MINA, Saudi Arabia - The 60-year-old Egyptian farmer spent years scraping together $11,000 to bring his wife and son here to perform Islam's hajj pilgrimage.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A strong earthquake struck New Zealand on Thursday night, collapsing at least three older buildings in one coastal city on North Island, sparking small fires and forcing authorities to declare a state of emergency there.
LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's oldest-ever monarch Thursday, reaching a new milestone in a job she has held for more than a half century - one that comes with luxurious accommodation, long hours and little chance of retirement.
ORANJESTAD, Aruba - One of three top suspects in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway wrote during an Internet chat session that the teenager was dead, Aruba's chief prosecutor said Thursday.
BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a city council meeting in a town northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 14 civilians during a four-day Islamic holiday, a morgue official said. The U.S. military said one soldier was killed and 10 were wounded.
MIRPURKHAS, Pakistan - Bringing her election campaign to her home province, Benazir Bhutto vowed that neither bullets nor bombs could keep her away from the Pakistani people.
LONDON - A British resident released from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay was reunited with his family Thursday for the first time in five years after a judge rejected a Spanish request to jail him on suspicion of belonging to an al-Qaida cell.
POLOKWANE, South Africa - South Africa's top prosecutor said Thursday he had enough evidence to bring corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, the man standing in line to be the country's next president. Zuma responded: ''If I have a case to answer, then take me to court.''
MOSCOW - Russian authorities have canceled a major exhibition of French and Russian paintings set to open in London in January, fearing authorities could seize the art to settle private legal claims, a Russian museum official said Wednesday.
GAZA CITY, Gaza City - On Islam's most important holiday, the leader of Gaza's Hamas government appealed Wednesday for a cease-fire with Israel and said his people - battered by Israeli military strikes and international sanctions - are greeting this year's feast with ''tears in our eyes.''
SEOUL, South Korea - A former Hyundai CEO known as ''The Bulldozer'' for his determination to get things done rolled over all opposition and financial fraud allegations to win South Korea's presidency Wednesday, ending a decade of liberal rule.
CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida has invited journalists to send questions to its No. 2 figure Ayman al-Zawahri, the first time the terror network has offered an ''interview'' with one of its top leaders since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The family of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway on Wednesday blamed mistakes by Aruban investigators for bringing the case to a dead end after more than two years of searching.
MEHRABPUR, Pakistan - Plunged into darkness and chaos, Shahid Khan used the light from his cell phone to escape the wreckage of an express train that had been taking holiday travelers home.
TOKYO - The United States is pushing Japan to suspend its hunt of humpback whales, and the American ambassador to Tokyo said Wednesday an agreement to stop it may have already been reached.
HRABOVE, Ukraine - Bowing to international pressure Monday, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - It is no longer only grief and mourning sweeping across the Netherlands in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. It is now anger.
NEW YORK - Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting exacted a steep price Sunday: It killed 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhood, reportedly used to launch rockets at Israel and now devastated by the fighting.
HOYLAKE, England - Rory McIlroy knows how quickly a big lead can slip away, so he wasn't satisfied by simply restoring it Saturday in the British Open.
BOSTON - An unlicensed funeral director accused of stealing more than $12,000 from an elderly couple could face more charges after authorities found 12 bodies and the cremated remains of more than 40 others in two self-storage units he rented, authorities said Friday.
WASHINGTON - For the first time in 30 years, the federal government is issuing new guidelines designed to protect pregnant workers from on-the-job discrimination.
BALTIMORE - Babe Ruth's 1918 contract with the Boston Red Sox has sold for more than $1 million, along with other baseball memorabilia up for auction in Baltimore.
MINNEAPOLIS - It's BYOB at the home of the Minnesota Twins for this week's All Star Game.
WASHINGTON - Military officers testified that there was no "stand-down order" that held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. Their testimony undercut the contention of Republican lawmakers.
No, the United States military isn't trying to build a force of centenarians.
BERLIN - Germany took the dramatic step Thursday of asking the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin to leave the country, following two suspected cases of American spying and the yearlong spat over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.
SPRING, Texas - A gunman charged Thursday in the killing of four children and their parents was dressed as a delivery man when he arrived at the suburban Houston home where the family was shot to death, officials said.
WASHINGTON - By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them - tax credits to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.
SMITHFIELD, N.Y. - Severe thunderstorms packing strong winds rolled through central New York, killing four people, destroying or damaging numerous houses and knocking out power to more than 70,000 utility customers, officials said Wednesday.