British Airways plane crash-lands at Heathrow Airport

LONDON - A British Airways jet from Beijing carrying 152 people crash-landed Thursday, injuring 19 people and causing more than 200 flights to be canceled at Europe's busiest airport.

Investigators will speak to the pilots and study the plane's flight data recorder and maintenance records to determine what caused the crash-landing at Heathrow airport, tearing the plane's underbelly and damaging its wings.

Nothing suggested it was terror-related, Scotland Yard said.

Police crack down on protesters in Kenya, killing 5

NAIROBI, Kenya - Police cracked down fiercely on a second day of protests across Kenya on Thursday, firing bullets at opposition supporters and tear gas at a hospital. At least five people were killed.

The United States blamed President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga for the violent demonstrations and ethnic clashes that have killed more than 600 Kenyans since a disputed Dec. 27 presidential vote. Kibaki insists he won the election, but international and local observers say the vote count was rigged.

Heavy fighting in Somalia kills 20

MOGADHISU, Somalia - Islamic militants fired mortar shells and guns in the Somali capital on Thursday, sparking crossfire with Ethiopian troops and their Somali government allies that killed at least 20 people, witnesses said.

Mogadishu residents said the Ethiopian and Somali forces came under attack by Islamic insurgents in the south of the city, sparking mortar and artillery battles that killed six civilians and wounded 10. Four Ethiopian and two Somali soldiers were among the dead, witnesses said.

A radical Islamic group that was driven from power a year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in Somalia and the government can do little to stop it, government officials say.

Gaza militants and Israeli forces trade fire, jeopardize talks

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel pummeled Gaza Thursday with air and ground fire as Palestinian rockets slammed into southern Israel, endangering recently restarted peace negotiations.

The Israeli attacks killed a militant leader and one of his female relatives along with five others in Gaza.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to strike Palestinian militants 'without compromise, without concessions and without mercy.' His forces carried out stepped-up attacks, but Olmert gave no hint that a large-scale offensive was near.

Suicide bomber strikes Shiites

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber struck Shiites as worshippers prepared Thursday for their most important holiday, killing at least 11 at a mosque in violent Diyala province - one day after a similar attack by a woman in a nearby village.

Police and eyewitnesses said one of the victims had intercepted the bomber when he saw him making his way through the crowd. 'Stranger, stranger,' he shouted as he grabbed the bomber, who instantly detonated the blast.

Australia returns activists who had jumped on ship

SYDNEY, Australia - A tense standoff in frigid Antarctic waters ended Friday when two activists who had jumped on board a Japanese whaling boat were returned to their ship by Australian officials.

Their return paved the way for the Japanese fleet to resume killing whales, and for their staunchest opponents to restart their campaign of harassment to stop them.

Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said the two crew members were safely back on board the group's ship, the Steve Irwin.

Gates praises NATO's role in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that sending Marines to Afghanistan will keep pressure on the Taliban and doesn't 'reflect dissatisfaction' with NATO countries' performance.

Gates was trying to smooth over comments a day earlier that sparked an international furor. The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the defense secretary said U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan are doing a terrific job but that he is concerned that NATO allies are not well-trained in counterinsurgency operations.