JOHANNESBURG - South Africans are almost three times more likely to attend church than go to the movies, but nearly everyone likes a soft drink.
UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was close to deciding if he would go to Baghdad but needed another meeting of the five permanent Security Council members to arrive at common proposals.
TAOYUAN - A top Taiwan air official has resigned over the crash of a China Airlines passenger plane at Taipei's international airport that killed all 196 people aboard and at least seven on the ground.
LONDON - Iraq has been attempting to buy crop-spraying equipment to bolster its ability to deliver lethal biological agents.
DUBLIN - The Irish Republican Army's political allies were facing expulsion from peace talks aimed at ending three decades of bloodshed in British-ruled Northern Ireland.
NEW DELHI - More than 100 million Indians cast their votes in the first phase of general elections, but the turnout was modest and at least 15 people died in scattered violence.
JAKARTA - Indonesia said it was pushing ahead towards a fixed exchange rate system, calling on the IMF to come up with an alternative for strengthening the rupiah currency if it objected to the plan.
NEW ORLEANS - Ninety-five people narrowly escaped serious injury in the Gulf of Mexico when a work barge hit an offshore oil platform and both burst into flames.
BORDEAUX, France - A German prosecutor due to give evidence at the trial of suspected Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon decided to go home after receiving a death threat.
OTTAWA - Quebec politicians staged a noisy demonstration on Parliament Hill as Canada launched a hard-line strategy in the courts against any unilateral declaration of independence by Quebec.
PARIS - Algerian government troops killed 88 Moslem rebels in an offensive against their bases in the past three days in six regions across the country.
FREETOWN - Nigerian-led peacekeepers who ousted Sierra Leone's military junta are set to fan out into the interior to try to end reprisal killings.
KIGALI - Rwandan Vice President Paul Kagame was elected chairman of the Rwandan Patriotic Front after the party's first congress since its forces took power in 1994.
KATHMANDU - Nepal's parliament opened a debate on a no-confidence motion against the Himalayan kingdom's four-month-old coalition government.
GAZA - The armed wing of the militant Moslem group Hamas has vowed to carry out attacks against Israel if the United States takes military action against Iraq.
AMMAN - Jordanian Prime Minister Abdul Salam al-Majali's government tendered its resignation ahead of a minor cabinet reshuffle expected to be announced soon.
RIYADH - Septuplets born to a Saudi Arabian woman in the southwestern city of Abha have survived their first critical month.
JERUSALEM - The Israeli Health Ministry said on Tuesday it would try to persuade an HIV-positive prostitute, aged about 70, to stop her work.
PHREK DACH, Cambodia - Cambodian leader Hun Sen said he accepted a Japanese plan for resolving Cambodia's political deadlock, paving the way for the return of the co-premier he ousted last year, Prince Norodom Ranariddh.