Explosion of warlord's arm cache kills 28

KABUL, Afghanistan - A warlord's secret arms cache exploded in a remote Afghan village Monday, flattening nearby houses and a mosque and killing at least 28 people in what appeared to be the deadliest accident since the ouster of the Taliban regime.

The blast highlighted the dangers in a country awash with weapons amassed during a quarter-century of fighting.

Blair allies find their loyalty

now a liability

HATFIELD, England - Melanie Johnson swept into British Parliament in 1997 on a wave of enthusiasm for Tony Blair's Labour Party. With many Britons now souring on the prime minister, this may be the election one of his most loyal lieutenants loses her job.

Her close ties to the prime minister have become a burden in a year when many voters are weary of his leadership and angry over what they see as his dishonesty, particularly on Iraq.

Iraqi leaders try for late political deal as 23 killed

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's incoming prime minister struggled to find a Sunni Arab to run the key Defense Ministry in time to join Iraq's first democratically elected government when it takes office today. A torrent of bloodshed followed the approval of a Cabinet that mostly shut out members of the disaffected Sunni minority.

At least 23 Iraqis were killed Monday, including eight soldiers cut down by a suicide attacker who blew up a truck at a checkpoint south of the capital and six civilians caught in a car bombing that set fire to a Baghdad building.

South Korea, Japan play down missile test

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea and other Asian governments on Monday played down the significance of North Korea's latest missile test, saying it involved a short-range weapon unable to reach as far as Japan and with no link to the communist North's nuclear program.

North Korea apparently test-fired a missile into the Sea of Japan on Sunday.

Pope marks month after death of John Paul II

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI marked the passing of a month since John Paul II's death Monday at a Mass in his private chapel, the Vatican said.

Benedict also prayed at John Paul's tomb in the grottoes beneath St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican said.

- From wire reports