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Car bomb kills 25 after inauguration

SANA, Yemen (AP) -- A car bomb outside the gate of a presidential compound in southern Yemen killed 25 people hours after the country's new president was formally inaugurated and vowed to fight al-Qaida.

A security official said that the attack in Mukalla was carried out by a suicide bomber and that it bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaida operation.

The blast came hours after Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was sworn in as president to replace longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, following an election aimed at ending more than a year of political turmoil in Yemen. Hadi was the only candidate in the election.

In his televised speech before parliament, Hadi vowed to keep up Yemen's fight against al-Qaida-linked militants.


Statute of limitations runs out for Berlusconi

MILAN (AP) -- Silvio Berlusconi's corruption trial ended Saturday with a court ruling that the statute of limitations had run out.

Berlusconi, who stepped down as premier in November amid a debt crisis, was accused of paying a British lawyer, David Mills, $600,000 to lie during two 1990s trials to protect Berlusconi and his Fininvest holding company from charges related to offshore companies that Mills helped set up.

The five-year-long trial was a race against the statute of limitations, which had spared Berlusconi verdicts in other trials related to his media business since the 1990s.

Prosecutors had changed the timing of the alleged crime from when Mills took the stand to when the money changed hands, adding two years.

The trial also was slowed by legal delays by the defense and Berlusconi's duties as premier.

In Italy, unlike other European countries, the clock continues ticking even after the trial begins, giving defendants another tool to beat a conviction.


Demonstrators protest Putin election bid

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- About 3,500 people demonstrated Saturday against Vladimir Putin in Russia's second-largest city a week before presidential elections in which he seeks to return to the Kremlin.

The protesters marched through St. Petersburg's streets, chanting slogans against the prime minister, including "Putin is a thief," before gathering at a square. Police presence was heavy, but no arrests were reported at the rally, which had official sanction.

Putin, who was Russian president from 2000 to 2008, is widely expected to win against four challengers in the March 4 election.

A candidate needs at least 50 percent of the nationwide vote to win outright; otherwise the top two would face off in a second round.


Mandela hospitalized for stomach test

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela was hospitalized Saturday for a test to determine what is behind an undisclosed stomach ailment. The country's current leader said the much beloved 93-year-old icon was in no danger.

Mandela, a Nobel peace laureate who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, has officially retired and last appeared in public in July 2010. He became South Africa's first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term.

Mandela "has had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention," President Jacob Zuma said.

Mandela was expected to be discharged from the hospital today or Monday, Zuma said.