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World datelines


SAO PAULO — A baby born this week in northeastern Brazil weighing nearly 17 pounds is "doing great," hospital officials said Friday. Doctors at the Albert Sabin Maternity Hospital in Salvador said Ademilton was being closely monitored by medical staff.


HONG KONG — Thousands in Hong Kong held a candlelight vigil Friday for ousted Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang, who died this week in his 15th year under house arrest for sympathizing with the Tiananmen pro-democracy protesters.

BEIJING — British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Friday defended his country's campaign to lift a European arms embargo on China, calling it inconsistent because human rights violators such as North Korea aren't under a similar ban.


HAVANA — Despite its reputation as a producer of fine cigars, Cuba is preparing to ask smokers to step outside before lighting up. Beginning on Feb. 7, smoking will be prohibited in theaters, stores, buses, taxis and other enclosed public areas.


CAIRO — U.N. nuclear inspectors toured an Egyptian laboratory during a review of the country's fuel programs prompted by irregularities in Egypt's reporting of its nuclear activities, a Western diplomat said Friday.


OSNABRUECK — The commander of three British servicemen accused of mistreating Iraqi detainees said Friday he told soldiers to make captured looters "work hard" picking up garbage to deter rampant theft but saw no abuse.


DUBLIN — The only man convicted in connection with the 1998 car-bombing of Omagh — the deadliest terrorist attack in Northern Ireland history — won the right to a retrial Friday.


ROME — Evoking comparisons to "Romeo and Juliet," a husband in northern Italy killed himself out of grief for his ailing wife, hours before she came out of a coma, Italian state TV reported Friday. ANSA quoted their pastor as saying the husband had told him he was very pessimistic about prospects for his wife's recovery.


NAIROBI — Wailing women and the smell of dead bodies greeted a South African church delegation on a mission Friday to bring financial assistance — and hope — to some 54,000 Somalis who lost their homes and livelihoods in last month's tsunami.


MALE — The Maldives will hold elections for its 42-seat parliament on Saturday, three weeks after they were postponed because of the Indian Ocean tsunami, a government spokesman said. Government spokesman Ahmed Shaheed said about 157,000 people are registered to vote in the archipelago of 280,000 people.


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's military on Friday denied India's claim that Pakistani soldiers fired at Indian positions in Kashmir in violation of a 14-month cease-fire.


WARSAW — Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, a wartime courier for the Polish anti-Nazi resistance and the director of Radio Free Europe's Polish service during the Cold War, has died, Polish officials said Friday. He was 91.


ROSTOV-ON-DON — About 100 distraught parents and grandparents of children who were killed in a school massacre last year blocked a key highway in southern Russia for a second day Friday to underline their demand that the regional president step down, a police official said.


KIEV — Organizers of the tent camp in downtown Kiev that became an enduring symbol of the "Orange Revolution" began dismantling it Friday ahead of Viktor Yushchenko's inauguration as president.

United Nations

Tensions between Lebanon and Israel remain high and a threat to stability despite a sharp drop in clashes along the U.N.-drawn boundary between Lebanon and Israel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.