Arizona Republican Senator John McCain and Illinois Democratic Senator Barack Obama have both swept Tuesday's party nominating contests. McCain and Obama both won Wisconsin primary elections, with McCain handily defeating leading rival Mike Huckabee by some 20 percentage points. The veteran lawmaker also trounced Huckabee in Washington state (in the northwestern United States). In addition to Wisconsin, Obama also easily won the Democratic caucus in his native state of Hawaii.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he has no plans to resign, despite a sweeping victory by opposition parties in Monday's general election. Mr. Musharraf said in an interview published today in the Wall Street Journal his administration must move forward in a way that will bring about a stable democratic government in Pakistan. Opposition parties led by former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and the late Benazir Bhutto took far more seats in parliament than President Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League-Q party.
CUBA - CASTRO: Western leaders are reacting to the resignation of Cuban President Fidel Castro, while his allies are paying tribute to his near half-century of leadership. The ailing Mr. Castro, who has not been seen in public since July 2006, announced Tuesday that he will not seek another term as president and commander-in-chief. Mr. Castro announced his decision in a letter in the Communist party newspaper, Granma. He did not say who he thought should be his successor.
BUSH - AFRICA: President Bush says the United States is not contemplating building new military bases in Africa. Mr. Bush also dismissed rumors today that the new U.S. regional command for Africa -- called AFRICOM -- will introduce more American troops to the continent. Mr. Bush, speaking alongside Ghana's President John Kufour in Accra, also said the United States does not view China as a "fierce competitor" in Africa. Mr. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush arrived in Ghana Tuesday, the fourth stop of a five-nation tour of Africa.
INDONESIA - QUAKE:
A powerful earthquake has struck off the coast of western Indonesia today. The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude seven-point-six quake hit off the western coast of Sumatra island. The agency says the quake was centered about 319 kilometers west of the town of Medan. The earthquake prompted authorities to issue tsunami warnings, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The quake is said to have been felt across Sumatra, causing people to rush into the streets in panic.
JAPAN - US MARINES:
The U.S. military says it has tightened restrictions on personnel in the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, following tensions over an alleged rape and other troop misconduct. A statement released late Tuesday by U.S. forces in Japan says all personnel will be limited to bases, places of work and off-base housing. The restrictions go into effect early today and will remain in place indefinitely.
BURMA - LAUREATES - RIGHTS: A group of Nobel laureates have called for economic and military sanctions against Burma, in response to the government's recent crackdown on Buddhist monks and dissidents. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Rigoberta Menchu are among the signatories to a public statement released Tuesday which calls for the release of political prisoners, including the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The laureates call on the international community to stop selling arms to Burma, because, in their words, "no nation should sell arms to a regime that uses weapons exclusively against its own people".
CLOSER - LUNAR ECLIPSE: Skywatchers in the Western Hemisphere will be able to view the full moon in shades of red as it slides into the shadow of the Earth during a total lunar eclipse Wednesday night. If weather conditions are favorable, the entire eclipse will be visible in South America and most of North America late Wednesday. People in western Europe, Africa and western Asia can view the eclipse before dawn on Thursday. The U.S. space agency, NASA, says the major stage of the eclipse will last about 50 minutes.
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