Pyongyang, North Korea (CNN) -- North Korea's increasingly reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il, put in a rare appearance at Arirang celebrations in Pyongyang on Saturday, along with his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.
The United States believes that Kim Jong Un has been tapped to replace his ailing father as North Korea's leader.
The Arirang celebration in Pyongyang's May Day Stadium is a massive event that marks the creation of the 65th anniversary of the Peoples' Workers Party, and features hundreds of gymnastics and dance performances. Participants spend up to eight hours a day training and preparing for the occasion.
Video of the event showed performers dancing enthusiastically for the crowd in the packed stadium. Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un could be seen sitting in a private box removed from the masses, flanked by military officials.
Chinese President Hu Jintao sent Kim Jong Il a congratulatory message Saturday, commending the Peoples' Workers Party for "overcoming difficulties and risks and arduously struggling to continuously make eye-catching achievements in its socialist revolution and construction cause," China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Hu as saying.
Paris, France (CNN) -- The French labor minister praised the Senate on Saturday for voting to raise the country's retirement age, a key part of the government's pension reform plans.
"The senators have voted the heart of the reform," Eric Woerth told Europe 1 radio.
The French Senate voted Friday night to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. The measure has already sparked repeated protests in France, with another strike scheduled by major trade unions for Tuesday.
The full spate of pension reforms is still in discussion in the Senate, with the vote expected between October 15 and 19. With proposed amendments, however, the date of the vote could be pushed back.
The final step for the reforms to become law is joint approval by the National Assembly -- the lower house of the French Parliament -- and the Senate.
(CNN) -- Torrential rain in the Suzuka area saw final qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix abandoned on Saturday.
It will now take place ahead of Sunday's race, weather permitting, the first time this has happened in Formula One since the corresponding race at the same track in 2004 which was hit by a typhoon.
Lewis Hamilton's fading title challenge also received a further setback after he was given a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox in the third free practice session on Saturday, which was badly hit by the rain with the McLaren star only completing three laps.
Hamilton, who crashed heavily in practice on Friday, described conditions as "crazy" as he tried to make up for lost time.
"It was unbelievable, some of the worst conditions I've ever experienced in Formula One," Hamilton told the official Formula One website.
(CNN) -- Arab nations meeting in Libya said they will support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to refrain from direct peace talks unless Israel stops settlement construction.
"Restarting negotiations is conditional to the complete stop of settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem," according to a statement issued Friday from the Arab League Ministerial Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative.
"The Israeli government is responsible for halting the direct negotiations ... as a result of its continued unlawful settlement policy".
The Israeli prime minister's office had no immediate comment on the developments in Libya.
The statement supported U.S. peacemaking efforts and President Barack Obama's speech at the U.N. General Assembly last month regarding Palestinian rights.
It also called for a "U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state with pre-June 4, 1967, borders and east Jerusalem as its capital." The statement also said there won't be "real peace with Israel" unless the Jewish state withdraws from occupied Arab lands, including Syria's occupied Golan and Palestinian territory.
The statement said the international community should "take necessary steps" to end Israel's blockade of Gaza and it called for ending political differences among Palestinians.
The peace initiative committee comprises the foreign ministers of Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.
Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Abbas, told CNN on Friday that all the efforts should be focused on settlement activities and that the United States should pressure Israel to halt all the settlement activities.
He also said Abbas will be delivering an important speech during the Arab League summit this weekend.
(CNN) -- The Pakistani government on Saturday announced its decision to reopen the Khyber Pass border into Afghanistan for NATO supply convoys.
"After assessing the security situation in all its aspects, the government has decided to reopen the NATO/ISAF supply from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham with immediate effect," the government said in a statement.
"Our relevant authorities are now in the process of coordinating with authorities on the other side of the border to ensure smooth resumption of the supply traffic".
A U.S. military official earlier told CNN that the decision was anticipated Pakistan, but full traffic is not expected until Monday.
Pakistan closed the main land route for NATO supplies crossing from Pakistan to Afghanistan after U.S. helicopter strikes across the border killed two Pakistani soldiers.
A report from a NATO and Pakistan assessment team concluded that soldiers fired warning shots to let them know of their presence, but the helicopter crews assumed they were insurgents and fired the shots.
(CNN) -- Authorities were evacuating a Hungarian village Saturday after they found new damage in the reservoir that caused a toxic sludge spill this week, an emergency services spokeswoman told CNN.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who was visiting the stricken area Saturday, said it was "very likely" the reservoir wall will collapse.
"It's in very bad shape, and our estimation is that that wall could fall down," Orban told reporters in the town of Ajka. "One consequence is that human lives could be in danger. That's the reason why we pulled out ... all human lives from that area, in order not to have more loss in human life".
If the wall collapses, 500,000 cubic meters of red sludge could spill out -- half of the amount that spilled out Monday, the prime minister said.
London, England (CNN) -- A British aid worker held hostage in eastern Afghanistan since late last month was killed by her captors during a rescue attempt on Friday night, officials said.
The woman was identified as Linda Norgrove, who worked for DAI -- an agency that provides various services to developing nations. Norgrove spent much of her career managing projects for farmers and rural workers.
James Boomgard, DAI president and chief executive officer, called the news "devastating" and said his operation is "saddened beyond words by the death of a wonderful woman whose sole purpose in Afghanistan was to do good".
"Linda loved Afghanistan and cared deeply for its people, and she was deeply committed to her development mission. She was an inspiration to many of us here at DAI and she will be deeply missed".
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a written statement that his forces received information about where she was held and "decided that, given the danger she was facing, her best chance of safe release was to act on that information".
"Responsibility for this tragic outcome rests squarely with the hostage takers. From the moment they took her, her life was under grave threat. Given who held her, and the danger she was in, we judged that Linda's best chance lay in attempting to rescue her".
Norgrove was being held by two Taliban commanders, Mullah Bair and Mullah Keftan, who were both killed in the raid, an Afghan intelligence official said.
An Afghan official said last month that the British woman, two Afghan drivers and a security guard had been kidnapped after an exchange of gunfire September 26 in the Chawkay district of eastern Kunar province.
Abdul Marjan Adel, a local provincial official, had said that the four were being held in a "very remote area," and that Afghan and international forces were looking for them. He said they were healthy and located in the Dewcar valley.
(CNN) -- Three members of a jihadist group who left Hamburg, Germany, last year to train in the tribal areas of Pakistan are now back in Germany and living freely, European and German intelligence officials tell CNN.
Western intelligence agencies suspect that other members of the group still thought to be in the Afghan/Pakistan border area are involved in an al Qaeda plot to attack European countries, a plot that prompted a U.S. State Department advisory Sunday for U.S. citizens traveling in Europe.
German officials stressed that none of those who have returned is suspected of playing a role in the al Qaeda plot. But they believe some are still committed to al Qaeda's goal of global jihad.
Early in 2009, nine men and two women set off from Hamburg for the tribal areas of Pakistan, officials told CNN. The men had been recruited in the city's Taiba mosque, which lead 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta once attended. A European counterterrorism official told CNN that before departing, the group talked about an upcoming trip to Spain to mislead those monitoring their communications.
The group planned to take different routes to Pakistan -- some taking flights connecting through the Gulf states, and some traveling over land through Iran, German investigators told CNN. Once there, they intended to join the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a jihadist group affiliated with al Qaeda. But only eight of the group, including two wives, made it to the Pakistan-Afghan border region, the officials said.
(CNN) -- Australia continued to dominate the Commonwealth Games with another golden haul in India on Friday, as swimmer Alicia Coutts picked up her fourth winner's medal and cyclist Cameron Meyer claimed his third.
The country, which hosted the Games four years ago, ended day five of competition with 98 medals overall -- 47 golds, 24 silver and 27 bronze.
India, for whom shooters Gagan Narang and Omkar Singh won their third titles of the week, were second on 20 golds, 16 silver and 12 bronze.
England has the second-most overall medals with 76, but only 19 of them are gold -- despite claiming another seven on Friday, including victories for swimming stars Rebecca Adlington, Liam Tancock and James Goddard.
While double Olympic champion Adlington, Goddard and Tancock each claimed second golds in the 800m freestyle, 200m individual medley and 100m backstroke respectively, it was again Australia's day in the pool.
The 23-year-old Coutts added 4x100m freestyle relay gold to her three individual titles -- which all came in different disciplines -- as the Australians set a new Games record of 3:36.36 in retaining their title.
Leisel Jones completed a breaststroke double for the third successive time with victory in the 100m, becoming only the third woman to win nine golds since the Games began 80 years ago.
The 25-year-old saw Yolane Kukla -- a decade younger than her -- win the 50m freestyle, while Sophie Edington retained her 50m backstroke title.
Meagen Nay, who withdrew during last year's world championships due to the death of her brother and whose late father was a Commonwealth champion in 1974, won the 200m backstroke.
Her teammate Geoff Huegill also set a new record time in winning the men's 100m butterfly, which he also won 12 years ago before retiring in 2004.
Meyer helped Australia win two of the three track golds on offer for 12 out of 14 overall as he took out the men's 25km scratch race from compatriot Michael Freiberg as he matched the feat of teammate Anna Meares.
Australia also won the team sprint, but New Zealander Alison Shanks claimed gold in the women's 3,000m pursuit ahead of Northern Ireland's Wendy Houvenaghel.
India's wrestlers had another successful day, with two golds and a silver in the women's divisions.
Anita won the 67kg class and Alka Tomar claimed victory in the 59kg.
India also won three golds in the shooting, with world No. 17 Singh triumphant in the men's 10m air rifle singles final.
Narang, ranked third in the world, was again successful in the 50m rifle three positions event along with partner Imran Hasan Khan, setting a new Games best points tally.
Vijay Kumar won the 25m rapid fire pistol -- India's 10th shooting gold, and 18th medal in the sport.
Track and field
Amantle Montsho won Botswana's historic first gold medal with victory in the women's 400m in a Games record time of 50.10 seconds, heading off Nigeria's Folashade Abugan and Guyuna's Tabitha Pompey.
She took advantage of the absence of Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogo and Jamaica's Shericka Simpson, Novlene Williams-Mills and Kaliese Spencer from the field.
Kenya dominated the women's distance events, with Olympic champion Nancy Langat winning the 1,500m in a record time of 4:05.26 from New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin and Scotland's Stephanie Twell.
Grace Momanyi won the 10,000m from Doris Changeywo in the absence of their world champion compatriot Linet Masai, with India's Kavita Raut claiming bronze.
European champion Andy Turner won the men's 110m hurdles title from fellow English runners William Sharman and Lawrence Clarke.
Jamaica's Trecia Smith retained her triple jump title, while Canada's Jamie Adjetey-Nelson was a dominant winner of the men's decathlon.
South Africa's men's team joined New Zealand with two wins in Pool B, but have played one more game following the 5-3 victory against pointless Trinidad and Tobago.
Malaysia picked up a first win from three in Pool A, beating bottom team Scotland 2-0.
In the women's competition, New Zealand reached the semifinals after stunning top seeds England 4-1 in Pool B, where Canada kept their slim hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Wales.
Defending champions Australia were surprisingly held 1-1 by South Africa, leaving both teams on seven points in Pool B, where India thrashed Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 to stay in contention.
Washington (CNN) -- The United States anticipates that the youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will succeed his ailing father, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday.
"That's the assumption that we're all working on. That [the son] will in fact at some point take on that leadership role," Gates said at a news conference with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young.
Kim Jong Un, the third son of the North Korean dictator, was promoted to the rank of four-star general just before a rare meeting of the country's ruling party last week. The announcement was the first formal mention of his name in official state communications. He was also named vice chairman of the Workers Party of Korea's central military commission.
"I think we've been seeing signs for quite a long time the succession was moving in this direction in North Korea," Gates said, citing the new appointments awarded at the party meeting.
Gates noted, however, that he is not aware of a formal indication that power will be transferred to the son, who is believed to be either 27 or 28.
Korean analysts said the appointment of Kim Jong Un to the military positions were contrary to talk that he may prove to be more focused on economic matters than his father.