Israel/Border clash kills Palestinian, Israeli soldier

A gun battle along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip Friday killed a Palestinian militant and an Israeli soldier, the military said, in the latest flare-up along the volatile frontier. The Israeli military said the Palestinian militant cut through the border fence separating Hamas-run Gaza from southern Israel and opened fire on troops, killing one soldier. Israeli forces killed the militant in the ensuing shootout, said Col. Tal Hermoni. Shootouts such as Friday's and other violence raise concerns of a new flare-up between Israel and Gaza-based militants.


Syria/Annan: Implement UN-brokered peace plan

Saying he is impatient and frustrated, special envoy Kofi Annan called on the Syrian president Friday to implement a UN-brokered peace plan following a weekend massacre that killed more than 100 people. The appeal came as the international community faced increasing pressure to act against the regime as frustration mounts over the Houla killings and the failure of Annan's plan to stop the bloodshed.


Egypt/Egyptians rally against Mubarak-era candidate

Thousands of people took to the streets in cities across Egypt on Friday to demand that Ahmed Shafiq, a former senior official in Hosni Mubarak's ousted regime, be disqualified from next month's presidential runoff. Shafiq, who served as Mubarak's last prime minister, was one of the top two finishers in the first round of Egypt's landmark presidential election last month, advancing to a June 16-17 runoff against Mohammed Morsi, the candidate of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood.


London/Britain marks queen's 60-year reign

Britons are preparing for four days of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne, highlighting the monarchy's recovery in popularity since the death of Princess Diana in 1997. The four-day Diamond Jubilee weekend was launched Friday when HMS Diamond, a Royal Navy warship, gave a 21-gun salute as it arrived at Portsmouth Harbour.


Brazil/Rio closes its massive open-air landfill

One of the world's largest open-air landfills, a vast, seaside mountain of trash where thousands of people have made a living sorting through the debris by hand, will close this weekend after 34 years. Long a symbol of ill-conceived urban planning and environmental negligence, Rio de Janeiro's Jardim Gramacho dump is being transformed into a facility that will harness the greenhouse gases generated by the rotting rubbish and turn them into fuel capable of heating homes and powering cars.

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