Iraq: Sadr City cease-fire signed

BAGHDAD - Iraq's main Shiite political bloc and supporters of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr signed a fragile cease-fire in Baghdad's Sadr City on Monday, hoping to end seven weeks of fighting that has left hundreds dead.

But the U.S. military has alleged that most Shiite extremists fighting Iraqi and U.S. forces in the teeming slum have splintered away from al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, and that the cleric's level of influence on those rogue groups is unclear. Many are thought to be trained and armed by Iranian forces. Iran denies the allegations.

Israeli police widen probe into Olmert donations

JERUSALEM - Israeli police raided Jerusalem's City Hall on Monday, searching offices and confiscating documents as part of a widening corruption inquiry against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Olmert is suspected of illicitly accepting large sums of cash from a Jewish American donor. Some of the donations are believed to have taken place during Olmert's 10-year tenure as mayor of Jerusalem.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the police's anti-fraud team conducted the raid. He said the seized documents were connected to Olmert time as mayor between 1993 and 2003, but had no further details on their contents.

Sudan detains Islamist for alleged rebel links

KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan briefly detained its leading fundamentalist Islamic ideologue on Monday, accusing him of aiding a Darfur rebel attack on the capital but then releasing him without charge, according to his party and state media.

Hassan Turabi was arrested after dawn at his home in Khartoum and at least 10 other members of his Popular Congress Party members were detained in a government sweep across the city, said Awadh Ba Bakr, a relative and close aide to Turabi. Bakr says al-Turabi was questioned by security and released without charges about 15 hours later.

US begins aid flights to cyclone victims

YANGON, Myanmar - A U.S. plane ferried relief to Myanmar for the first time Monday to help nearly 2 million cyclone victims facing disease and starvation, but the U.N. chief criticized the military junta for its 'unacceptably slow response.'

Even as the death toll climbed, Myanmar's authoritarian regime continued to bar nearly all foreigners experienced in managing humanitarian crises from reaching survivors of Cyclone Nargis.