The World

Hong Kong set to get new leader as anointed by Beijing

HONG KONG (AP) -- A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites cast ballots Sunday to choose Hong Kong's next leader in the first such vote since 2014's huge pro-democracy protests. The election committee's 1,194 members voted at a downtown exhibition center, with the city's former No. 2 official Carrie Lam widely expected to win after getting the backing of China's communist leaders.

Mudslide buries Peruvian village, leaving little to claim

BARBABLANCA, Peru (AP) -- Gathered along the edge of a mountain, the men, women and children of Barbablanca watched in stunned silence as a river of mud washed over their small village. The mud slid into windows, covering carefully made beds and school desks. It buried fields filled with avocado trees and the village's prized ripe green cherimoya fruit. It left Barbablanca's hydroelectric plant an enclosure of metal rods planted in a blanket of sludge.

Erdogan: Turkey might hold referendum on EU membership

ISTANBUL (AP) -- Turkey's president said Saturday the country might pursue a Brexit-like referendum on whether to pursue European Union membership and also lashed out at a critical protest in Switzerland. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought up the proposal at a Turkish-U.K.

Hamas vows revenge at slain militant's funeral in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Thousands of Hamas supporters waving the movement's green flag marched through the streets of Gaza Saturday for the funeral of a militant leader and high-profile former prisoner who was mysteriously shot dead, as the group's leaders pledged retribution. Senior Hamas member Mazen Faqha was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City late Friday.

Congolese militia decapitates more than 40 police: Officials

BENI, Congo (AP) -- A Congolese militia group has decapitated 42 policemen after ambushing them in an increasingly violent region where the U.N. is searching for missing American and Swedish investigators, a local official said Saturday. Members of the Kamwina Nsapu militia staged the attack between the cities of Tshikapa and Kananga in Central Kasai province on Friday, according to Kasai Assembly President Francois Kalamba.

Bulgarian nationalists protest at Turkish border before vote

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) --  Bulgarian nationalists kept up their protests at the Turkish border Saturday against Bulgarian citizens living permanently in Turkey who are coming in to vote in Bulgaria's election. The border blockade reflects rising tensions between the two countries over Turkey's open backing for a group that represents Bulgaria's sizeable Turkish minority.

Tens of thousands in London protest Britain's EU departure

LONDON (AP) -- Tens of thousands protested Saturday under sunny skies in London against plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. The Unite for Europe march, which saw many people carrying bright blue EU flags, came just days before Britain is expected to begin its formal separation from the other 27 nations in the EU.

US acknowledges its forces were behind airstrike on Mosul

BAGHDAD (AP) -- An airstrike targeting Islamic State militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul that witnesses say killed at least 100 people was in fact launched by the U.S. military, American officials said Saturday. U.S. officials did not confirm the reports of civilian casualties but opened an investigation. In the days following the March 17 airstrike, U.S. officials had said they were unsure whether American forces were behind the attack.

Third Airbus plane purchased by Iran lands in Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's official IRNA news agency is reporting that the third of the 100 planes it purchased from Airbus following a landmark nuclear with world powers has joined its commercial fleet. The now Iran Air A330 jet landed in Tehran Saturday after a flight from Toulouse, France, home to the headquarters of the European consortium. It has 32 business and 206 economy class seats.

Police clash with anti-Christian mob in southern Egypt

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) -- Police have used tear gas to disperse an angry mob of Muslims approaching Christian homes in southern Egypt. The Friday clashes injured four policemen and seven of the Muslim villagers. Police have made eight arrests. The trouble in the Moheidat district south of the ancient city of Luxor began when Muslim villagers suspected that a Christian teenager who allegedly converted to Islam was being held captive by her family as punishment.

Belarus police arrest over 400 protesters; many are beaten

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- Police in Belarus cracked down hard Saturday on opposition protesters who tried to hold a forbidden demonstration in the capital -- a human rights group said more than 400 people were arrested and many were beaten. The demonstrators had hoped to build on a rising wave of defiance of the former Soviet republic's authoritarian government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994.

EU transport chief calls for European car toll system

BERLIN (AP) -- The European Union's transport commissioner is calling for a continentwide car toll system that would enable motorists to use all European roads without having to stop at borders. Many countries in the 28-nation EU have highway toll systems, but they are separate and work in different ways. Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc told Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper in comments published Saturday that she will make proposals for a Europe-wide system in May.

The Latest: Rome police confiscate weapons ahead of march

ROME (AP) -- The Latest on the European Union summit (all times local): 8:10 p.m. Rome police say officers seized sharpened iron bars, clubs and knives in a crackdown aimed at preventing violence during anti-EU marches. Hours before the marches' started Saturday, police checked the occupants of cars, trucks and chartered buses heading to Rome, which also hosted an EU summit Saturday.

McCain calls for Tillerson to be given team at US State Dept

BERLIN (AP) -- U.S. Sen. John McCain is urging President Donald Trump to nominate a team of senior officials at the State Department to back up new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke Saturday during an event in Brussels. He pointed to "confusion" over whether Tillerson would attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. He does now plan to be there.

Airstrikes across rebel-held Syria kill and wound scores

BEIRUT (AP) -- Airstrikes hit a women's prison and a clinic in rebel-held parts of Syria on Saturday, killing and wounding scores of people amid clashes on multiple fronts between government forces and insurgent groups in some of the country's worst violence in weeks, opposition activists said.

Congo must help search for missing UN experts: Rights group

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- Congo's government must cooperate with United Nations efforts to locate experts who have been missing in the violent Kasai region for nearly two weeks, Human Rights Watch said Saturday. Uruguayan peacekeepers and Tanzanian special forces who deployed to find the six people, including ones from the United States and Sweden, have faced a lack of cooperation, the rights group said. The U.N.