World

A judge in Pakistan convicted four Islamic militants in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The alleged mastermind of the kidnap and murder, British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death. Three accomplices received 25-year prison terms. Security was increased nationwide in the wake of the verdict, which defense lawyers said they would appeal. Above, soldiers search a vehicle in Karachi.

Osama bin Laden is alive and plotting more terrorist attacks on the United States, according to Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. Citing sources in bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, Atwan said the Saudi exile had recovered from injuries sustained in December, during the US-led assault on his hideout in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Atwan said he was told bin Laden, whom the US considers the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, won't release another video to his followers until Al Qaeda launches another attack on the US.

A landslide swept over two remote villages in Nepal, killing between 50 and 150 people, local news agencies said. Rescuers trying to reach the villages, 120 miles east of the capital, Katmandu, were hampered by monsoon rains and a lack of roads.

After a four-day standoff with security forces, Mexican villagers freed 15 hostages taken to protest the seizure of their land for a new airport outside Mexico City. Authorities had earlier met a demand to release 10 villagers from San Salvador Atenco, arrested during violent clashes with police Thursday. The protesters pledged to let their four remaining hostages go once they confirm two other detainees are receiving medical treatment.

In a critical test of Zimbabwe's harsh new media laws, an American journalist was acquitted on charges of publishing a false story, and then given 24 hours to leave the country. Andrew Meldrum, a correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper, had argued he took all reasonable steps to verify a story about the killing of an opposition-party supporter, which later proved untrue. President Robert Mugabe's regime has drawn international ire for an increasing crackdown on press, judicial, and political freedoms.

A New York-bound British Airways Concorde jet developed engine trouble and returned safely to London, the airline said. The Concorde returned to service in November after a 16-month suspension following an Air France crash in Paris that killed 113 people.

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