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Demonstrators on Friday march toward the Viru Viru international airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Residents were heeding a call to retake it from troops sent in by President Evo Morales.
Demonstrators on Friday march toward the Viru Viru international airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Residents were heeding a call to retake it from troops sent in by President Evo Morales.
Dado Galdieri, Associated Press

Bolivia: Protesters retake airport

SANTA CRUZ— Armed with clubs and waving provincial flags, thousands of residents of Bolivia's wealthiest province seized control of the country's busiest airport Friday from troops sent in by President Evo Morales.

The retaking of the airport was a victory for leaders of a province fighting for greater autonomy from the socialist central government. The fight for control of Santa Cruz's Viru Viru airport arose from a dispute over whether local or national officials would collect landing fees from an American Airlines jet.

Indonesia: Volcano evacuations

Tens of thousands of people were ordered by police — some at gunpoint — to leave their homes on the slopes of one of Indonesia's deadliest volcanoes Friday after a series of underground tremors heightened fears of an imminent eruption.

Scientists raised the alert at Mount Kelud to the highest level earlier this week, pointing to sharply rising temperatures in the lake of its crater and violent rumbling beneath.

Israel: Lawmakers sign petition

JERUSALEM — A majority of Israeli lawmakers have signed a petition against any attempt by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to transfer parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, a parliamentarian said Friday.

Olmert said last week for the first time that some Arab neighborhoods of the city might not remain under Israeli control in the future. He has not said if Israel has offered any concessions on the disputed holy city in talks with the Palestinians.

Mexico: 24 bodies found

MEXICO CITY — The bodies of 2 dozen people washed ashore Friday in southern Mexico after emergency officials received reports that a boat carrying Central American migrants capsized in the Pacific Ocean, a state official said.

Mexican authorities were searching the waters for more bodies around the coastal town of San Francisco del Mar, 200 miles up the coast from the Guatemalan border.

Sergio Segreste, the Oaxaca state public safety secretary, said 24 bodies washed ashore.

"This morning, we got a report that a vessel carrying undocumented migrants had capsized or gone down," Segreste said. "The assumption is that the cause of the accident was the rough weather."

Philippines: Mall blast kills 8

MANILA — A powerful blast ripped through three floors of a shopping mall in the heart of Manila's financial district Friday, killing eight people and wounding about 130, authorities said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said it was "highly probable" the blast was caused by an explosive device, and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said authorities were looking into whether it was a terrorist attack, but added "there is no conclusive evidence yet."

Somalia: Jailed food official

MOGADISHU — A top U.N. World Food Program official in Somalia will remain in jail pending the outcome of a criminal investigation, the head of the country's intelligence service said Friday.

Dozens of armed security agents stormed a U.N. compound in Mogadishu on Wednesday, seizing Idris Osman, according to the World Food Program, which immediately suspended food distribution aimed at helping about 76,000 people.

National Security Service chief Gen. Mohamed Warsame Darwish alleged that Osman, the agency's head of operations in Mogadishu, committed a crime, but he refused to elaborate on its nature.

United Nations: Renovation plan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday proposed an accelerated plan to renovate the U.N. headquarters overlooking New York's East River that would complete the overhaul by 2013.

The proposal, in a report to the U.N. General Assembly, calls for the 39-story glass-and-steel Secretariat building to be completely emptied. The current plan calls for the renovations to be carried out several floors at a time, from top to bottom, and for the overhaul to be completed by mid-2016.