LONDON — Blackouts caused by sweltering temperatures struck more than 3,000 businesses in London's major shopping district and part of its transit network on Thursday, officials said. High energy demand led to outages starting in the city's central Soho district, said James Barber, a spokesman for energy company EDF in southeast England.

LONDON — People who live near the U.S. Embassy accused British authorities Thursday of leaving them vulnerable to a terrorist attack by failing to close two streets alongside the fortified building.


OTTAWA — China has complained to the Canadian government about its decision to bestow honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama, saying the gesture could harm relations.

TORONTO — Several North American media organizations, including The Associated Press, lost their bid Thursday to lift a publication ban on the bail hearings of 17 Canadians accused of plotting terror attacks in southern Ontario.


BUNIA — The two main militia groups in Congo's most troubled province agreed to disarm in exchange for amnesty and positions in the army, a breakthrough that could end fighting in the northeast and ensure a peaceful presidential vote Sunday.


TBILISI — Georgia's president claimed Thursday that his troops established control over a rebellious region after three days of clashes, but the defiant local leader targeted in the armed operation escaped.


THESSALONIKI — Five schoolchildren have been charged with killing an 11-year-old boy who disappeared five months ago, Greek authorities said Thursday. Alex Mechisvili dropped from sight in the northern town of Veroia. Investigators say they believe he was beaten to death, but his body has not been found.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — Former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune was released from jail Thursday, more than two years after his arrest on charges of orchestrating the killing of political opponents at the start of a rebellion that engulfed the country.


BAGHDAD — After nine months of testimony, the troubled trial of Saddam Hussein adjourned Thursday until mid-October, when the five judges are expected to render a verdict that could send the ousted president to the gallows.


TOKYO — Japan on Thursday announced the resumption of U.S. beef imports, ending a ban imposed over concerns about mad cow disease and removing a strain in relations with Washington. The U.S. ambassador immediately welcomed the move, which reopens Japan's lucrative market to a select list of U.S. meat exporters, saying that it resolved an issue of primary importance to the United States.


LAGOS — A leading Nigerian politician was found strangled in his home Thursday, state TV reported. Funsho Williams, a potential candidate for governor of wealthy Lagos state, defected from the opposition three years ago to join the ruling party.


Philippine President Gloria Arroyo was rushed to a Manila hospital for the second time in two weeks, after complaining of flulike symptoms, Presidential Management Staff Chief Arthur Yap said.


MOSCOW — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that Russia had helped his country break a U.S.-imposed "blockade" by agreeing to sell Caracas fighter planes and helicopters worth billions of dollars.


LUSAKA — Zambian opposition leaders were scrambling Thursday after President Levy Mwanawasa called elections for Sept. 28 and dissolved the parliament and Cabinet of this copper-rich southern African nation.