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World datelines


NASSAU — Immigration Minister Shane Gibson resigned Sunday night in a flap over his relationship with Anna Nicole Smith, apologizing to the Bahamian people for any embarrassment he may have caused the country. Photos recently appeared in a Bahamas newspaper showing Gibson in bed with the former Playboy Playmate and embracing her. Both were fully clothed, but the pictures stoked a controversy because Gibson had fast-tracked Smith's application for permanent residency on the island chain.


LONDON — British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday rejected suggestions that the ongoing violence in Iraq was because of flawed planning by the U.S.-led coalition, but he also said he felt a deep responsibility to end the killings. Blair said Washington had not put pressure on London to maintain its troop numbers in Iraq, despite President Bush's plans to send in an additional 21,500 troops. Britain hopes to cut several thousand of its 7,000-member force in the southern city of Basra by midyear.


HAVANA — Fidel Castro's niece said Sunday he was recovering well from surgery and would likely be "very active" again in Cuba's government. "Fidel is stupendous," said Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of acting President Raul Castro.


CONAKRY — The head of Guinea's military relaxed a nationwide curfew Sunday, an indication the government believes the threat of violence following last week's deadly rioting and protests has subsided.


NEW DELHI — A train traveling to Pakistan caught fire early today in northern India, killing at least 53 people, and an explosive device was found near the tracks, a railroad official said. The Northern Railway official said the fire engulfed two cars of the Samjhauta Express, one of two train links between rivals India and Pakistan.


JAKARTA — Twin landslides hit Indonesia's Java island Sunday, killing at least 12 people, officials said.


JERUSALEM — Israel's police commander, Moshe Karadi, resigned Sunday after a government commission said he ignored ties between senior officers and underworld figures and failed to ensure a thorough investigation into the 1999 killing of a suspected crime boss.


MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government will expand its anti-drug raids to two states across the border from Texas, deploying more than 3,000 soldiers, sailors and federal police, officials said Sunday. The raids will cover Nuevo Laredo, a town across the border from Laredo, Texas, that has been bloodied by turf wars between drug gangs in recent years.


MOSCOW — Russian officials traced dead poultry in several suburban Moscow districts to a single market Sunday as experts reported new outbreaks and tightened quarantines following confirmation of the presence of the H5N1 bird-flu strain.

MADRID — Spain's prime minister outlined on Sunday his government's program to resolve troubles in the Basque region during his first visit there since the armed separatist group ETA shattered a cease-fire in December. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero insisted there must be no violence or threats before any type of peace talks can begin.