AFP World News Agenda

What's happening around the world on Saturday:


+ US Defense Secretary Hagel in surprise Afghanistan visit

+ UN hopes for Syria ceasefire to free peacekeepers

+ Kenya election results expected

+ Following after North Korea issues fresh nuclear threats

KABUL: US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel begins his first visit to Afghanistan since taking office last week, with the scheduled troop withdrawal high on his agenda. No announced itinerary. (AFGHANISTAN-US-DIPLOMACY-UNREST)

DAMASCUS/NEW YORK/BEIRUT: Reporting on UN efforts to pick up 21 Filipino peacekeepers that their Syrian rebel captors had agreed to free a day after rescuers were forced back by a barrage of army shelling (SYRIA-CONFLICT-GOLAN-UN-PHILIPPINES)

NAIROBI: Expected announcement of Kenyan presidential election results after days of delay marred by allegations of rigging (KENYA-VOTE)

SEOUL: Monitoring tensions on the Korean peninsula after an enraged North Korea responded to new UN sanctions with fresh threats of nuclear war (NKOREA-SKOREA-NUCLEAR-MILITARY-UN)


CARACAS: Monitoring events in Venezuela following the funeral of Hugo Chavez, whose death sets the stage for elections in 30 days. Expect coverage. (VENEZUELA-POLITICS-CHAVEZ)

VATICAN CITY: Catholic cardinals continue preparations ahead of electing Benedict XVI's successor after announcing the conclave to pick a new pope will start on Tuesday. Vatican spokesman will hold a press conference at 1100 GMT. (VATICAN-RELIGION-POPE) Pictures. Video.

NEW DELHI: Pakistan's premier Raja Pervez Ashraf arrives in India for a private pilgrimage to a shrine amid objections to his visit so soon after a military flare-up on the border (INDIA-PAKISTAN-DIPLOMACY-RELIGION)

MATOLA, Mozambique: Funeral of Mido Macia, a young Mozambican who died in South African custody after being dragged behind a police van. From 0800 GMT. Protest to be held in the capital Maputo. (MOZAMBIQUE-POLICE-DEATH-SAFRICA) Picture.

CAIRO: Verdict for the remaining defendants accused of responsibility for a deadly 2011 football stadium riot in the canal city of Port Said, where mourners turned for the funeral of protesters exacerbating tensions in the country (EGYPT-UNREST)

KUALA LUMPUR: Reporting in state of Sabah after Malaysia said it had arrested more than 50 people for suspected links to a nearly month-long incursion by armed Filipino Islamists (MALAYSIA-PHILIPPINES-CRIME-SECURITY)