ORANJESTAD — Aruban prosecutors said Friday they have new witnesses and leads into the disappearance of a U.S. teen who vanished on a school trip to the Dutch Caribbean island more than five months ago. Natalee Holloway, then 18, was last seen early on May 30 leaving a bar with Dutch national Joran van der Sloot and Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. They were arrested on June 9 but released after a court ruled there was not enough evidence to hold them.
SAO PAULO — Brazilian police have dismantled a gang that specialized in smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States through Mexico and arrested six of the group's leaders, authorities said Friday. The arrests Thursday followed an investigation that began last year in the western state of Rondonia and spread to nine other states in Brazil.
BIRMINGHAM — British police said Friday they were investigating the desecration of Muslim graves in a cemetery close to the scene of recent violent clashes between black and South Asian youths. Some 30 headstones were knocked over late Thursday and early Friday in the Muslim section of Handsworth Cemetery in Birmingham, a city in central England, area police said. They said they were treating the incident as "racially aggravated criminal damage."
ADDIS ABABA — Violent protests of disputed elections spread Friday from the capital to other parts of Ethiopia, leaving four people dead, and the prime minister vowed to prosecute opposition officials after a week of bloody clashes, state media reported. Police have killed at least 40 people since the confrontations began Tuesday in the capital, following largely peaceful protests Monday, medical officials said.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has canceled a trip to Iran in response to increasing tension over the Iranian president's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Annan decided it is "not an appropriate time" for him to go to Iran, citing the "ongoing controversy" over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks last week, according to the secretary-general's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.
JERUSALEM — Family and friends lit candles and laid wreaths at Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's grave Friday to begin a week of commemorations marking the 10th anniversary of the former leader's assassination. The anniversary has reopened old wounds and brought about new soul-searching in a country that remains deeply divided about Rabin's legacy and the prospects for peace with the Palestinians. In his first interview since the assassination, the man in charge of Rabin's security the night he was killed called for a new inquiry into the killing, saying key questions remain unanswered.
KUALA LUMPUR — Hundreds of screaming and coughing moviegoers fled a cinema complex in the Petronas Twin Towers on Friday night after a fire filled parts of the Malaysian landmark with thick, acrid smoke. No serious injuries were reported. About 700-800 people rushed from the 13-screen Tanjong Golden Village facility on the third floor of the towers shortly before midnight, witnesses said.
MANILA — Activists called Friday for the scrapping of an agreement allowing joint exercises between Philippine and U.S. troops after a Filipino woman claimed she was raped by six Marines. Five of the six accused — part of a contingent that took part in recent joint counterterrorism exercises — have been barred from leaving the country. Authorities have been unable to identify the sixth suspect. The alleged attack occurred Tuesday at the former Subic U.S Navy base near Manila.
HARARE — Gross government mismanagement and corruption have thrown Zimbabwe into economic crisis and reversed a half-century of progress in six years, the U.S. ambassador said in a paper released Friday. In the paper presented to a U.S.-backed university in the eastern city of Mutare and released by the U.S. Embassy, Ambassador Christopher Dell said the government's repeated claims that foreign sanctions and drought caused the decline were baseless. The United States and European governments have only imposed targeted visa and travel sanctions on 86 government and party officials, he said.