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World datelines


KABUL — Afghanistan's president on Wednesday nominated five candidates — including a woman — to fill vacant posts in his now all-male Cabinet, officials said.


SAO PAULO — The mother of a Brazilian soccer player was freed by police shortly after being kidnapped Wednesday, officials said, in the latest in a rash of abductions involving players' mothers.


KIPLING, Saskatchewan — Canadian police recovered two missing boys early Wednesday at the farm hideout of a convicted pedophile, ending a case that sparked angry complaints that the public does not have enough information about sex offenders living in their midst.


BOGOTA — A land mine planted by leftist rebels killed six coca eradicators and injured seven others in southern Colombia on Wednesday, the government said.


PARIS — Police have shut down makeshift Muslim prayer rooms at Paris' two main airports after they came under scrutiny following a far-right politician's allegations that Islamists were compromising security.


BALI — A tsunami warning system is now in place for Indian Ocean countries, but experts said Wednesday there is still room for improvement in methods to convey the alerts to coastal communities.


ROME — Jewish shops across Rome were vandalized and defaced with swastikas in an apparent neo-fascist attack linked to fighting in the Middle East, officials said Wednesday.


OAXACA — Heavy rains caused a mountainside to give way in rural, southern Mexico on Wednesday, burying two homes and killing 11 people, four of them children, officials said.


THE HAGUE — Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, a key figure in the Roman Catholic Church's efforts to improve relations with other Christians and Jews, has died at age 96.

Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — Tropical Storm Chris swept through the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, forcing cruise ships to change course and tourists to evacuate small islands off the coast of Puerto Rico as it threatened to become the first hurricane of the season.


BUCHAREST — Thousands of young Romanians with HIV do not attend school or have access to proper medical care, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday in a report on discrimination against the infected children.

South Korea

SEOUL — North Korea's Red Cross has rejected an offer from its South Korean counterpart for aid to flood victims, a South Korean official said Wednesday, as an aid group claimed the disaster left about 10,000 people dead or missing.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO — Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels engaged in heavy fighting around a key northeastern port Wednesday, with Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry claiming its forces killed 40 insurgents and wounded 70 others. Five government soldiers were reported killed.


BANGKOK — A bomb planted along a railroad in southern Thailand exploded early Wednesday and killed three policemen, police said.


KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yushcheno said Thursday that he is nominating his former Orange Revolution foe, Viktor Yanukovych, to become prime minister.


CARACAS — Before any opposition candidate can challenge Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at the ballot box in December, they must overcome a common obstacle: each other.