Clinton stresses trade in Angola

LUANDA, Angola — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, bringing her democracy and development tour of Africa to oil-rich Angola on Sunday, encouraged the war-ravaged country to continue reforms and pledged to boost trade ties with a major energy producer.

Clinton, on the third leg of a seven-nation trip, came to the Angolan capital to reinforce America’s presence in a country where it increasingly is competing for resources with China. Beijing has loaned Angola billions of dollars in recent years without pressing reform.

After meeting Foreign Minister Assuncao Afonso dos Anjos, Clinton urged the government to build on successful legislative elections held in 2008 — the first in 16 years — through presidential elections and dealing with the legacy of its 27-year civil war.

Chavez urges military to be prepared for conflict

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez told his military Sunday to be prepared for a possible confrontation with Colombia, warning that Bogota’s plans to increase the U.S. military presence at its bases poses a threat to Venezuela.

Chavez has issued near daily warnings that Washington could use bases in Colombia to destabilize the region since learning of negotiations to lease seven Colombian military bases to the United States.

Iraq appeals to Iran, seeks release of 3 American hikers

BAGHDAD — Iraq has appealed to Iran to free three American hikers after concluding that the trio who apparently strayed across the Iranian border were just lost tourists, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Sunday.

Zebari said he had no reason to believe the three would soon be freed and had heard no word from the Iranians since making the request during a meeting with Iran’s ambassador to Iraq last week. But he hoped for an answer in the coming days, the foreign minister said.

Effort to end Honduras crisis hits a new roadblock

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Efforts to return deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to power hit a new roadblock Sunday when the country’s de facto government canceled an upcoming visit by foreign envoys seeking to resolve the Central American nation’s six-week-old political crisis.

2 bombs explode on Spain’s Mallorca; no injuries

MADRID — Two small bombs blamed on Basque separatist group ETA exploded Sunday in downtown locations on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca, causing no injuries, the government said. Police defused a third device found nearby.

China says plane diverted to Afghanistan by threat

BEIJING — An Afghan plane bound for the restive western Chinese region of Xinjiang was sent back to Afghanistan after a bomb threat, Chinese media said Sunday.

Kam Air officials said the plane, carrying 160 passengers, left Kabul and was crossing Kyrgyzstan on its way to the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi, when it was told to turn back.

— Herald wire services