Powell said that when he was in the Cabinet, he was not told that President George W. Bush authorized a warrantless National Security Agency surveillance operation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” Powell said he sees “absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions” to protect the nation. But he added, “My own judgment is that it didn’t seem to me, anyway, that it would have been that hard to go get the warrants. And even in the case of an emergency, you go and do it.” Mexican volcano blows near capital MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano staged a spectacular, pre-dawn explosion Sunday, spewing glowing, hot lava and sending a 2-mile high column of ash into the air. There were no reports of ash raining down or any other threat to nearby communities, Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center reported. The explosion was the latest of a series of moderate eruptions from the 17,886-foot volcano, located 40 miles southeast of the Mexican capital. Five dead in D.C. murder-suicides GREAT FALLS, Va. – Five people were found dead in apparent murder-suicide shootings Sunday at homes in two well-to-do suburbs of Washington, D.C., police said. Officers found the bodies of three men and one woman in a house in Great Falls when they responded to reports of gunfire at about 10:25 a.m., Fairfax County police said. Police said they believe one of those found dead at the first house was responsible for all the shootings. They treated the first shooting scene as a barricade situation until they determined that the gunman was dead after a 20-year-old man came out of the house. An investigation at the first crime scene led officers to another house in the Tyson’s Corner area, about a dozen miles west of downtown Washington, where they found the body of a woman. Police said the same person appeared to have been responsible for all the deaths, but gave no further details. U.N. peacekeeper shot dead in Haiti PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A United Nations peacekeeper in Haiti was shot to death while on patrol in a slum that has seen almost daily violence since the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a U.N. military spokesman said Sunday. The Jordanian soldier was on patrol in Cite Soleil when he was shot in the head and killed on Saturday, according to Lt. Col. Fernando da Cunha Mattos, U.N. military spokesman. U.N. authorities declined to release further details.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In Beijing, meanwhile, a Japanese envoy said Japan and North Korea have agreed to set up three working groups to resolve sticking points preventing the two countries from establishing diplomatic ties. Fire kills 26 at bar near Hong Kong BEIJING – A fire at an unlicensed bar killed at least 26 people and injured 11 in a Chinese city near Hong Kong, news reports and a local official said today. The fire broke out late Sunday in the bar in Zhongshan, a mainland city that abuts the former Portuguese colony of Macau west of Hong Kong, the official Xinhua News Agency said. “This small bar is an illegal business inside a restaurant,” the man said. “The bar owner has been detained for investigation.” Witnesses quoted by Hong Kong Cable TV said there was an explosion before the bar fire. Police were shown cordoning off the building and nearby roads as debris was cleaned up. Powell gives tepid support to policy WASHINGTON – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday supported government eavesdropping to prevent terrorism but said a major controversy over presidential powers could have been avoided by obtaining court warrants. N. Korea takes jab at U.S. diplomat SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea criticized the United States’ top envoy to Seoul for making provocative remarks about the communist country, calling the ambassador a “tyrant,” a news report said Sunday. U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow labeled the North a “criminal regime” this month, citing Pyongyang’s alleged arms dealing, money laundering and counterfeiting. Since then, North Korea has repeatedly called on the South to expel Vershbow for slandering the North. “It is clear (Vershbow) is a tyrant wearing the mask of a diplomat,” the North’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary Sunday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.