World

Eight soldiers from Turkey's Army made an emotional return home Sunday after being freed by their Kurdish rebel captors – a move that analysts said could ease pressure on Turkish leaders to order raids on rebel bases across the border in Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, attending a regional conference at Istanbul, promised to take strong measures against the rebels, and reports said the offices of a Kurdish political party sympathetic to them were being closed.

With French President Nicolas Sarkozy arriving Sunday for consultations, authorities in Chad released seven Europeans alleged to have planned the kidnapping of African children. Sarkozy was expected to bring the freed suspects – three French journalists and four Spanish airline attendants – with him back to Paris. The case attracted international attention amid reports that most of the children in question were not orphans. A charity calling itself Zoe's Ark had planned to place the children with host families in Europe. Above, police escort the flight attendants to court in N'djamena, Chad's capital.

Work will begin Monday to disable North Korea's nuclear complex at Yongbyon, senior US envoy Christopher Hill said. The reactor was idled in July, and the North promised its negotiating partners that it would be rendered unusable by year's end. Hill said Yongbyon must be stripped of enough plutonium-production equipment that North Korea would need at least a year to restart it.

No deal on statehood for Pales-tinians can come out of the peace conference the US hopes to sponsor until Israel's security is assured, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Sunday. Despite recent confidence-building meetings between Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders, Livni said the situation remains "complicated – more than ever."

Security precautions were intensified in Sri Lanka's capital after Tamil rebels acknowledged the death of their No. 2 leader and vowed revenge. S.P. Thamilselvan was killed in an Air Force strike against a rebel communications compound on Friday. Analysts said his death probably is a major setback for hopes of resuming peace negotiations with the government.

The ruling National Democratic Party in Egypt elevated President Hosni Mubarak's son to its powerful policymaking committee, another move that suggests he's being groomed to succeed his father, analysts said. Mubarak and his son, Gamal, both have denied succession rumors. But the committee that Gamal Mubarak now will chair chooses the National Democratic Party's presidential candidates from among its own members.

An active volcano that has been threatening residents on Indonesia's Java island did not erupt, scientists said Sunday, contradicting earlier reports that it had. But the temperature inside the crater of Mount Kelud was rising steadily, indicating that a powerful eruption could come at any time. Still, an estimated 25,000 people who live inside the danger zone around the volcano were refusing orders to evacuate, local authorities said.

A "well-planned and rehearsed" plot by dissident soldiers to assassinate Fiji's military prime minister was uncovered, and 11 suspects are in custody, police said Sunday. The alleged plot, they said, also targeted members of Frank Bainimarama's cabinet. Bainimarama seized power last December and appointed himself prime minister. He has been under international pressure to restore democracy.

Field-testing will begin in Kenya of a prototype wind-up lamp that could bring light to Africa's poorest families after dark, the project sponsor said. The Freeplay Foundation, known for distributing wind-up radios, said it also plans to recruit women to sell and service the lamps as a livelihood. The World Bank estimates that more than 500 million Africans lack electricity, forcing them to burn wood or lamps fueled by kerosene for illumination.

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