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ANKARA - Turkey's Muslim-inspired government, already under attack by the secular establishment, suffered another blow Friday when two legislators from a coalition partner rebelled against the alliance.


ALGIERS - Two car bombs exploded in the western Algerian town of Tlemcen Friday, killing seven people and wounding 12, Algerian security services said. In separate incidents, security forces killed 29 people in what they described as anti-terrorist operations.


ACAPULCO - A Mexican journalist murdered earlier this week warned in a letter before his death that government officials or pro-government journalists could have him killed.


RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian television Friday showed a police officer in Sao Paulo state shooting in the head at point-blank range a man who had kidnapped a 2-year-old girl and was threatening her with a knife.


PARIS - Politicians wooed France's large undecided vote on Friday, the last day of campaigning for the nation's first-round parliamentary elections. While unlikely to unseat the ruling conservatives, the election will determine the strength of President Jacques Chirac's public mandate to carry out painful free-market reforms.

PARIS - Striking night watchmen blocked entrances to the Louvre on Friday, turning away thousands of visitors for the second straight day.


ATHENS - Police recovered 38 works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and other artists on Friday, three years after the artwork was stolen from an unguarded arts foundation. Authorities arrested a man who is accused of hiding the works in an Athens apartment.


RAJLOVAC - An armored vehicle belonging to the NATO-led peacekeeping force accidentally fired its cannon on another vehicle on Friday, killing two German soldiers.


KATMANDU - Taking advantage of sunny skies and no wind, two Americans, a descendant of the first Sherpa to conquer Mount Everest and 19 other climbers reached the top of the world's highest mountain Friday.


BEIJING - Hong Kong will have considerable leeway in organizing its elections when it returns to Chinese sovereignty, the territory's leader-in-waiting promised Friday.


TEHRAN - Faced with a choice of looser or tighter restrictions on daily life, Iranians turned out in record numbers Friday to elect a new president in a showdown between hard-liners and moderates inside the ruling Muslim clergy. The winner will replace President Hashemi Rafsanjani, who by law must step down in August after two terms.


TIRANA - A shootout between police and a criminal gang armed with anti-tank weapons left five officers dead and at least eight others wounded, authorities said.


BRATISLAVA - A referendum to gauge the country's willingness to join NATO fell apart Friday after many people boycotted the vote in anger over the government's last-minute altering of the ballots.


CARACAS - Wearing a blue suit and tie over a bulletproof vest, a Colombian alleged to have smuggled 30 tons of cocaine into the United States was extradited Friday to New York for trial.