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POPE ANNOUNCES HE WILL VISIT AFRICA NEXT YEAR

VATICAN CITY

Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday that he will make his first papal pilgrimage to Africa - a continent where the Catholic Church is growing - with visits next year to Cameroon and Angola. The 81-year-old Benedict gave the news at the end of his homily in St. Peter's Basilica, during a ceremony closing three weeks of discussions by bishops from around the world about the Bible. Benedict did not give specific dates for the trip. "Next March, I intend to go to Cameroon" as part of preparations for an October 2009 bishops' meeting at the Vatican dealing with Africa, Benedict said at the end of his homily. "From there, God willing, I will go on to Angola, to celebrate solemnly the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of that country," Benedict said.

MEXICO

Drug cartel leader arrested in Tijuana

Soldiers arrested a leader of the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel after a shootout in a middle-class neighborhood of the border city across from San Diego, Mexico's Defense Department announced Sunday. Eduardo Arellano Felix was captured Saturday night with his daughter. The U.S. State Department once offered $5-million for his capture. Mexican authorities say Arellano Felix and his sister, Enedina Arellano Felix, took over the drug clan's leadership after several of their brothers were arrested or killed.

WASHINGTON

IMF chief cleared in abuse inquiry

An outside investigation has cleared International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of abuse of power accusations resulting from an affair he had with a former division chief at the organization. The IMF's board said that Strauss-Kahn's actions were "regrettable and reflected a serious error of judgment" but that there was no "harassment, favoritism or any other abuse of authority." The decision was unanimous. Strauss-Kahn has publicly admitted to and apologized for the affair, and his wife, a prominent French television personality, has called it a "one-night stand."

BRAZIL

Ruling party fails in Sao Paulo vote

Brazil's ruling party lost its chance to retake the mayoralty of South America's biggest city on Sunday. Incumbent Sao Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab, of the conservative Democrat Party, was 21 points ahead of Workers Party's Marta Suplicy with nearly 99 percent of the votes counted. With almost 100 percent of the votes counted in Rio de Janeiro, former guerrilla Fernando Gabeira, of the Green Party, trailed Eduardo Paes, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, by 1 percentage point in the runoff for mayor of Brazil's second-largest city. Gabeira helped kidnap the U.S. ambassador in Rio, Charles Elbrick, in 1969 to protest the military dictatorship. Elbrick was released unhurt four days later.

Elsewhere

Germany: World chess champion Viswanathan Anand of India moved to within a half point of retaining his title with a hard-fought draw against Russian challenger Vladimir Kramnik in the ninth game on Sunday. Anand has a 6-3 advantage in the 12-game match.

Lithuania: The Homeland Union, a conservative party that is critical of Russia and is led by former Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, won the Baltic country's parliamentary vote, the election commission said Sunday.

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