N. Korea marks Kim's death

PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea parlayed the success of last week's rocket launch to glorify leader Kim Jong Un and his late father on Sunday, the eve of the first anniversary of his death.

At a somber memorial service, top leadership hailed Kim Jong Il and his son, who is certain to have gained national prestige and clout by going ahead with the rocket launch.

Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of North Korea's parliament, credited Kim Jong Il with building Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, and called the satellite launch a "shining victory" and an emblem of the promise ahead with his son in power. - AP

Pakistan forces, Taliban clash

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Pakistani security forces cornered the last members of a group of Taliban militants who staged a deadly raid on an airport in the country's troubled northwest, and all five died in the ensuing firefight Sunday, officials said.

Three were shot by security forces and two others blew themselves up in the village where they had holed up, the officials said. Five other militants who attacked the airport in Peshawar city Saturday night with rockets and car bombs were killed in the assault. Four civilians also died in the initial attack; a policeman was killed in the final gun battle.

Peshawar is on the edge of Pakistan's tribal region, the main sanctuary for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the country. Saturday's attack was the first strike against the airport, which is jointly used by the air force and civilian authorities. - AP

Kuwait blocks protest rally

KUWAIT CITY - Security forces blocked hundreds of protesters from staging a rally outside parliament Sunday as Kuwait's emir denounced antigovernment factions for threatening to "tear apart" the nation and vowed a firm stance amid a deepening political crisis.

The hard-line stance underscored the potential for Kuwait's tensions to escalate into more serious clashes and further polarize the oil-rich Persian Gulf state between backers of the ruling establishment and groups claiming it overstepped its powers.

Any threats to Kuwait's stability are closely watched by Washington, which has about 13,500 troops stationed there as part of the Pentagon's counterweight to Iran's expanding military in the region. - AP

Elsewhere:

Nelson Mandela's

political party sang praises for the antiapartheid icon Sunday, as the 94-year-old remained under doctors' care. President Jacob Zuma led delegates of the African National Congress in song as they opened their Mangaung convention.

Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro, 86, has been nominated for a seat in parliament, authorities said Sunday. He was also named a delegate in 2008, when he retired as president. It's unclear whether he has played an active legislative role in the years since.