Afghan Kidnappers Set

Deadline for Tuesday

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan militants who have threatened to kill three kidnapped U.N. workers have agreed to give the government until Tuesday to find and release 26 Taliban prisoners, a spokesman for the militants said on Sunday.

The militants, from a Taliban splinter faction, held negotiations through intermediaries with U.N. and government officials and afterward said they were willing to soften other demands if their 26 comrades were freed.

Angelito Nayan from the Philippines, Annetta Flanigan from Northern Ireland and Shqipe Habibi from Kosovo were abducted in Kabul on Oct. 28. They had been helping organize the elections held on Oct. 9.

The kidnappers threatened to kill them unless their demands -- which included the release of Taliban prisoners, the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the suspension of U.N. operations in Afghanistan -- were met, but several deadlines have since passed.


* NANCY, France -- A French anti-nuclear protester was killed in eastern France when his leg was severed by a train carrying radioactive waste to Germany, a police official said.

The incident took place farther down the rails from where two other anti-nuclear protesters had earlier chained themselves to the tracks near the town of Nancy, briefly delaying the train, rail officials said.

At least 4,500 people demonstrated Saturday at a radioactive waste way station in Gorleben, Germany, part of regular protests over concerns that the nuclear material is unsafe.

* LONDON -- Firefighters and police searched the wreckage of a train crash that killed six people and seriously injured 11 others when a train struck a car stopped on the tracks at a crossing.

More than 20 ambulances and 14 fire engines rushed to the scene at Ufton Nervet near Reading, 36 miles west of London.

* MOSCOW -- Carrying the Soviet hammer-and-sickle flag and singing as they marched, Russians marked the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in both a celebration of Soviet times and a protest against a parliamentary proposal to scrap a once-revered Soviet holiday.

Some pro-Kremlin lawmakers have proposed replacing the Nov. 7 holiday with a new holiday on Nov. 4 to be called National Unity Day.


* TAK BAI, Thailand -- Buddhists expressed fear and frustration to Thailand's prime minister during a visit to the country's Muslim-majority south, where nearly two dozen people have died in reprisal attacks over the past two weeks. More than 1,000 people gathered at a temple where Thaksin Shinawatra was taking part in an annual religious rite.

* TOKYO -- A magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked northern Japan on Monday near the area where the country's deadliest earthquake in years struck last month. No injuries were immediately reported in the latest temblor.

-- From News Services