KABUL — An American serviceman was killed and another wounded in a firefight with insurgents in southern Kandahar province, the U.S. military reported Thursday. An Afghan soldier was also wounded and an insurgent killed. The soldiers were on a joint patrol when they came under fire. Aircraft attacked the enemy positions, and the insurgents fled, the military said.


SYDNEY — Lawmakers in New South Wales state passed emergency laws Thursday giving police new powers to crack down on race rioters after days of unrest plagued Sydney's southern beach suburbs. In one of Australia's worst outbreaks of racial violence, a mob of 5,000 white youths, many of them drunk, descended on Cronulla Beach on Sunday, fought with police and attacked people they believed were Arab.


LONDON — The British government Thursday dropped a key part of the anti-terrorism legislation proposed after the deadly July 7 suicide bombings on London's transit system, abandoning its effort to let police shut down extremist mosques.


PARIS — French counterterrorism agents seized guns, ammunition, dynamite and other weapons Thursday in a probe of suspected Islamic militants who officials said use robberies to fund terror groups — possibly including al-Qaida in Iraq. Police seized the arms cache in a parking garage in Clichy-sous-Bois just north of Paris. Agents found several pounds of TNT, 19 sticks of dynamite, AK-47 and Famas assault rifles, revolvers, ammunition, ski masks and bulletproof vests, judicial and police officials said.


BERLIN — Survivors of a deadly crackdown on a demonstration in Uzbekistan have filed a lawsuit in Germany accusing the Uzbek interior minister of torture and crimes against humanity, a human rights group said Thursday. Government troops under the command of Interior Minister Zokirjon Almatov fired on thousands of protesters in the eastern town of Andijan in May. Human rights groups say more than 700 people were killed, while the government put the death toll at 187.


KATMANDU — A Nepalese soldier ended an argument with a group of villagers by spraying them with bullets, killing at least 11 people, officials and eyewitnesses said Thursday. Another 19 civilians were injured in the shooting, the Royal Nepalese Army said in a statement. The killings late Wednesday in a town northeast of Katmandu had by early Thursday drawn some 200 protesters to the hospital where the injured were taken. The army statement said the soldier was killed in the incident.

South Korea

SEOUL — A doctor who provided human eggs for research by cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk said in a broadcast Thursday that the South Korean scientist agreed to withdraw a key research paper because most of the stem cells produced for the article were faked. Roh Sung-il, chairman of the board at Mizmedi Hospital, told KBS television that Hwang had agreed to ask the journal Science to withdraw the paper, published in June to international acclaim. Roh was one of the co-authors of the article that detailed how individual stem cell colonies were created for 11 patients through cloning.


GENEVA — The umbrella group for Red Cross societies worldwide said Thursday it needs $333 million to fund its aid work, particularly in Africa and Asia, through 2007. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was breaking from its policy of issuing annual 12-month appeals to help facilitate better planning of its humanitarian operations and ward off the effects of donor fatigue in case of future disasters.


The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to extend the investigation into the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister but didn't agree to Beirut's request to broaden the probe and establish an international tribunal. After a day of intense negotiations on how to characterize Syria's dealings with U.N. investigators, the council expressed "extreme concern" that the Syrian government still has not provided the commission probing the killing of Rafik Hariri with "full and unconditional cooperation."