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LONDON — British authorities detained seven foreigners Thursday for deportation as threats to national security, and the government backed a police proposal to hold terror suspects for up to three months without charge.

LONDON — Filmmaker and playwright Mike Leigh returned to the stage for the first time in 12 years Thursday with a play that was shrouded in mystery but sold out its entire run to ticket buyers who didn't know its subject matter or even the title.


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A hunger strike at the U.S. prison for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has grown to its largest point since detainees began their latest protest more than a month ago, a military official said Thursday. After 11 detainees joined the protest overnight, there are now 131 taking part in the hunger strike, said Maj. Jeff Weir, a spokesman for the detention center.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — A crowded presidential field grew more diverse Thursday as wealthy U.S. businessman Dumarsais Simeus registered his candidacy for the first election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted from power following a violent rebellion in February 2004.


PATNA — Fire engulfed three illegal fireworks factories in a village in eastern India on Thursday, killing 32 people, an official said.


BANDA ACEH — Separatist rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province started handing over weapons to international monitors Thursday, a crucial element in a peace deal that has brought hope to the tsunami-ravaged region.


JERUSALEM — Israel's highest court ruled Thursday that part of Israel's West Bank separation barrier had imposed major hardships on Palestinian villagers and must be rerouted. It was the second such decision by the court.


NAIROBI — Gunmen have released a ship they hijacked more than two months ago as it transported food aid to Somali tsunami victims, a Somali government official said Thursday.


VILNIUS — A Russian Su-27 fighter bomber crashed in Lithuania Thursday after violating the NATO member's airspace, prompting an investigation, Lithuanian officials said.


TULTEPEC — A fire tore through Mexico's most famous fireworks market Thursday, setting off a chain of explosions that destroyed hundreds of open-air stalls just ahead of Independence Day celebrations. The blaze and explosions in Tultepec likely injured dozens of people, Mexico State Civil Defense Director Roberto Vazquez said.


AMSTERDAM — Kidnappers released a Dutch multimillionaire's daughter unharmed, but it was unclear if any ransom was paid to the abductors, who had demanded 660 pounds of cocaine, police said Thursday.

New Zealand

WELLINGTON — New Zealanders will vote Saturday in an election that could lead to the scrapping of the nation's 20-year-old nuclear-free policy and an improvement in the country's relations with the United States.


ABUJA — New peace talks started Thursday to end a humanitarian crisis in western Sudan, where more than 2 million people have been forced to leave their homes.


MOSCOW — A Russian woman traveling on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Los Angeles gave birth on the plane, the carrier said Thursday.


BELGRADE — A judge ordered the arrest Thursday of the wife of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for failing to attend her corruption trial in Belgrade.

United Nations

India's prime minister told world leaders Thursday that his government will never compromise with extremist separatists in Kashmir, but he also pledged with Pakistan's president to keep working for peace in the disputed province.