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Deadly Twin Car Bombings Hit Pakistan's Eastern City of Lahore


PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE: Pakistani authorities say two suicide car bombings in the eastern city of Lahore killed at least 25 people and wounded 200 others today. The first bomb destroyed the downtown headquarters of the federal police agency, leaving 21 dead. Officials say at least 12 victims were agency staff. Moments later, a suicide bomber blew up his car several kilometers away outside an advertising agency in an upscale residential neighborhood. Officials say at least four people were killed -- two of them children. No one has claimed responsibility.

US POLITICS: Polling places open later today in (the southern U.S state of) Mississippi for another primary vote in the hotly contested race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Illinois Senator Barack Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton are facing off in the contest. Obama campaigned Monday in Mississippi, and ridiculed the idea that he would be Clinton's running mate for vice-president, while Clinton was campaigning in Pennsylvania, the next major battleground state with a primary on April 22nd.

US SHUTTLE: The U.S. space agency has launched the shuttle Endeavour on a 16-day mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle took off in the early morning darkness from the Kennedy Space Center on Florida's Atlantic coast with seven astronauts and some high-tech freight on board. This is the 25th time NASA has flown a shuttle to the ISS. Endeavour will deliver the first module of a Japanese space laboratory and a Canadian robot designed to handle some of the jobs performed by spacewalking astronauts. The Japanese lab is called Kibo, a Japanese word for hope.

IRAQ: The U.S. military says a bomb attack Monday killed three American soldiers and their translator in the Iraqi province of Diyala. Earlier in a separate incident, the military said a suspected suicide bomb attack killed five U.S. soldiers on foot patrol in Baghdad. In other attacks Monday, a car bomb killed at least two people and wounded up to 30 others in the relatively stable Kurdish north (in the provincial capital of Sulaimaniya). In Muqdadiya, northeast of Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed two people and wounded more than 20 others.

TIBET - PROTESTS: The Chinese government has acknowledged it detained more than 60 Tibetan monks who demonstrated in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa Monday to commemorate the anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said today the demonstration was an illegal act that challenged social stability. Qin called the participants "ignorant monks," abetted by what he described as a "small handful of other people." Monday was the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising that was crushed by the Chinese military, prompting Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to flee into exile in northern India.

NOKOR - NUCLEAR: Sources in Washington say top U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill will meet with his North Korean counterpart this week in Geneva. Unnamed sources in the U.S. capital told reporters Monday that the Assistant Secretary of State will meet with Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Kwan on Thursday or Friday. The two envoys last met in Beijing on February 19th. Earlier Monday, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea said Washington will not remove North Korea from a list of states sponsoring terrorism until Pyongyang gives a complete declaration of all of its nuclear activities and stockpiles.

BURMA - UN: United Nations' chief Ban Ki-moon says his special envoy to Burma made less progress than hoped during his visit to the southeast Asian nation concluded Monday. Mr. Ban said it was unusual that envoy Ibrahim Gambari was unable to meet with Burma's top military leader, General Than Shwe. The U.N. Secretary-General said he will continue to press for democratic reform in Burma. Gambari Monday wrapped up his third visit to Burma without any indication of a breakthrough in his push for political reform.

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