Northern Ireland: Dissident IRA group throwing in the towel
Imprisoned leaders of the most dangerous Irish Republican Army splinter group confirmed Saturday that their terror gang was falling apart, a development raising hopes of less violence in Northern Ireland at a critical moment in peacemaking.
The statement from the incarcerated leaders of the Real IRA called on the group's few remaining members outside prison to "stand down with ignominy" because of their documented involvement in criminal rackets.
The surprise statement came hours after the mainstream IRA rejected calls by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to disband.
On Thursday, Blair said the IRA must demonstrate it was permanently committed to peace in Northern Ireland and go out of business. Otherwise, Blair warned, the major Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, could justifiably refuse to resume cooperation in government alongside the IRA-linked Sinn Fein party.
Mexico City: Famed 'photo-poet' dead at age 100
Manuel Alvarez Bravo, a photographer whose remarkable 80-year portfolio contained everything from mystical portraits of a bygone Mexico to the striking realism of murdered laborers, died Saturday. He was 100.
Bravo died of natural causes at his home, Mexican media reported.
Lauded by the late Nobel laureate Octavio Paz as a "photo-poet," Bravo was one of the leading photographers of surrealism in the 1930s and 1940s and also distinguished himself with his dramatic portrayals of Mexican life.
A photograph he shot in 1934, titled "Murdered Worker on Strike," shows a dead protester lying in a pool of blood.
Bravo was praised highly during his lifetime by famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and such renowned photographers as Tina Modotti and Andre Cartier-Breton.
Bahrain: Chess champ settles for draw against 'Fritz'
After eight matches, a contest between Russian-born world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik and a German-made computer program, Deep Fritz, was declared a draw Saturday night.
Tied with two victories each and three draws, Kramnik and the computer battled to another draw in what was billed as the tiebreaker in the $1 million "Brains in Bahrain" competition at the Bahrain Mindsports Center, chess headquarters for this Persian Gulf nation.
Kramnik will receive $800,000; the handlers of Deep Fritz, $200,000.
If Kramnik had won, he would have received $1 million and the computer nothing. If Deep Fritz had won, the computer company would have gotten $400,000 and Kramnik $600,000.
Paris: Marchers seek permits for illegal immigrants
More than 5,000 people on Saturday marched through Paris in the latest in a series of protests to demand residency permits for illegal immigrants.
Similar marches occurred in the cities of Marseille, Lille, Le Havre and Clermont-Ferrand.
"It's not immigrants or people without permits, but the law that must change," the demonstrators in Paris shouted. They were joined by Communist and Green Party leaders.
The immigrants are known in France as "sans-papiers," meaning "those without documents." Many have lived illegally in France for years, hiding from police, surviving on charity, working for little pay.
The Interior Ministry has promised to examine their cases, but on a one-by-one basis rather than as a group, as they have demanded.
The Paris march was the fourth of its kind since early September. Police estimated that more than 5,000 people took part, although organizers said 10,000 participated.