Brazilian priest missing after floating away with balloons
SAO PAULO, Brazil - A Roman Catholic priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons was missing Monday off the southern coast of Brazil.
Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found.
The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.
He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials, according to the treasurer of his Sao Cristovao parish, Denise Gallas.
Iraqi leader calls for support from Arab neighbors
BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed Monday for support from his Arab neighbors, urging them to open embassies and forgive Iraqi debts as his government tries to crack down on Shiite militias in a crucial power struggle.
But the government plea came as militia leaders warned more violence could await.
Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the biggest militia, said they could widen the battles with the government - even asking supporters for blood donations to aid fighters injured during weeks of urban clashes.
Tanker attacked by pirates off coast of Yemen
MADRID, Spain - Pirates in the lawless Gulf of Aden fired on a Japanese oil tanker Monday, unleashing hundreds of gallons of fuel into the sea, a day after a Spanish tuna boat was hijacked in the area using rocket-propelled grenades.
The 150,000-ton tanker was attacked 170 miles off the coast of Yemen while it was heading to Saudi Arabia. No one was injured, its Japanese operator Nippon Yusen K.K. said.
The attacks highlight an alarming increase in piracy by well-armed bandits, prompting international demands for better protection of the world's shipping lanes.
Pakistan frees pro-Taliban cleric
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Pakistan freed a pro-Taliban cleric and quickly signed an accord with his hard-line group Monday, the first major step by the new government to talk peace with Islamic militants and break with President Pervez Musharraf's policy of using force.
The day's developments began with the release of Sufi Muhammad, who is believed in his 70s, after more than five years in custody following his dispatch of thousands of followers to fight in Afghanistan.