JOHANNESBURG - President Nelson Mandela`s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, doggedly denied charges of murder and assault, but ended a long day before South Africa`s truth commission with an enigmatic apology.
NAIROBI - The new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson held talks with Rwandan government officials and aid agencies.
BRUSSELS - Plans to agree a European Union ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship hit a snag when Spain told a meeting of EU health ministers it could no longer support the move.
UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council unanimously voted to extend a plan enabling Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil to buy food and medicine for its people suffering under sanctions.
NEW DELHI - India`s president ended two weeks of political suspense by disbanding the lower house of parliament and ordering elections that political analysts say may once again return a hung parliament.
OTTAWA - A historic treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines worldwide became reality when 121 nations signed the accord.
PARIS - Middle East peace efforts shifted to Paris on Friday as Israeli Prime Minister B. Netanyahu arrived in the French capital for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
WASHINGTON - Financial and environmental crises in Southeast Asia this year have weakened the appeal of the so-called Asian concept of human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its annual report released.
SAN ANTONIO - Taxotere, a cancer drug made by Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc, was found to outperform Adriamycin in reducing breast cancer tumours.
BRASILIA - Brazil said it would earmark 10 percent of its tropical forests for protection by the year 2000 as a sign of its determination to conserve the Amazon and other important ecosystems.
WASHINGTON - A "solar-powered" national Christmas tree burst into a glittering holiday display, with the help of President Bill Clinton and two Washington-area youngsters.
LOS ANGELES - A leader in the resistance against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein testified in court that three men seeking political asylum in the United States would face torture and execution if sent back to Iraq.
JERUSALEM - Israeli unions widened their crippling nationwide strike on its third day on Friday, adding to action that had already cost the economy an estimated $64 million.
GAZA - Israeli soldiers shot and wounded two Palestinians on Friday in clashes over a disputed plot of land near Rafah in the Gaza Strip.
PARIS - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday his government needed several more weeks before it could present a detailed plan to pull back more troops from the West Bank.
RABAT - British tycoon Richard Branson is in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh to prepare for a new attempt to fly round the world aboard his balloon the Virgin Global Challenger.
NICOSIA - The Supreme Court ordered the release of a stateless Palestinian, held in detention for 16 months after completing a jail sentence because no country wanted to take him in.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has asked Angola opposition leader Jonas Savimbi to meet her in the capital Luanda on a trip to Africa next week but officials said they did not expect him to agree.