At least 14 people were killed and more than 40 others were hurt when terrorist bombs exploded in Manila and another Philippines city. Two others were discovered and were being disposed of by experts before they could injure anyone else. Responsibility for one of the blasts in General Santos, a mainly Christian city, were claimed by the Abu Sayyaf Muslim extremist group, although local police said extortionists who'd been threatening local business owners also could be behind the attacks.

The Irish Republican Army was insisting that it posed no threat to peace in Northern Ireland after a published report that it secretly has been rearming with powerful assault rifles bought in Russia. The London Sunday Telegraph based its account on details provided by British intelligence. Meanwhile, police reported finding an alleged "hit list" of political leaders and plans showing the layouts of British military bases in a home in a Catholic area of Belfast.

Ten Air Force officers died in the crash of a helicopter in Venezuela, among them the general named to head the service after the coup that briefly toppled President Hugo Chávez earlier this month. There was no sign of foul play. But analysts said the accident could fuel conspiracy theories because the ranks of the armed forces remain deeply split by the coup.

Despite favorable weather, it appeared a record-low turnout of voters would participate in the first round of France's presidential election. By midday, only 21 percent of the electorate had cast votes, reports said. Analysts said that would be seen as a rebuke to incumbent Jacques Chirac (above, leaving the polls in Paris with his wife, Berna-dette) and his main challenger, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. A runoff between the top two finishers is scheduled for May 5.

Whites whose farms are to be seized and turned over to landless black peasants may not ship their tractors, irrigation equipment, or other machinery out of the country, a senior Zimbabwean government official said. Lands Minister Joseph Made told a Harare newspaper that police and customs officials should "detain" any equipment headed for neighboring countries and that "there will be no compensation" for whites who vandalize their machinery to "[sabotage] the infrastructure for our new farmers."

Most of the 30-story office tower heavily damaged last week when a pilot crashed his small plane into it will reopen today, officials in Milan, Italy, said. The incident killed three people and injured 29 others. Investigators were not yet certain whether the crash was due to mechanical trouble or whether the pilot committed suicide because of deep financial problems.

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