Syria brings out mass protest of U.N. report
DAMASCUS, Syria - Civil servants and students massed in the streets Monday to protest a U.N. report implicating Syria in the killing of a Lebanese leader, joining in a government-orchestrated campaign to drum up support before a U.N. Security Council meeting.
The United States and Britain were pushing for the council to take a tough stand against Syria at a meeting today, but France said sanctions shouldn't be voted on until investigators finish looking into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
U.S. Army MASH unit rolls into Muzaffarabad
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan - Trucks carrying more than 100 American soldiers and the U.S. Army's only remaining MASH unit trundled into this quake-ravaged city Monday on a mission Washington hopes will help generate goodwill among Pakistanis.
The Oct. 8 earthquake killed an estimated 79,000 people. Many of the injured have yet to receive proper medical care.
The 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital could save lives, but its arrival was delayed by a shortage of aircraft, vehicle breakdowns and the winding roads of the lower Himalayas.
When the unit finally rolled into Muzaffarabad after a 27-hour drive from a military base near Islamabad, it still lacked equipment for major surgeries. That gear had to be returned to the military base because it was on long trailers that could not negotiate the curving mountain roads.
Rescue teams pull nearly 250 to safety in Havana
HAVANA - Military divers used inflatable rafts to rescue nearly 250 people from flooded homes Monday, after Hurricane Wilma drove the ocean over Havana's seawall and gushed water into coastal neighborhoods of aging buildings.
There were no immediate reports of casualties on the island Monday. Nearly 700,000 people were evacuated across western Cuba in recent days as Wilma approached, the government said.
NATO pledges to help Ukraine's military makeover
VILNIUS, Lithuania - NATO pledged Monday to help Ukraine push through military reforms seen as essential to prepare the country for membership in the Western alliance - a prospect viewed with concern in Russia.
The alliance, anxious not to alarm Moscow, dodged questions at a meeting of defense ministers about whether Ukraine might be included in 2008, when NATO is expected to take in new members from the Balkans.
Mideast envoy says Israel must speed up efforts to reopen Gaza borders
JERUSALEM - A top Mideast envoy criticized Israel in especially tough language for moving too slowly on negotiations to open Gaza's borders, saying the country is behaving almost as if the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip never happened.
Without dramatic progress soon, a rare chance to revive Gaza's shattered economy - and the peace process - will be lost, James Wolfensohn said in a letter to the U.N. secretary general and other international mediators obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
Nigeria investigating cause of plane crash that killed 117
LISSA, Nigeria - Investigators searched the still-smoldering wreckage of a jetliner that slammed into the Nigerian bush, seeking flight-data recorders and other clues Monday to the cause of the crash that killed all 117 people aboard.
After much confusion about whether anyone had survived in the immediate aftermath of the Saturday evening crash, Nigerian officials confirmed Monday that all passengers and crew were dead.
Brazilians vote down proposed gun control law
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazilians struck down a proposal to ban the sale of guns in a national referendum, rejecting a bid to stem one of the world's highest firearm murder rates in a debate that mirrored the gun control battle in the United States.
Brazil has 100 million fewer citizens than the United States, but a staggering 25 percent more gun deaths at nearly 40,000 a year.
World health officials: Europe prepared to contain bird flu
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Europe is well-positioned to contain bird flu and prevent a feared human pandemic but should not be complacent, health officials said Monday as new waterfowl deaths were reported in Croatia.
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been confirmed in Russia, Romania and Turkey, and experts in Britain were trying to determine Monday whether six Croatian swans found last week had it.
Bird flu still poses the greatest threat in Asia, where the virus has killed more than 60 people since 2003, the experts meeting in the Danish capital said.
- From wire reports