111 nations sign cluster bomb treaty; not US
DUBLIN, Ireland - Chief negotiators of a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs predicted Friday that the United States will never again use the weapons, a component of air and artillery power.
The treaty formally adopted Friday by 111 nations, including many of America's major NATO partners, would outlaw all current designs of cluster munitions and require destruction of stockpiles within eight years. It also opens the possibility that European allies could order U.S. bases located in their countries to remove cluster bombs from their stocks.
The United States and other leading cluster bomb makers - Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan - boycotted the talks, emphasized they would not sign the treaty and publicly shrugged off its value.
Honduran jet crashes; 4 dead
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - A Miami-bound jetliner overshot a runway, raced onto a busy street and slammed into an embankment in the Honduran capital Friday, killing the pilot, two passengers and a motorist on the ground.
Eighty-one people were injured, including the former head of Honduras' armed forces, Gen. Daniel Lopez Carballo.
Iraqi opposition to plan grows
BAGHDAD - Tens of thousands rallied in several cities Friday against a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security agreement, raising doubts that negotiators can meet a July target to finalize a pact to keep U.S. troops in Iraq after the current U.N. mandate expires.
Although U.S. officials insist they are not seeking permanent bases, suspicion runs deep among many Iraqis that the Americans want to keep at least some troops in the country for many years.
Vatican says excommunication for female priests
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican insisted Friday that it is properly following Christian tradition by excluding females from the priesthood as it issued a new warning that women taking part in ordinations will be excommunicated.
The move dashed the hopes both of women seeking to be priests and of Catholics who see that as an option for a church struggling to recruit men.
A top Vatican official said the church acted after what it described as 'so-called ordinations' held in various parts of the world.
Monsignor Angelo Amato said the Vatican wanted to provide a clear response on the issue.
The church has always banned the ordination of women by stating that the priesthood is reserved for males.