KABUL — Only about one-third of Kabul's registered voters cast ballots in legislative elections, an electoral official said Thursday — a turnout that suggests disillusionment with the U.S.-backed government and the pace of rebuilding after a quarter-century of war. Reports from nearly all polling centers across Afghanistan indicate some 6.6 million voters cast ballots, which would put national turnout at about 53 percent, said Peter Erben. But he estimated turnout in Kabul and the surrounding province was just 36 percent.
BRUSSELS — The United States urged NATO on Thursday to develop an international troop-training role to help countries around the world take care of their own security. Victoria Nuland, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said providing nations with well-trained troops could lessen the risk of crises needing Western intervention.
LONDON — A suspect in the July bombing attempts on London's transit system was extradited Thursday from Rome to Britain, where he faces arrest, police said. Hamdi Issac, also known as Osman Hussain, returned to Britain at Northolt air base on a flight from Rome's Ciampino airport.
HAVANA — An imprisoned Cuban activist rounded up in a crackdown on dissents two years ago has been hospitalized after 14 days of a hunger strike, his wife said Thursday. Victor Arroyo, 55, stopped eating Sept. 8 to protest mistreatment at the prison in eastern Cuba where he is serving a 26-year-sentence, Elsa Gonzalez said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
NEW DELHI — India's government should crack down on the illegal trade in tiger skins in order to save the country's endangered population of Bengal tigers, conservationists said Thursday. Wildlife groups said they found scores of shops openly selling tiger, leopard and otter skins during a recent visit to Tibet and other provinces of western China.
DOTAN — Israeli forces evacuated a West Bank army base that was used as a staging area for removing residents of two Jewish settlements last month, and soldiers shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian teenager who entered the base too quickly.
NAIROBI — The struggling parks where Kenya's largest elephant and rhino populations live will get trucks, communication equipment and better roads in a $1.25 million anti-poaching program unveiled Thursday. "The challenges are huge and they need help," said Elizabeth Wamba of the U.S.-based International Fund for Animal Welfare, which is funding the program.
MONTERREY — Hundreds of Mexicans living on the Texas Gulf Coast were rushing home Thursday to avoid Hurricane Rita, while authorities in northern Mexico readied shelters and prepared for heavy rains. Nuevo Leon state tourism director Jorge Cantu said Monterrey hotels are lowering rates 20 to 30 percent for people fleeing the Texas Gulf Coast.
North Korea's deputy foreign minister said Thursday at the United Nations the chief U.S. nuclear negotiator is welcome to visit Pyongyang to resolve the nuclear dispute between the two countries. Choe Su Hon said North Korea would not impose any conditions on a visit by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the top American negotiator at six-party talks.
LAHORE — Two bombs exploded about 90 minutes apart Thursday in this eastern Pakistan city, leaving six people dead and two dozen wounded, police said. Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed condemned the blasts, which he said were carried out by "enemies of Pakistan." There was no immediate claim of responsibility and security officials said they were investigating.
MOSCOW — A court rejected Mikhail Khodorkovsky's appeal of his conviction on fraud and tax-evasion charges Thursday, but reduced the oil tycoon's prison sentence from nine years to eight. The swift end to his appeal is the latest twist in the saga of the man who was once Russia's richest tycoon. It also doomed his quixotic, last-ditch effort to run for parliament.