Bombs kill 15 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Three separate bombings killed 15 people in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, while authorities investigated reports that a pilotless U.S. drone crashed elsewhere in the militant-plagued region bordering Afghanistan.

The bombings, coming days after gunmen attacked Sri Lanka's visiting cricket team, were a fresh reminder of the militant threat in Pakistan, where Western leaders worry that a growing political feud could distract the government from tackling the extremists head on.

Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are believed to use pockets of Pakistan's northwest as bases to plan attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The U.S. has used drones to fire missile strikes against militants in the area, prompting protests from Pakistani officials who say the attacks fuel anti-American sentiment.

Iraqi PM calls for stronger govt.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Saturday called for an end to the practice of distributing top government jobs along religious and ethnic lines, saying the system leads to weakness and mismanagement.

Al-Maliki, a Shiite, also renewed his call for changes in the 2005 constitution, which he believes restricts the power of the central government to deal with national problems after nearly six years of war.

'There is a difference between sectarian distribution of posts in the government and the principle of partnership,' al-Maliki told a conference of Iraqi tribal leaders.

US man among Tijuana victims

TIJUANA, Mexico - Mexican authorities say a U.S. man was among three decapitated victims found this week in the northern border city of Tijuana.

State prosecutors said the body of 38-year-old Jorge Norman Harrison was found by joggers Tuesday along with two other bodies near Tijuana's bullring.

Police said the three bodies also were missing their hands and one its feet.

Prosecutors said in a statement Friday that Norman Harrison had been convicted for drug trafficking in the United States. They said investigators searched a pizzeria he owned in Tijuana and found four handguns and more than 100 Valium pills.

An official with the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana confirmed Norman Harrison's death but declined to give any other details.

Karzai says he could extend rule

KABUL - President Hamid Karzai accepted a decision to schedule elections Aug. 20, but suggested Saturday he should keep power during the three-month gap after his term expires in May, setting up a possible constitutional showdown.

An opposition leader said parliament won't accept Karzai as president after May 21, and warned that an extension of Karzai's term could trigger nationwide demonstrations.

But no political leaders have offered any generally accepted solution, and Karzai on Saturday argued that his term should be extended because of the delayed election.

Obama to make visit to Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey - For one of his first foreign visits, President Barack Obama will call on NATO ally Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim country viewed as critical to aiding the U.S. pullout from Iraq, turning around the Afghanistan war and blocking Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The invasion of Iraq has strained the long friendship between the U.S. and Turkey, a Western-style democracy that straddles Europe and the Middle East and has an Islamic-oriented government. Obama's visit, expected at the end of a European trip in early April, would mark an improvement in ties.

Palestinian PM steps down

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Western-backed Palestinian prime minister submitted his resignation Saturday, improving the odds of a possible unity government of Fatah moderates and Hamas militants, followed by new Palestinian elections.

Salam Fayyad announced that he will step down once a new government is formed, but no later than the end of March. Unity talks between the Islamic militant Hamas and the Fatah movement of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are to resume this week in Cairo. Abbas aides noted that if the negotiations fail, Abbas might reappoint Fayyad.