First Suspect Charged In London Attacks

LONDON -- London police on Saturday charged a suspect in the failed July 21 attacks with conspiracy to murder and possession of explosives, the first charges to be issued in Britain against any of the would-be bombers.

Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, is suspected of trying to bomb a subway train near Warren Street station, one of four abortive attacks that day.

Omar, who was arrested in Birmingham on July 27, faces three other charges: attempted murder, making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury, and conspiracy to use explosives.

Two other suspects in the failed July 21 bombings, Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, and Ramzi Mohammed, were arrested in London on July 29. A fourth, known as Osman Hussain and Issac Hamdi, was arrested in Rome and is being held there on international terrorism charges.

THE AMERICAS

* BOGOTA, Colombia -- The Colombian government is demanding that Ireland hand over three fugitives linked to the Irish Republican Army and convicted of supporting terrorism here.

The fugitives' public re-emergence on Friday plunged the Northern Ireland peace process into disarray. There was suspicion that the three returned to Ireland because they felt authorities would not deport them in light of the IRA's recent pledge to completely disarm.

The whereabouts of Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan were unknown in December when a Colombian appeals court reversed an earlier acquittal and sentenced the men to 17 years in prison for training guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

* TORONTO -- Two emergency slides malfunctioned on the Air France jet that crashed this week in Toronto, investigators said, as they pored over tire marks to determine why the plane skidded off the end of a runway. The Airbus 340 failed to stop after touching down during a severe thunderstorm Tuesday. All 309 people on board survived.

ASIA

* NEW DELHI -- A cash reward on the heads of stray cows has triggered road chaos in the Indian capital as bounty hunters on motorbikes compete to round up cattle roaming the streets, the Hindustan Times reported.

Authorities are offering the equivalent of $46 for each cow -- an average Indian's monthly salary -- to rid the city of the traffic menace. With cows sacred to Hindus, who make up the bulk of India's billion-plus population, an estimated 35,000 cows and buffalo roam free in the capital, sharing space with hordes of monkeys, camels and stray dogs.

* ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A man suspected of setting up a meeting between murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and militants who later kidnapped and killed him in 2002 has confessed he was working for two al Qaeda-linked operatives, police said. Mohammad Hashim Qadeer was arrested last month in Gujranwala in the eastern province of Punjab.

* ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The government announced that it would close refugee camps in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, citing a lack of security. Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between security forces and suspected al Qaeda-linked fighters in the Waziristan tribal region in the last two years.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* TEHRAN -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in as Iran's president, saying he wants peaceful relations with the world but rejecting outside pressure to change course, an apparent reference to Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.

-- From News Services