Castro leads march demanding U.S. arrest Cuban militant

HAVANA - Fidel Castro led hundreds of thousands of Cubans past the U.S. mission Tuesday to demand the United States arrest a Cuban exile sought in the bombing of an airliner, accusing Washington of hypocrisy in its war on terror for not clamping down on his longtime foe.

U.S. authorities Tuesday seized the Cuban exile that prompted the march. Luis Posada Carriles is accused by Fidel Castro's government of masterminding a 1976 airliner bombing that killed 73 people. He had been seeking asylum in the United States.

Carriles, a former CIA operative and Venezuelan security official, was taken into custody by U.S. immigration authorities, the Homeland Security Department said in a statement.

U.S. tries to limit damage of Newsweek article

WASHINGTON - The State Department, moving to undo damage it said was caused by a Newsweek article alleging U.S. desecration of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, told its embassies to spread the word abroad that America respects all religious faiths.

In a two-page cable sent Monday night to all U.S. diplomatic posts, the department told the ambassadors to inform host governments and local media that Newsweek had retracted its report that investigators found evidence interrogators at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, desecrated the Quran.

Afghan police say 'thieves' responsible for kidnapping

KABUL, Afghanistan - A group described by police as ''thieves'' claimed responsibility for kidnapping an Italian relief worker in the Afghan capital, police said Tuesday. Italy's foreign minister later said contact had been made with the kidnappers and the hostage was not hurt.

Four armed men dragged Clementina Cantoni, 32, from her car in Kabul on Monday. She works for CARE International on a project helping Afghan widows and their families.

Mexican president: Comment on blacks was misinterpreted

MEXICO CITY - President Vicente Fox's office on Tuesday insisted his comments that Mexicans work jobs blacks don't want in the United States were misinterpreted, a day after he told leaders in the U.S. black community that he regretted ''any hurt feelings.''

In a speech Friday, Fox praised the dedication of Mexicans working in the United States, saying they're willing to take jobs that ''even blacks'' won't do.

On Monday, he spoke with the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton by telephone and told them: ''I regret any hurt feelings caused by my statements.''

The president maintains his comments were misinterpreted and a public apology is not forthcoming, presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar said Tuesday.

Bush administration warns China to overhaul currency

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration warned China on Tuesday it must swiftly overhaul its currency system or face the likelihood of being accused of manipulations to gain an unfair trade advantage - with economic sanctions possibly following that.

The administration has been prodding China in earnest over the last two years to stop linking its currency, the yuan, to the U.S. dollar. Manufacturers and other critics, including Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Congress, contend that China's currency system puts U.S. companies at a big competitive disadvantage and has contributed to the loss of U.S. factory jobs.

The department issued the warning as part of its twice-a-year report to Congress. It stopped short of finding that China - or any other major trading partner of the United States - was engaging in unfair currency practices.

- From wire reports