1. Archive

U.S. will send aid to Palestinians, envoy says

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The United States will continue sending humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people even after a Hamas government is formed, a senior U.S. envoy told Palestinian leaders during the first high-level meeting between the two sides since Hamas' election victory.

State Department envoy David Welch said the United States continues "to be devoted to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and we shall remain so."

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Welch told Palestinian officials that U.S. aid would be redirected, but Welch did not specify how.

The United States and the EU consider Hamas a terror organization and have threatened to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid if Hamas doesn't abandon its violent campaign against Israel.

Villagers hold service for 1,000 killed in mudslide

GUINSAUGON, Philippines - Grieving villagers carrying candles and flowers filled an army tent in the eastern Philippines on Saturday during a service for more than 1,000 of their neighbors killed by a torrential mudslide just over a week ago.

U.S. Marines were among those attending, and provincial Gov. Rosette Lerias and other local officials and survivors crossed the river in two earthmovers to bless the disaster site.

Only 139 bodies have been recovered and nearly 1,000 villagers, most of the population of Guinsaugon, are presumed dead after the Feb. 17 landslide covered the area in up to 100 feet of mud.

At Carnival, thieves grab Picasso, Dali, Monet

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Taking advantage of the chaos of a Carnival parade, thieves slipped into an art museum and stole paintings valued at tens of millions of dollars, also stripping visitors of cell phones, digital cameras and wallets before fleeing.

The heist of the high-value art was a brash crime at a celebration known more for its pickpockets.

As a samba band performed outside Friday, the thieves overpowered security guards at the Chacara do Ceu museum and stole Pablo Picasso's The Dance, Salvador Dali's The Two Balconies, Henri Matisse's Luxembourg Garden and Claude Monet's Marine.

The paintings were considered the most valuable at the museum, said a city security spokeswoman, Thais Isel, estimated to be worth at around $50-million.

IRA supporters attack police in tourist district

DUBLIN, Ireland - Several hundred Irish Republican Army supporters attacked police in Dublin on Saturday to protest an unprecedented parade through the capital by Protestants from Northern Ireland.

In scenes rare for the Republic of Ireland, protesters hurled bottles, bricks, concrete blocks and fireworks at police officers trying to clear the hostile crowd from Dublin's most famous boulevard, O'Connell Street.

Though the Protestants abandoned their parade, the battles spread to streets near the national Parliament and museums, as well as a shopping center and the major tourist district, Temple Bar.

Ireland's national police force said 14 people - six officers and eight civilians, including rioters and a journalist - were hospitalized, mostly with head wounds.

Uganda's president wins third term; fights follow

KAMPALA, Uganda - Yoweri Museveni extended his 20-year tenure as president of Uganda on Saturday in the country's first multiparty elections in a quarter century, but the results were immediately challenged by his main opponent, and fighting broke out.

Museveni, the clear front-runner, won by a wide margin with 59 percent of the vote, compared with 37 percent for his main challenger, Kizza Besigye, according to official final results released Saturday afternoon.

But Besigye said that his campaign's analysis of election data showed him winning by a slim margin. Heavily armed soldiers clashed with Besigye's supporters outside his campaign headquarters Saturday night. Security forces fired tear gas.

Besigye urged his supporters to challenge the results, but nonviolently.