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World datelines


MOSCOW, Russia — A plane crash in Angola killed some 30 people, including Angolan passengers and at least one of the Russian crew, Russia's foreign ministry said.


SYDNEY — A two-week hunger strike by asylum seekers at a remote Outback detention center was declared over after government negotiators convinced detainees their refugee claims would be processed.


SANTIAGO — Chile announced that it will go ahead with a long-awaited purchase of U.S.-built F-16 fighter jets in what will be the first major U.S. arms sale to Latin America since lifting a 20-year ban.


BOGOTA — An explosion ripped through a Marxist guerrilla weapons dump, which contained two tons of dynamite, during a Colombian army raid, killing seven troops and leaving 22 missing, the army said.


LONDON — The body of a premature baby was accidentally thrown into a London hospital linen basket and sent through the wash at an industrial laundry, officials said.


NEW DELHI — India tested a naval version of a short-range surface-to-air missile from its western coast, its second missile trial in less than a week, the defense ministry said.


ROME — A strike by Italian port, train and ferry workers to protest against government plans to make it easier to fire workers snarled public transport in Italy once again. Dense fog over many airports added to travelers' woes for the second day running, causing flight cancellations.


TOKYO — Japan's population is likely to hit a peak in 2006 after which the nation will experience a long-term decline in its population due mainly to a low birthrate, a government-affiliated institute said.


MONROVIA — Liberian authorities have blocked tens of thousands of refugees driven toward Monrovia by the closest fighting to the capital since civil war erupted again in 2000, travelers from the area said.


ANTANANARIVO — Hundreds of thousands of Madagascans streamed into central Antananarivo to support the third day of a general strike and protests aimed at forcing out the government over alleged vote rigging.


MEXICO CITY — A moderate earthquake shook southern Mexico, breaking windows and causing minor damage to buildings in towns in Veracruz state, radio stations reported.


YANGON — Myanmar pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi met the top leader of the military government for talks last week, diplomats said, as speculation simmered that she may soon be released from house arrest.


KARACHI — Pakistani police said more than a dozen people linked to a radical Islamic group had been detained in the search for kidnapped U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl, but they were still no closer to tracing him.


SAN FERNANDO — An American was feared dead and his German companion wounded when unidentified gunmen ambushed them while they were trekking on Mount Pinatubo, police said.


Singapore burglars with expensive taste homed in on Chinese New Year treats over the weekend and made off with bird nest and pineapple tart moulds in two separate heists.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka's government wants an agreement sealing a permanent end to hostilities with separatist Tamil Tigers as hopes grow of a formal cease-fire, a senior official said.


DAMASCUS — Syria's government has agreed to permit private broadcasting on condition it steers clear of politics, the official Al Ba'ath daily said.


BANGKOK — Thailand's army said it would destroy thousands of shells and mortars stored at a munitions warehouse after the arsenal exploded twice in recent months, killing and injuring dozens.


PRISTINA — U.N. police said they had arrested three ethnic Albanians leading mules laden with guns, explosives and ammunition to Kosovo from Albania.