Investigators search for clues in plane crash

MERIDA, Venezuela - Investigators searched through the shattered wreckage of a plane that slammed into an Andean mountainside with 46 aboard, working in freezing temperatures Saturday to find clues and recover victims' remains.

Sixteen specialists, including crash investigators and forensic experts, were dropped off by helicopter near the crash site on the steep, foggy slope at an altitude of 13,500 feet, said Gen. Ramon Vinas, head of the civil aviation authority.

Officials said the victims, mostly Venezuelans, also included five Colombians and a U.S. citizen, Vivian Guarch, 53, who worked for a Miami branch of Stanford Bank.

Serbian hard-line leaders blame US for violence in Belgrade, Kosovo

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Kosovo - Serbia's hard-line leaders on Saturday called the U.S. 'the main culprit' in the violence that has broken out since Kosovo declared independence.

Several thousand Serbs chanting 'Kosovo is Serbia!' and 'Russia, Vladimir Putin!' protested peacefully in the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, the sixth day of demonstrations against Kosovo's break with Serbia. Russia backs Serbia's fierce resistance to Kosovo's secession.

Outgoing ruling party in Pakistan promises to support security

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's outgoing ruling party promised Saturday to support the victors in combating Islamic extremism, while the winners discussed ways to curb President Pervez Musharraf's powers - especially his right to dismiss parliament.

Mushahid Hussain, secretary-general of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, told reporters that his pro-Musharraf party was prepared to play a 'positive, constructive role' after suffering a crushing defeat in last Monday's elections.

Tension between Palestinian rivals flares over death

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The family of a Hamas preacher who died in Palestinian custody alleged Saturday that the prisoner was tortured by interrogators from the rival Fatah faction.

Authorities confirmed the death on Friday of Majed Barghouti, 44, at an intelligence lockup in the West Bank town of Ramallah, a week after his arrest. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah forces control the prison, ordered an investigation.

The death raises new concerns that Fatah forces are violating human rights in their crackdown on the Islamic militant group Hamas.