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103 killed, 100 missing after ferry capsizes

BURABURI, India (AP) -- Rescuers on Tuesday had recovered 103 bodies from a turbulent northeastern river after a heavily packed ferry capsized, saying they feared that dozens of others had been swept by the current to neighboring Bangladesh.

The overloaded ferry overturned and broke into two pieces in stormy weather late Monday. About 100 people were still missing Tuesday evening.

Abdul Mazid, a local villager, was among grieving relatives and survivors gathered on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Assam state.

He rushed there soon after the boat ferrying about 350 people -- including his sister -- capsized. Some passengers swam to safety or were rescued by villagers, but Mazid was still waiting in silence on the crowded river bank for news of his sister 24 hours later.

The ferry was a daily service that connected several small riverside villages and islands to the main district town.

Survivors said the ferry had been tightly packed with passengers and cargo, with about 150 people riding on the roof.



Le Pen refuses to endorse competitors

PARIS (AP) -- The leader of France's resurgent, anti-immigrant far right, Marine Le Pen, said Tuesday she would not endorse either candidate in the country's presidential runoff, a move likely to deprive President Nicolas Sarkozy of some sorely needed votes.

Le Pen, speaking at her National Front party's traditional May Day rally, said she will cast a blank protest ballot Sunday. She has said her sights are on June legislative elections. To her thousands of supporters, she said, "Vote according to your conscience."

Le Pen assailed the conservative Sarkozy, who has borrowed some of Le Pen's rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and the inhuman face of Europe with its rules and regulations in his campaign, accusing him of impoverishing the French and giving up too much sovereignty to the European Union.

Polls suggest Socialist candidate Francois Hollande will defeat Sarkozy in Sunday's final vote. The incumbent, whose brash style has offended many, is trying to win over the more than 6 million voters who supported Le Pen, who came in third in the first-round vote April 22.



Country to mourn death of Borge, 81

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- Nicaragua declared three days of national mourning Tuesday for Tomas Borge Martinez, the last surviving founder of the Sandinista guerrilla movement that overthrew Nicaragua's U.S.-backed right-wing dictatorship in 1979 and replaced it with a leftist system criticized for its own repressive measures.

Borge's longtime ally President Daniel Ortega announced the mourning period on state television. Borge died Monday night at 81 after being hospitalized for pneumonia and other ailments. He joined with Carlos Fonseca Amador and others in 1961 to found the National Sandinista Liberation Front. It was named for Augusto Cesar Sandino, who fought against U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua in the 1930s.

An incendiary speaker, combative personality and avid admirer of the communist governments in Cuba and North Korea, Borge was central to both the overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the establishment of a junta after the revolution and then the elected Sandinista government. He became the target of the contra rebels supported by the Reagan administration.