BAGHDAD - Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq said Wednesday that their forces would defend civilians if they were caught up in any fighting between Turkish troops and Kurdish rebels from the outlawed PKK in the area.
POLOKWANE, South Africa - The newly elected leader of South Africa's ruling party rose to power on the backs of trade unionists, communists and the poor. The challenge now is to satisfy his supporters without sacrificing the nation's economy.
ORANJESTAD, Aruba - Authorities have closed the investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and do not have evidence to charge anyone, the prosecutors' office said Tuesday.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel will keep striking the leaders of groups that launch rockets from the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged Tuesday after an hours-long aerial assault killed 12 militants including the commander of the extremist group Islamic Jihad.
KIRKUK, Iraq - Turkey sent hundreds of troops about 1 1/2 miles into northern Iraq early Tuesday in an operation against Kurdish rebels but then withdrew them later in the day, Kurdish officials said.
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday called for a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing executions, approving a resolution opposed by the U.S., China and Iran.
SEOUL, South Korea - The former Hyundai CEO, now the front-runner in South Korea's presidential election, denied involvement Tuesday in a stock manipulation case, accusing his opponents of spreading lies that would not derail his bid for office.
POLOKWANE, South Africa - Jacob Zuma, a populist whose career survived rape and corruption charges, was elected leader of the governing African National Congress on Tuesday, putting him into position to become South Africa's next president.
ALGIERS, Algeria - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday toured the ruins of a building torn apart by a suicide bombing that killed 17 U.N. staffers last week, vowing that the world body would not be intimidated.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - A U.S. diplomat said two top war crimes suspects - Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic - could be apprehended with a single phone call from Serbia's prime minister.
MOUNT ARAFAT, Saudi Arabia - Millions of Muslims marked the zenith of the annual hajj Tuesday, praying for God's forgiveness on a rocky desert hill here where in Muslim tradition Adam and Eve were reunited after leaving Eden.
KIRKUK, Iraq - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday the United States, Iraq and Turkey have a ''common interest'' in stopping Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, and told Iraqi leaders they still have urgent work ahead to unite the country.
RUATOKI, New Zealand - Armed police stormed into this quiet village at dawn, threw up roadblocks, shot out truck tires and forced families out of their homes at gunpoint.
CHIMALTENANGO, Guatemala - Tattoos, baggy pants and tank tops are out. Smart blazers and university recruits are in.
EDITOR'S NOTE - A yearlong exploration by The Associated Press suggests that despite immense challenges, progress is gaining a foothold in pockets of Africa, in spheres ranging from democracy to education. And after minimal results from five decades of Western advice and aid, the progress is led by Africans themselves. This is Part V of the series.
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.
WASHINGTON - U.S. employers accelerated their hiring last month, adding a robust 288,000 jobs and helping drive the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.
SAVANNAH - A hurricane watch covering nearly 200 miles along North Carolina's coast was issued early Wednesday, threatening Fourth of July plans as Tropical Storm Arthur moved northward from Florida.
SAN FRANCISCO - Throughout California's desperately dry Central Valley, those with water to spare are cashing in.
WASHINGTON - Congress is wildly unpopular.
NEW ORLEANS - Two men exchanged gunfire early Sunday on the city's always-crowded Bourbon Street in the celebrated French Quarter and nine people were shot in the crossfire, including two who were critically wounded, police said.
PHILADELPHIA - Authorities were investigating how a metal security grate detached and fell from the facade of an Italian ice shop Saturday afternoon, killing a 3-year-old girl.
LOS ANGELES - NASA has tested new technology designed to bring spacecraft - and one day even astronauts - safely down to Mars, with the agency declaring the experiment a qualified success even though a giant parachute got tangled on the way down.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - Reminders of the Granite Mountain Hotshots are spread throughout Station 7.
MINNEAPOLIS - The disappearance of a Minnesota mother of seven was just a missing person case when it landed on the desk of Detective Sgt. Lee Hollatz. Seven months later, her body and that of another woman were found stuffed in suitcases along a rural Wisconsin highway, and the former police officer whom Hollatz had long considered his top person of interest is now suspected in their deaths.
PHOENIX - Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal broke down in tears Wednesday at the end of a news conference where he apologized for posting an anonymous blog comment that denigrated welfare recipients and other postings that were seen by some as racist.
WASHINGTON - The United States is still growing older, but the trend is reversing in the Great Plains, thanks to a liberal application of oil.