Lloyd Webber sets "Phantom' return in NY

LONDON - The Phantom of the Opera is coming back - but this time, he'll be haunting the amusement park at New York's Coney Island.

Star composer Andrew Lloyd Webber announced Thursday a long-awaited sequel to his successful ""The Phantom of the Opera,' one of the world's best-loved and longest-running musicals.

""There's unfinished business,' Lloyd Webber told journalists.

The new musical will be called ""Love Never Dies.'

Families exiled by Saddam return to Iraq

BAGHDAD - Twenty families who were sent into exile in Iran by Saddam Hussein following a failed uprising returned Thursday to Iraq, another sign of Baghdad's warming relations with Tehran.

Iraq has been delicately balancing its relations with Iran and the U.S. But with U.S. troops withdrawing from Iraq by the end of 2011, the Shiite-dominated government has been working to strengthen relations throughout the Middle East, primarily with Shiite-dominated Iran.

The families, about 250 people, were the first of two groups expected to return this week, said Atheer Kamil, the head of immigration and displaced persons in Basra province.

Source: Obama focusing on al-Qaida

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is prepared to accept some Taliban involvement in Afghanistan's political future and appears inclined to send only as many more U.S. troops as needed to keep al-Qaida at bay, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The sharpened focus by Obama's team on fighting al-Qaida above all other goals, comes in the midst of an intensely debated administration review of the increasingly unpopular eight-year-old war.

Admitted Nazi hit man trial set to begin

BERLIN - Germany's highest court said Thursday it has declined to hear the appeal of admitted Nazi hit man Heinrich Boere, clearing the way for his trial later this month for the execution-style killings of three Dutch civilians during World War II. Boere, 88, was initially ruled unfit for trial due to medical problems.