BAGHDAD - Gunmen from a messianic Shiite cult attacked police and worshippers preparing Friday for a major Shiite holiday, prompting fierce clashes that left nearly 50 people dead in a major test for Iraqi security forces in oil-rich southern Iraq.
SAN'A, Yemen - Suspected al-Qaida militants opened fire on a convoy of tourists in a remote desert mountain valley Friday, killing two Belgian women and their Yemeni driver. It was the second recent militant attack on foreign tourists in Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel sealed all border crossings with the Gaza Strip on Friday, cutting the flow of vital supplies in an attempt to stop Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli border towns.
NAIROBI, Kenya - Clashes between rival tribes armed with machetes and bows and arrows on Friday marked the third, the bloodiest and what the government hopes is the last day of opposition protests over Kenya's disputed presidential election.
TORONTO - A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the United States as a country where prisoners risk torture and abuse, citing interrogation techniques such as stripping prisoners, blindfolding and sleep deprivation.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's military said air force jets destroyed a hideout used by senior Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday and soldiers captured a strategic stretch of road in a battle that left nine insurgents dead.
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar - A self-destructing palm tree that flowers once every 100 years and then dies has been discovered on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, botanists said Thursday.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - When the delivery truck finally arrives, laborer Sher Nawaz joins about 400 Pakistanis scrambling to buy a sack of wheat flour.
JERUSALEM - The father of an Israeli soldier held captive in the Gaza Strip said Thursday that he sent a letter of condolence to the territory's Hamas strongman after the Palestinian's son was killed in an Israeli raid.
BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber attacked a mosque in violent Diyala province northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 10 people as worshipers were beating their chests in observance of Shiite Islam's holiest holiday.
MOGADHISU, Somalia - Islamic militants fired mortar shells and guns in the Somali capital on Thursday, sparking crossfire with Ethiopian troops and their Somali government allies that killed at least 16 people, witnesses said.
SYDNEY, Australia - Australia said Thursday it would send a ship to pick up two anti-whaling activists who jumped on a Japanese harpoon vessel from a rubber boat in Antarctic waters, offering a solution to a tense, two-day standoff on the high seas.
KISUMU, Kenya - U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama's uncle has been a prisoner in his own home, trapped by postelection violence that has left more than 600 Kenyans dead.
NAIROBI, Kenya - Police fired tear gas and live rounds to break up opposition rallies in several Kenyan cities on Thursday, killing at least five protesters.
HAVANA - Fidel Castro said Wednesday he is not yet healthy enough to address Cuba's people in person and can't campaign for Sunday's parliamentary elections.
NAPA, Calif. - A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. Scores were injured as the temblor knocked out power to thousands, caused gas and water lines to rupture, sparked fires and buckled roads.
MIAMI - Tropical Storm Cristobal is moving erratically north-northeastward away from the Bahamas but is forecast to stay away from the U.S. East Coast.
KENYA - An estimated 100,000 elephants in Africa have been killed by poachers from 2010-12, according to a new peer reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The killings have increased as a result of the growing demand for ivory sold on the black-market in China and other Asian countries.
ATLANTA - At least one of the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa has recovered and was to be discharged Thursday from an Atlanta hospital, a spokeswoman for the aid group he was working for said.
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Former President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge then nominated former President Bill Clinton to do it next.