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MOSCOW BLAST: Russian officials say two suicide bombings in the Moscow metro system during rush hour have killed at least 35 people and wounded dozens of others. Moscow's mayor says the blasts were the work of female suicide bombers. The first blast Monday occurred at the Lubyanka station, killing at least 23 people on the train and platform. The station is near the headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the agency that replaced the KGB. The second blast struck about 40 minutes later at the Park Kultury station, also in the center of Russia's capital, killing a dozen people.A spokesman at the State Prosecutor's office says the attacks are being investigated as terrorism. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
US - AFGHANISTAN: U.S. President Barack

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Obama left Afghanistan early Monday after a brief, unannounced visit, in which he pressed the Afghan government to fight corruption and improve governance and saluted U.S. troops serving there. During his six-hour visit Sunday, Mr. Obama met with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, and his Cabinet in Kabul. He praised Afghan efforts to secure the country, but also said they need to crack down on corruption and extend the rule of law. Mr. Karzai expressed gratitude for U.S. support and pledged his country would move forward and eventually take over its own security.White House officials announced that President Karzai will visit Washington on May 12. President Obama also met with U.S. military officers and troops at the Bagram air base north of Kabul. He said the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is clear -- to disrupt, dismantle, defeat and destroy al-Qaida and its extremist allies.
CHINA - AUSTRALIA - RIO TINTO: A Chinese court has found four Rio Tinto mining executives guilty of bribery and corporate espionage.
The Shanghai Intermediate People's Court on Monday sentenced Chinese-Australian Stern Hu to 7 years in prison for accepting bribes and 5 years on charges of stealing commercial secrets. The court says Hu will serve 10 years in prison. The court also sentenced three other Rio executives to between seven and 14 years in prison on bribery and secrets charges. Australia responded quickly, with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith calling the sentences "very tough."
Smith also questioned China's decision to hold part of the trial behind closed doors. He said it raised questions for foreign businesses about China's commercial secrets laws.
CHINA MINE: Rescue workers in northern China are trying to save scores of people trapped by a flood in a coal mine. The state news agency Xinhua now says at least 153 migrant workers are believed to be trapped in the Wangjialing coal mine in Shanxi province. More than 260 people were working in the mine Sunday when underground water gushed in during the early afternoon. Since the flood, Chinese officials have given various figures about how many workers were trapped. The cause of the flood was not immediately reported. Xinhua says the mine belongs to state-owned Huajin Coking Coal company and covers an area of more than 180 square kilometers.
THAILAND PROTESTS: Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and leaders of the so-called Red Shirt movement are set for a second day of talks Monday, after their televised meeting Sunday failed to reach an agreement on how to solve the country's political crisis. The prime minister held three hours of televised negotiations Sunday with the Red Shirts, who have staged mass protests in Bangkok to demand new elections. The Red Shirts gave Mr. Abhisit two weeks to dissolve the House, but agreed to meet again Monday at 6:00 pm local time (1100 UTC) to resume discussions. Mr. Abhisit refused the protesters' demand to dissolve parliament and call new elections, saying the move would not solve Thailand's deep political divisions.
BURMA POL: The party of Burma's detained opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said Monday it will not register to participate in this year's election.
More than 100 members of the National League for Democracy gathered at its Rangoon headquarters Monday to discuss the matter. Aung San Suu Kyi had urged her party not to participate in the voting, saying election laws are unjust.
New election laws prohibit registered parties from having criminals in their ranks. Aung San Suu Kyi has been under some sort of detention for 14 of the last 20 years and many party officials have been held as political prisoners.
Burma's political parties have until the first week of May to register or be dissolved. No date has been set for the elections, which are largely seen as a sham designed to keep the military in power.

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