Six people found dead in apartment near Vancouver

SURREY, British Columbia - Workers responding to a reported gas leak found at least six people dead in an apartment in a Vancouver suburb Friday, authorities said.

The bodies were discovered by firefighters and hazardous materials workers, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Dale Carr.

Police are not ruling out a homicide-suicide. Carr said residents may have smelled decomposing bodies and mistakenly thought they had a gas leak.

The building was evacuated, but residents were being allowed to return late Friday night.

Iranian nuclear envoy resigns

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's top nuclear negotiator resigned Saturday in a move seen as a victory for the hardline president that could push the country into an even more defiant position in its standoff with the West.

Ali Larijani was viewed as more moderate than President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and the two often clashed over how to negotiate with the world on the nuclear issue.

His resignation and replacement by the little-known deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, Saeed Jalili, puts the nuclear portfolio firmly in the president's hands just days before a key meeting with European negotiators.

It was not clear whether Larijani left his post under pressure, but his departure was interpreted by many here as giving Ahmadinejad a free hand in dictating his views to the less experienced Jalili.

Shiite militants captured in raid near Baghdad

BAGHDAD - U.S. and Iraqi forces, backed by Polish army helicopters, swept through Shiite militia strongholds south of Baghdad on Saturday, rounding up dozens of militants and killing two. The prime minister met the provincial governor, who called for reinforcements to root out 'the criminals.'

Iraqi police said 30 suspected fighters linked to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army were grabbed in a pre-dawn house-to-house search by U.S. and Iraqi raiders in two eastern neighborhoods in Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad.

Coalition forces kill 50 Taliban fighters

KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S.-led coalition soldiers and Afghan forces killed about 50 militants in two days of major fighting near a Taliban-controlled town in southern Afghanistan's poppy-growing belt, officials Saturday.

Taliban forces fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at a combined coalition-Afghan patrol near the town of Musa Qala in Helmand province, sparking a battle that lasted several hours and involved the use of military aircraft, the coalition said in a statement. Nearly three dozen militants were killed.

The battle was the second in two days near Musa Qala. The coalition said it killed more than a dozen insurgents Friday after the militants ambushed a patrol.

Myanmar lifts ban on assembly, curfew

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar lifted a curfew on Saturday and ended a ban on assembly imposed during a deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests - the latest sign the military rulers are confident they have fully crushed the largest demonstrations in two decades.

The White House dismissed the move as 'cosmetic,' a day after President Bush announced new penalties against the military-run government.

Turkey expects U.S. help in standoff with Kurdish rebels

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkey expects the U.S. to act against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq but will take its own measures if it sees no results in the fight, the prime minister said.

In northern Iraq on Saturday, thousands of Kurds packed the streets of a border city to protest a threatened Turkish incursion and to warn they would defend their territory.

Turkey has threatened to cross the Iraqi border to try to wipe out Kurdish rebel bases, arguing it has the right to fight terrorism. The United States and Iraq oppose such unilateral action, fearing it could destabilize northern Iraq, the most stable part of the country.

Japanese man gets postcard sent from WWII battlefront

TOKYO - A postcard that a Japanese soldier mailed from a Southeast Asian battlefront during World War II has reached a recipient in Japan 64 years later, a university whose student helped deliver it said Saturday.

Shizuo Nagano, an 80-year-old retiree in Japan's southwestern state of Kochi, received the card Friday - by way of Nagasaki, Arizona and Hawaii - said a statement from Mukogawa Women's University.