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KABUL — U.S. and Afghan forces backed by helicopter gunships killed 14 suspected Taliban fighters in central Afghanistan in the heaviest clashes since landmark parliamentary elections went off without major disruption, officials said Friday.


ORANJESTAD — Arubans frustrated by an increase in immigrant workers and wages lagging behind inflation voted Friday for all 21 seats in parliament and the post of prime minister.


RIO DE JANEIRO — The brother of an American nun slain in the Amazon for her work with poor rain forest communities called on Brazilian authorities Friday to end delays in bringing her killers to trial. David Stang arrived Thursday in Brazil to meet with government officials, his second visit since 73-year-old Dorothy Stang was shot to death Feb. 12 in the eastern Amazon state of Para.


BERLIN — Germany's Greens rejected coalition talks with opposition leader Angela Merkel on Friday, leaving conservatives with only Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's party as an awkward partner for a new government. The failure raised the pressure on Merkel and Schroeder to resolve their rival claims to the chancellorship and end the political drift threatening Europe's most populous country, just as it grapples with economic stagnation and mass unemployment.


DUBLIN — The outlawed Irish Republican Army is ready to dispose of its stockpiled arms in a long-sought peace move, possibly within the next week, Sinn Fein and Irish government leaders said Friday after their first meeting in eight months.


HERZLIYA — Simon Wiesenthal, who spent half a century tirelessly tracking down Nazis hiding throughout the world, was laid to rest Friday in Israel, the nation that sprang from the ashes of the Holocaust. Several hundred dignitaries, Holocaust survivors and admirers gathered at the funeral for the man one diplomat praised as "the conscience of the Western world."


VILNIUS — The crash of a Russian military jet in Lithuania was almost certainly accidental and the pilot will be sent home when the investigation ends, the defense minister said Friday, but he criticized Moscow for sending a plane armed with missiles into the country's airspace.


LAGOS — Chevron has shut down two oil flow stations, Shell has evacuated workers and the army was on high alert amid unrest in Nigeria's oil-rich delta, the companies said Friday. A separatist militia group has threatened oil installations after the government arrested its leader and said it would charge him with treason, a capital offense.

North Korea

Several U.N. agencies are in talks with North Korea on how to overcome differences over emergency food aid after Pyongyang demanded that all such help be terminated and changed into development assistance, U.N officials said Friday.


The U.S. State Department on Friday declined to take a position on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's remarks last week suggesting that claiming rape in his country was a route to riches, but it said world leaders should denounce violence against women.


MANILA — An opposition lawmaker and lawyers petitioned the Filipino Supreme Court on Friday to revive impeachment charges against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo dismissed by Congress.


MOSCOW — Lawyers for oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky vowed Friday to appeal his conviction on fraud and tax evasion to the European Court of Human Rights, but Russian prosecutors declared the matter closed, calling it "a banal criminal case of theft."


MOGADISHU — Police in the breakaway republic of Somaliland raided houses in the capital where al-Qaida militants were believed holed up Friday and captured four suspects after a shootout, officials said. A fifth suspect was arrested 20 miles away.


TASHKENT — One of the 15 men charged with launching a revolt to bring Islamic rule to Uzbekistan told a court in a trembling voice Friday that the alleged militants' jailed leader had issued a religious order for holy war against the government.