NICOSIA — The government of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in northern Cyprus resigned Saturday, making way for Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat to take over as president following his election win. Talat, 53, won April 17 presidential elections and replaces the breakaway state's 81-year-old founder, Rauf Denktash.


QUITO — Ousted President Lucio Gutierrez remained holed up in the Brazilian ambassador's residence for a fourth day Saturday as he waited for Ecuador's new government to let him leave for exile in Brazil. The government doubled the number of anti-riot police protecting the embassy to 50 on Saturday morning, outnumbering the more than two dozen demonstrators who remained shouting insults.


JERUSALEM — Israel's Foreign Ministry on Saturday denounced as "scandalous" a decision by Britain's biggest university teachers' union to boycott two Israeli universities. The 40,000-member Association of University Teachers said Haifa and Bar Ilan universities had undermined Palestinian rights and academic freedom.


ROME — Conservative leader Silvio Berlusconi formed a new government Saturday and will present his choice of Cabinet ministers to Italy's legislators for approval in the hopes of avoiding new elections. Berlusconi received the mandate to govern at a meeting Friday with President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, just two days after quitting amid a power struggle with his coalition allies.


MEXICO CITY — A judge cast into doubt a politically explosive case against Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday when he rejected a prosecution request for charges to be brought, citing the government's attempt to press the case without having Lopez Obrador arrested. The prosecutor leading the inquiry into whether Lopez Obrador, the leftist mayor of Mexico City, defied a court order said he would appeal and resubmit the case, this time asking for Lopez Obrador's arrest.


LIMA — In a courtroom drama that would not have been out of place on her Jerry Springer-like television show "Laura," high-octane host Laura Bozzo admitted in court testimony Friday that she was hopelessly in love with Peru's imprisoned former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos. But the campy bleached blonde denied charges that she took bribes from Montesinos to support ex-President Alberto Fujimori's fraud-filled re-election campaign on her TV show, which later became a hit in Latin America and is now seen in millions of U.S. homes on Spanish language television.


MOSCOW — Russian prosecutors are investigating the possible role of extreme nationalists in last month's attempted assassination of the head of the state-controlled electricity monopoly, news reports said on Saturday. Anatoly Chubais, who is also a liberal politician, escaped hurt when assailants on March 17 sprayed his car with automatic gunfire and detonated a roadside bomb as he was being driven to work outside Moscow.

South Korea

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Leaders of the two Koreas agreed Saturday to resume talks between their nations that broke down last summer and to discuss the international standoff over the North's nuclear weapons ambitions, an Indonesian official said. The agreements on reviving the stalled talks came as Washington's top envoy on the nuclear dispute, the chief U.S. negotiator in the multinational talks, Christopher Hill, arrived in Seoul for meetings with South Korean officials.

United Nations

JAKARTA, Indonesia — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a fresh challenge Saturday to the leader of Myanmar's military government to allow detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her political party to take part in formulating a new constitution.


SAN'A — A Yemeni court on Saturday upheld the death sentence of a Muslim extremist convicted of assassinating a prominent politician in 2002 and helping to plot an attack that killed three American missionaries in a hospital days later.