TABA, Egypt -- Investigators lifted fingerprints, swabbed dust and collected tissue from the wreckage of three car bombings Saturday and detained dozens of Bedouin tribesmen, including quarry workers who could have provided the explosives that killed at least 34 people. Israel blamed al-Qaida for the Thursday night attacks in two Sinai resorts, and Egyptian investigators were leaning toward an al-Qaida connection as well. They said there was a chance a local sleeper cell of Egyptians might have been activated to stage the attacks, Egypt's first terrorist strike in seven years.
Australia's conservative prime minister easily wins
SYDNEY, Australia -- Prime Minister John Howard's conservative alliance handily won a fourth term in Australia's parliamentary elections Saturday, overcoming widespread anger at his decision to send troops to Iraq last year and his pledge to keep them there. The island continent's robust economy under Howard's leadership apparently trumped concerns about the war. It has grown during every one of his nine years in office, with unemployment close to all-time lows and inflation running at just 2 percent.
Five Palestinians killed in northern Gaza offensive
JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip -- Israeli soldiers on Saturday shot and killed a Hamas militant whom the military said was responsible for a rocket attack that killed two Israeli preschoolers last week and triggered an army offensive in northern Gaza. Abed Nabhan, 25, was one of five Palestinians killed Saturday in the continuing Israeli operation in northern Gaza. Nabhan, a Hamas field commander, was killed when Israeli troops shot at Hamas militants preparing to fire an anti-tank missile from the Jebaliya refugee camp.
Protesters accuse Haitian leaders of failing in flood
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A gunbattle broke out between U.N. peacekeepers and supporters of ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Saturday, wounding a peacekeeper for the first time in the force's 4-month-old mission. The clashes, which Haitian police said also left one officer wounded, came as protesters in the northwestern city of Gonaives crowded outside a Mass for flood victims accusing Haiti's interim president and prime minister -- who were attending -- of not doing enough to help hungry survivors three weeks after Tropical Storm Jeanne.
Deadly typhoon pummels Japan's Pacific coast
TOKYO -- A powerful typhoon raked Japan's Pacific coastline Saturday, killing at least two people and leaving at least five others missing in the most powerful storm to hit the nation in a decade, officials said. "Ma-on," which means horse saddle in Cantonese, was the record eighth typhoon to reach Japan's shores this year. The brunt of the tempest -- which had sustained winds of 100 miles per hour -- was stronger than any other to hit the eastern coast in 10 years.
Saudi minister appeals to Persian Gulf media
KUWAIT CITY -- Saudi Arabia's interior minister appealed to regional news media Saturday to help combat "improper ideas" that lead young people to support extremist movements. Speaking before a meeting with his counterparts from Persian Gulf nations, Prince Nayef asked Arab journalists to confront Islamic militancy. He said Gulf countries are committed to uprooting terrorism.
World-renowned French philosopher Derrida dead
PARIS -- World-renowned thinker Jacques Derrida, a charismatic philosopher who founded the school known as deconstructionism, has died, the French president's office said Saturday. He was 74. He is considered the modern-day French thinker best known internationally. Deconstructionism is a branch of critical thought or analysis developed in the late 1960s and applied to literature, linguistics, philosophy, law and architecture. Derrida focused his work on language, showing that it has multiple layers and thus multiple meanings or interpretations.
-- From wire reports