VIENNA — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should be stripped of citizenship in his native Austria for approving the execution of a convicted killer, a leading Austrian politician said Saturday. The demand, by a top official from the environmentalist Green Party, had little chance for success, but it underscores how Schwarzenegger has lost popularity in his homeland over his support for the death penalty.


BEIJING — Authorities are recording the names of anyone visiting a makeshift memorial at the Beijing home of ousted Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who died this week, a relative said Saturday. Zhao, 85, lived under house arrest for 15 years after being purged for expressing support for pro-democracy demonstrators who occupied Tiananmen square in May 1989.


TEHRAN — Iran's hard-line leadership ruled out allowing women to run for president in June elections, denying reports in the state-run media Saturday that it had decided to allow female candidates for the first time. It was not clear whether the denial meant the hard-line Guardian Council was reversing itself or whether the earlier announcement was a mistake.


FLORENCE — One of the world's leading specialists on Leonardo da Vinci cast doubt Saturday that fading frescoes in forgotten rooms of a Florentine convent might be the work of the Renaissance master or that of his pupils in the early 1500s.


KUWAIT CITY — One U.S. military helicopter pilot was killed and another was injured in a training accident in Kuwait, the American military said Saturday. The accident involving the AH-64 Apache pilots occurred Friday afternoon northwest of Kuwait City, the military said in a statement.


MALE — Police arrested 20 opposition party supporters during the Maldives' parliamentary election Saturday, a vote critics denounced as rigged, accusing the government of linking aid for tsunami survivors to favorable votes. The archipelago nation held the elections three weeks late, a postponement caused by the Dec. 26 tsunami, which killed at least 82 people in the Maldives and crushed homes and businesses nationwide.


LIMA — A Peruvian archaeologist is hurling allegations of plagiarism and intellectual plunder at American colleagues over a barren desert landscape where a mysterious culture built pyramids nearly 5,000 years ago. Peru's government and some U.S. researchers have lined up firmly behind Ruth Shady, who has long researched the ruins of Caral, the oldest known city in the Americas. She contends that Americans Jonathan Haas and Winifred Creamer lifted conclusions from her work to advance their own broader study, published last month in the prestigious science journal Nature.

Saudi Arabia

MECCA — As rains lashed the Saudi desert, tens of thousands of drenched Muslim pilgrims welcomed the deluge Saturday as an act of God while they circled the cubic Kaaba shrine in this holy city's Grand Mosque, the final rite in the annual hajj pilgrimage. A record 2.56 million people attended this year's hajj, which all able-bodied Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetime if they can afford it. Saudi authorities said increased security and better crowd management saw the pilgrimage go off without a hitch.


RUMBEK — Businessmen, aid workers and diplomats have rushed to this sprawling town, set to become the provisional capital of an autonomous government for southern Sudan, amid a flowering of hope after the signing of a landmark peace accord ending the country's civil war. Sudan's main rebel leader, John Garang, returned Saturday to the town that has been his headquarters, fresh from signing the deal between his southern-based Sudan Peoples Liberation Army and the central government.


Education, chastity and sexual fidelity are the responsible methods to combat AIDS, Pope John Paul II said Saturday, reiterating Vatican policy days after Spanish bishops supported condom use to fight the disease but then quickly reversed their position. The Vatican has come under fire from AIDS activists because it forbids use of condoms, even to prevent transmission of the HIV virus.