3 Ex-Heads of State Vie

To Lead Guinea-Bissau

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau -- The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau held its first presidential elections Sunday since a bloodless 2003 coup, a vote many hope will restore democracy and jump-start development in a war-ravaged country that is also one of the world's poorest.

Three former heads of state were among 13 candidates vying for the nation's top post -- including ex-president Kumba Yalla, the man the military ousted two years ago.

The voting marks the nation's first presidential balloting since the military ousted democratically elected Yalla in a September 2003 coup, replacing him with interim leader Henrique Rosa, who is not running.


* RANGOON, Burma -- With placards in Bangladesh and speeches across Europe, supporters of detained Burmese democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated the Nobel laureate's 60th birthday by calling for her freedom.

But at home, the ruling junta arrested about a dozen Suu Kyi followers who wore T-shirts bearing her photo and the slogan "Set her free" while attending prayers at the capital's famed golden Shwedagon Pagoda. They were freed only after they removed the shirts.

While Suu Kyi -- who has spent almost 10 of the last 16 years under confinement -- remained locked up at her residence, members of her National League for Democracy gathered at their headquarters several miles away for a traditional ceremony, offering food to Buddhist monks.

* SIEM REAP, Cambodia -- Seven Cambodian men were charged in court with involvement in the death of a 2-year-old Canadian boy during last week's takeover at an international school. The charges carry penalties ranging from 15 years to life in prison. Four men stormed Siem Reap International School on Thursday and held about 30 students and some teachers hostage for more than six hours.

* ULSAN, South Korea -- Countries in favor of resuming commercial whale hunts say they are close to securing a voting majority in the organization that regulates whaling for the first time since the practice was banned nearly two decades ago.

The International Whaling Commission ended the hunting of the mammals in 1986. But on the eve of its annual meeting Monday, the 66 member nations are divided over ending the ban.


* MEXICO CITY -- A Mexican prosecutor said he intends to file long-awaited charges this week against a former president and others for a 1968 massacre of students by government troops.

Special prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo Prieto, boosted by last week's Supreme Court ruling that former president Luis Echeverria can be tried in another case, said new charges of genocide and kidnapping against Echeverria and several others were "completely assembled" and would likely be filed by week's end.

* MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- The new head of the Organization of American States finished a mission to Nicaragua, saying he was worried about a looming political crisis in the divided Central American nation.

Jose Miguel Insulza, the former Chilean interior minister elected last month to lead the OAS, said that during his four-day visit he was unable to bring the country's polarized political leaders to the negotiating table.


* MOSCOW -- A Russian cargo ship successfully docked with the international space station in a manually controlled maneuver after a communications problem switched off the autopilot system, Russian Mission Control said.

The unmanned Progress M-53 spacecraft, which took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, was delivering supplies and equipment for the space station's U.S. and Russian crew.

-- From News Services

Aung San Suu Kyi, shown in 1999, was under house arrest on her 60th birthday.