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South Korea: Funeral

SEOUL — In death as in life, Kim Dae-jung managed to bring the two rival Koreas together.

Hours before his funeral Sunday, North Korean officials dispatched to Seoul to pay their respects to the Nobel Peace Prize winner held talks with South Korea's president — the first high-level inter-Korean contact after many months of tension.

They relayed a message about bilateral relations from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a half hour of "serious and amicable" talks with President Lee Myung-bak, Lee's spokesman said.

Iraq: Trial starts

BAGHDAD — Five members of Iraq's security forces charged in a deadly bank robbery went on trial Sunday, as relatives of those killed in the heist beat and spat on the defendants. One relative was dragged away from the courtroom, screaming obscenities.

The case of the robbery has threatened to become a political maelstrom in Baghdad, after at least one of the suspects was linked to a senior official in a major Shiite party.

Gunmen broke into the state-run Rafidain Bank at about 4 a.m. on July 28, killing three on-duty guards and five others on the premises who were either on a break or asleep, according to police investigators.

Pakistan: Taliban

MAKEEN — Pakistani Taliban fighters are committed to helping the fight in Afghanistan and consider Barack Obama their "No 1 enemy," a top commander said amid uncertainty Sunday about whether a new leader has been appointed to head the movement.

Waliur Rehman made the remarks in an interview with the Associated Press at a time of intense speculation over the next leader of the al-Qaida-allied group. A CIA missile strike on Aug. 5 is believed to have killed former chief Baitullah Meshsud. Rehman, a cousin of Baitullah, is seen as a strong candidate for the post.

Cuba: Fidel Castro

HAVANA — Cuba's Communist Youth newspaper is showing a photo of a healthier-looking Fidel Castro talking with the visiting Ecuadorean president.

Sunday's photo in Juventud Rebelde shows the 83-year-old Castro wearing a white shirt instead of the sports apparel he has worn in recent photos. The meeting with Rafael Correa occurred Friday.

Castro ceded power to his brother Raul after falling ill three years ago, and he has not been seen in public since. He stepped down as president in February 2008.

Egypt: Piracy

SUEZ — A group of Egyptian fishermen who were kidnapped by pirates off the Somali coast four months ago and managed to overpower their captors sailed home to a hero's welcome Sunday, but some details of their dramatic escape remained a mystery.

Wearing brand new tracksuits, the nearly three dozen fishermen disembarked in the port city of Suez into the waiting arms of hundreds of relatives and friends, as traditional Egyptian drummers and dancers performed in the background. One mother fainted from the joy of seeing her son return.

Malawi: Nicotine

BLANTYRE — Young tobacco pickers in this southern African country are exposed to "extremely high levels of nicotine poisoning," a London-based children's rights organization said in a report.

"As the tobacco industry continues to shift its production to developing countries, more vulnerable children are being exposed to these hazardous working conditions," said a report by Plan International. "It is estimated that over 78,000 children work on tobacco estates across Malawi, some up to 12 hours a day, many for less than 1.7 cents an hour and without protective clothing."