Philip 'much better,' visiting Charles says

LONDON - Prince Charles has visited his father, Prince Philip, in the hospital and reported that he is doing "much better" after abdominal surgery.

Philip, who earlier this week spent his 92nd birthday in the hospital, received a flurry of family visits Friday. Charles and his wife, Camilla, arrived at the London Clinic shortly before his sons, William and Harry, joined them.

Earlier, Philip's granddaughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, also made a trip to see him.

Officials say Queen Elizabeth II's husband is recovering well after the exploratory surgery June 7. He will continue to be hospitalized for several days before going into convalescence for about two months.


Ambush in south kills army colonel

TRIPOLI - A Libyan army colonel was killed in an ambush on his brigade in the country's south on Friday, the unit's spokesman said, in the latest incident of violence in the North African country.

In the eastern city of Benghazi, an independent TV station reported an unknown attacker hurled a hand grenade at its building.

The violence underscores the instability that has rocked Libya nearly a year after the capture and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, particularly as the country's police and military struggle to rein in militias and build up their forces.

Brigade spokesman Ali el-Abed said his unit had been delivering army vehicles from the capital, Tripoli, to the southern city of Sabha when they came under attack by gunmen about 60 miles from their destination.

The ambush occurred in the town of Kira, considered a bastion of Gadhafi loyalists.


UN chief decries settlement plans

JERUSALEM - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern Friday over Israel's latest announcement on going ahead with plans to build more than 1,000 homes in two isolated Jewish settlements in the West Bank, with his spokesman calling the move a "violation of international law."

The Israeli announcement on Thursday also drew swift U.S. condemnation while Palestinian officials complained that it was undercutting U.S. peace efforts at a sensitive time.

Israeli settlement building lies at the heart of the impasse over restarting negotiations on the terms of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The Palestinians hope to build their state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967.

The United States is trying to get the long-dormant peace talks back on track, but the Palestinians say they will not return to the table as long as Israeli settlement construction continues.


8 police officers slain; drug runners blamed

GUATEMALA CITY - President Otto Perez Molina said Friday that drug traffickers ambushed and killed eight police officers west of the capital.

"We have no doubt that it was an organized crime group dedicated to drug trafficking," Perez Molina told reporters during a presentation of three new security squads that include 1,524 police officers and soldiers.

He said police are investigating three drug-trafficking groups that operate in Quetzaltenango state to determine who was behind the attack.

The bodies of seven officers were found at the police station in the town of Salcaja.

The Associated Press