper who said he would be committing war crimes if sent to Iraq, a blow to Americans who have fled north of the border rather than fight in the war.

The government's ruling said Jeremy Hinzman had not made a convincing argument that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if sent back to the United States.

- From wire reports