1. Archive

Man held in Afghan bombing

Security forces have arrested a Tajik suspected of organizing the deadly car-bombing of a U.S. security firm in the Afghan capital and believe he was acting on the orders of al-Qaida, an Afghan official said Saturday.

The suspect, Mohammed Haidar, confessed to his leading role in the Aug. 29 attack, which killed about 10 people, including three Americans, Afghan state television reported.

An Afghan intelligence service spokesman, Mohammed Nader, confirmed the report's accuracy but declined to discuss the details.

Haidar also admitted organizing an Oct. 23 suicide attack on a Kabul shopping street that killed an American woman and an Afghan child, the TV report said.

Romania limits adoptions by foreign families

BUCHAREST, Romania _ A law restricting international adoptions to biological grandparents took effect Saturday, legislation that some American families trying to adopt Romanian children protested.

Romania's government enacted the law under orders from the European Union, which Romania wants to join in 2007.

Under the law, Romanian children also can be adopted by foreigners if the search for Romanian adoptive families has failed. Children under the age of 2 will not be allowed to be adopted abroad.

Officials and families in some Western countries say the law is inflexible and could deprive Romanian children of a family home.

In July, President Bush raised the issue with Romanian leaders visiting Washington on behalf of American families seeking the release of 250 children to adoptive homes in the United States.

Outcry against Pakistani president falls short

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _ Hundreds of opposition supporters protested on Saturday, denouncing President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's decision to retain the powerful post of army chief.

Holding black flags, about 1,500 protesters marched on a main city road in the southern city of Karachi, while nearly 600 people gathered in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Hundreds also marched in Multan and Lahore, with smaller rallies elsewhere.

But the demonstrations did not attract the thousands of protesters that organizers had hoped for, and none of the country's top opposition leaders attended.

The rallies came two days after Musharraf went on national television to explain why he was keeping the army chief post, saying it would be "extremely dangerous" for Pakistan to change track as it fights terrorism.

The opposition rejected his claim, saying the army general had not honored his promise to become a civilian president.

Haiti grimly marks its independence day

GONAIVES, Haiti _ Haiti's leaders marked the 201st anniversary of independence Saturday while protesters demanded more help in this flood-ravaged city where political tensions still linger since a revolt ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Interim President Boniface Alexandre urged Haitians to help pave the way for "free, honest, transparent and democratic elections" this year, addressing a restless crowd of about 200 in the northern city of Gonaives, where the country's declaration of independence from slave-holding France was signed Jan. 1, 1804.

Uganda resumes war with rebels, but continues talks

GULU, Uganda _ President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday said the army will resume all-out war on rebels in northern Uganda, charging that the insurgents rejected a cease-fire that had been expected to open the way for talks on ending the 18-year civil war.

The government, however, will continue negotiating with the rebels in an effort to find a political solution to the conflict in which thousands have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes, Museveni said during New Year's celebrations.