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MOSCOW - A balcony collapsed Thursday onto the crowded floor of a sports stadium during the national wrestling competition in southern Russia, killing 23 people, officials said. Thirty-nine others were injured.


RENTERIA - A bomb attack blamed on a Basque separatist group killed a local politician Thursday in northern Spain, six months after his predecessor was shot to death by the same group.


MANILA - The family of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos on Thursday delayed plans to bury him at Heroes' Cemetery, defusing for the moment a growing political controversy.


LONDON - A British heart patient unhooked himself from heart monitors, climbed out of his hospital bed and walked five miles home - in his sleep.


JERUSALEM - A Lebanese Shiite militia on Thursday handed over to the Lebanese army some of the remains of an Israeli soldier in preparation for a swap with Israel for the bodies of Muslim guerrillas and the release of prisoners.


SIDON - Lebanese guerrillas attacked Israeli forces in southern Lebanon early Thursday, killing two soldiers and wounding four, according to Lebanese security officials.


BUCHAREST - The communist head of Russia's parliament has told Romanians to abandon any hope of recovering 100 tons of gold turned over to Czarist Russia for safekeeping during World War I.


BEIJING - Three men convicted of killing an American engineer have been executed in southern China.


ALGIERS - A powerful explosion rocked central Algiers early Thursday, lightly wounding one person and wrecking a cafe, witnesses said.


TBILISI - A leading U.S.-based watchdog group has slammed Azerbaijan's government for what it calls a worsening human rights situation there and called for its application to the Council of Europe to be suspended.


KABUL - Three rockets slammed into the airport in Afghanistan's war-shattered capital Thursday while passengers were preparing to board a U.N. plane parked on the tarmac, witnesses said.


NEW DELHI - Indian police arrested 13 men in the waiting room of the U.S. Embassy's visa section, saying their tale of wanting to play field hockey in America was a fraud.


TOKYO - Candidates kicked off their campaigns Thursday for a parliamentary election widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's management of Japan's tottering economy.


SANAA - Opposition parties in Yemen said they had been invited to meet President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday to discuss petrol and food price rises, which have led to protests throughout the country.


ANKARA - Turkey's main opposition Islamist party said Thursday it would submit a censure motion against Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz in a fresh move to topple the conservative-led minority coalition.