YELTSIN OBIT: Russian President Vladimir Putin has designated Wednesday as a day of mourning for former President Boris Yeltsin, who died Monday in Moscow at the age of 76. Kremlin officials say Mr. Yeltsin's body will lie in state in Moscow before burial. Mr. Yeltsin was the first popularly elected president of the Soviet republic of Russia, winning office in 1991. In August that year, he defied a coup attempt by hard-line communists against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Palestinian militants have fired a barrage
of rockets and mortar shells at Israel, saying a five-month truce with Israel has ended. The Israeli military says at least one rocket landed inside Israel today, but caused no damage or injuries. A statement from the armed wing of Hamas blamed Israel for violating the truce announced in November. The statement said militants have fired up to 30 rockets and more than 50 mortar shells from the Gaza Strip to avenge Israel's killing of Palestinians last week.
IRAQ: A suicide car bombing north of the Iraqi capital has killed nine American soldiers and wounded 20 in one of the worst attacks on U.S. ground forces since the 2003 invasion. The U.S. military says the bomber blew up his vehicle near a patrol base near the city of Baquba on Monday. Baquba is the capital of Diyala province where U.S. and Iraqi forces have been battling Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists.
EU - IRAN: The European Union foreign
policy chief says he is cautiously optimistic about his talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani in Turkey Wednesday. Javier Solana said Monday his recent phone conversations with Larijani led him to believe the time is -- as he put it -- "sufficiently mature to warrant such contact." The talks are aimed at bringing Tehran back to negotiations on its nuclear program.
INDONESIA - MINING: An Indonesian court has cleared the local unit of one of the world's largest gold producers, and its American executive, of pollution charges. The court ruled today that the Newmont Mining Corporation did not contaminate the water of Buyat Bay, which is near a now-defunct gold mine on Sulawesi Island. Newmont and the chief of its Indonesian unit, Richard Ness, had been accused of dumping arsenic and mercury into the bay in 2003.
CHINA - US CLIMATE: The chief economist of the International
Energy Agency has told a U.S. newspaper that China is set to overtake the United States this year as the world's biggest source of greenhouse gasses. Earlier estimates had suggested China would surpass the U.S. in gas emissions by 2010. In an interview published in "The Wall Street Journal" today, the IEA's Faith Birol said Beijing's refusal to limit greenhouse gases will allow China to increase its emissions nearly unchecked.
SRI LANKA: Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka have used aircraft to attack the main government military base in the northern Jaffna peninsula, killing six soldiers. A Tamil rebel spokesman says two planes bombed the Palaly airbase early today. The Sri Lankan military says one plane dropped bombs on military bunkers but was forced by ground fire to turn away before reaching the main base.
TOYOTA - GENERAL MOTORS: Japan's Toyota Motors says it
became the world's top selling automaker in the first three months of this year, surpassing U.S. rival General Motors for the first time. Toyota said today it sold two-point-three-five million vehicles worldwide from January to March, beating GM, which reported selling two-point-two-six million. Toyota is enjoying strong growth in the United States, where its compact and fuel-efficient cars are popular because of high gas prices.
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