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84 Killed in Australian Wildfires 1


AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES: Australian police say the death toll from wildfires in the country's southeast has risen to 84, making it Australia's deadliest brushfire disaster.
Police said today (Sunday) the victims died in several fires that have blazed through Victoria state. They say the death toll could climb as rescue crews comb through the ruins.
Officials say some of those who died were trapped in cars trying to flee the blazes.
Authorities say at least 18 people have been injured in the fires and several hundred homes destroyed.

BIDEN-FOREIGN POLICY: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden publicly reached out to Iran during an international security conference in Munich Saturday, saying Washington is willing to talk to Tehran about its nuclear program.
Biden said there will be "meaningful incentives" if Iran abandons what he called its "illicit nuclear program and support for terrorism." But he added that if Tehran stays on its current path it will face isolation and pressure.
The vice president also said the United States will continue to develop missile defenses to "counter a growing Iranian capability."
Biden's offer of dialogue marks a sharp break from the Bush administration, which refused to deal with Tehran in direct negotiations

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan police say a roadside bomb has exploded in the country's southern province of Helmand, killing four people, including two U.S. nationals.
A provincial police official today (Sunday) said the two Americans, along with their Afghan interpreter and an Afghan police officer, were killed while they were inspecting the bomb in the Naad Ali district.
A Taliban spokesman (Yousuf Ahmadi) told the French News Agency that Taliban militants carried out the attack and killed two American soldiers and several Afghan police.
U.S. officials have not yet confirmed the incident.

IRAQ: Iraqi police say a roadside bomb has exploded in Baghdad, killing two Shi'ite pilgrims heading to the southern city of Karbala for a religious festival.

Police say the bombing today (Sunday) in northern Baghdad wounded 11 others.
Millions of Shi'ites gather in Karbala each year for the Arbain holiday that ends a 40-day mourning period after Ashura.
Ashura marks Imam Hussein's death in battle more than 13-hundred years ago, and is one of the most important holy days for Shi'ites.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israel's military says a rocket fired from Gaza has struck southern Israel, in violation of an informal truce.
Military officials say the rocket set at least one car ablaze today (Sunday), but caused no injuries.
Palestinian militants have sporadically fired rockets into Israel since the nation ended its three-week-long military offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers on January 18.
A delegation from the Palestinian militant group, led by a top Gaza official, is in Egypt for talks on a long-term cease-fire with Israel.

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