IRAQ: Iraqi security officials say at least 25 people have been killed in a car bomb explosion in a market in southwestern Baghdad today (Tuesday). Police said about 60 others were wounded in the blast in the Amil district of the capital. Elsewhere in the city, a roadside bomb blast near a police station in eastern Zayouna district killed one person and wounded three others. Meanwhile, the U.S. military said coalition forces detained 15 al-Qaida suspects during raids across Iraq today.
Islamic militants in Lebanon have announced a unilateral ceasefire after three days of fighting with Lebanese government forces left more than 75 people dead. Fatah al-Islam militants said today (Tuesday) they will stop fighting as long as Lebanese troops do not attack them. The group, which is believed to have ties to al-Qaida, is based in a Palestinian refugee camp near the northern city of Tripoli.
US-CHINA TRADE: Negotiators for the United States and China meet today (Tuesday) in Washington for a crucial second round of talks on their trade relationship. Vice-Premier Wu Yi, who leads the Chinese delegation, has called for the United States to end restrictions on hi-tech exports to China, which she says will help reduce the trade imbalance that concerns the United States. The two days of talks will also address China's currency, which American critics say is undervalued and contributes to a widening trade gap.
VIETNAM-BIRD FLU: Vietnamese authorities say the H5N1 strain of bird flu has struck farms in four provinces in Vietnam, killing almost two-thousand unvaccinated ducks. Authorities said today (Tuesday) the virus has been found in the three northern provinces of Son La, Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh and in the country's southern Mekong Delta province of Can Tho. Nearly six thousand birds have been culled. Earlier this month a bird flu outbreak was reported in Vietnam's central province of Nghe An. Vietnam has been praised for its efforts to contain the spread of the virus through culls, vaccinations and public education.
BRITAIN-RUSSIA-POISONING: British prosecutors say they have sufficient evidence to press murder charges in last year's death by radiation poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said today (Tuesday) it has instructed its lawyers to seek the extradition from Russia of Andrei Lugovoi, a former officer with the Russian intelligence service. The CPS called Litvinenko's killing an extraordinarily grave crime and its prosecution "clearly in the public interest".
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