MAHE, Seychelles - If ever two parties felt their marriage was made in heaven, the Seychelles and the Miss World Organisation seem to fit the bill. The union will be consummated on a beautiful beach on Saturday on Mahe, where 86 young women will compete to become the 46th Miss World.
MORONI - Former Comoran prime minister Mohamed Abdou Madi has been arrested after his "defection" from the secessionist island of Anjouan.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's truth commission served a new subpoena on P.W. Botha, ordering the former president to end his refusal to testify about apartheid-era crimes.
SEOUL - South Korea said on Friday it was talking with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about standby loans to pump dollars into the latest economy to be hit by Asia's currency contagion.
SAN FRANCISCO - Silicon Valley chieftains and Asian bureaucrats met on Thursday for the first Asia Pacific Information Technology Summit.
LUXEMBOURG - European Union leaders were set to issue a declaration committing themselves to more aggressive strategies to combat mass unemployment.
MARJAYOUN, Lebanon - Four pro-Israeli militiamen were wounded in a roadside bomb blast, hours after Israeli warplanes raided suspected Hizbollah positions in south Lebanon.
CAIRO - Egypt's biggest Islamic militant group offered the government a conditional truce after killing of tourists.
NEW YORK - Dozens of countries pledged millions of dollars to reconstruct the rapidly deteriorating concrete tomb of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.
NEW DELHI - India's Congress party pushed the shaky government to the brink of collapse, but then stepped back from giving it a make-or-break deadline to oust a southern regional party from its coalition.
ISLAMABAD - The embattled government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif moved to impeach President Farooq Leghari to break a deadlock in a constitutional crisis.
DES MOINES, Iowa - The world's only septuplets are suffering from a breathing problem that commonly afflicts premature babies but are otherwise well.
NAIROBI - More than 300 people were killed when about 1,200 Hutu rebels attacked a jail in Rwanda in a bid to free hundreds of prisoners awaiting trial on genocide charges.
CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister John Howard backed away from threats of calling a snap election over his controversial Aboriginal native title legislation.
SAO PAULO - A Brazilian bank vault suspected of holding up to $45 million in Nazi gold and cash belonging to Holocaust victims will be opened next week.
MEXICO CITY - Members of an elite battalion of Mexican police clashed with other security forces during a tense standoff over the group's alleged involvement in a gruesome torture-murder case.
JERUSALEM - Judaism's holiest shrine, the Wailing Wall, does not legally belong to the Jewish state, according to one lawyer and expert on Jerusalem's holy sites.
ANKARA - Turkey's conservative opposition launched a fresh bid to topple the coalition government of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz through a censure motion against one minister.
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Turkish security forces have killed 10 Kurdish separatist guerrillas in clashes in the southeast of the country in the last two days.