TOKYO - Japan is dropping its plan to kill humpback whales in the seas off Antarctica, the country's top government spokesman said Friday.
ZITTAU, Germany - European leaders celebrated Friday as the borders of nine countries along a Cold War frontier melted away, allowing a huge expansion to the EU's passport-free travel zone.
BAGHDAD - The leader of the largest Shiite political party in Iraq told about 5,000 faithful who gathered Friday for Eid al-Adha prayers that U.S.-backed anti-al-Qaida armed groups - mostly comprised of Sunnis - should be on the side of government forces and not try to replace them.
SHANGHAI, China - China's first fully homegrown commercial aircraft rolled off the production line Friday, marking a potential milestone for the country's aviation program.
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The militant Hezbollah group denounced President Bush on Friday for urging Lebanon's anti-Syrian lawmakers to push through their own choice for president if necessary to resolve a long political deadlock.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Belgian police Friday arrested 14 Muslim extremists suspected of planning the jailbreak of an al-Qaida prisoner convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on U.S. air base personnel, officials said.
SHERPAO, Pakistan - A suicide attacker detonated a bomb packed with ball bearings and nails amid hundreds of worshippers Friday at the residential compound of a former top security official for President Pervez Musharraf, killing at least 50 people, authorities said.
PRETORIA, South Africa - President Thabo Mbeki, humiliated by losing the contest to lead the country's ruling party, on Friday ruled out the possibility of early elections and said it would be business as usual for his government.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel is examining a Hamas truce proposal delivered by Egypt, defense officials said Thursday after at least six Palestinians were killed in a day of Israeli air and ground strikes aimed at stopping rocket salvos from Gaza.
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's central bank unveiled new currency notes Thursday with denominations as high as 750,000 dollars as the government tries to ease chronic shortages of cash in a hyperinflationary economy.
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.