At least 40 people died Tuesday and 113 others were wounded in bombing attacks across northern Iraq, an area where the government has vowed to expand a crackdown against Al Qaeda militants. The worst of the bombings was in Baquba, where two terrorists triggered explosives belts amid a group of men outside an Army recruitment center. That attack killed or wounded 95 people. A US military spokeswoman said it and other recent bombings were Al Qaeda's way of demonstrating that it remains a threat to the area.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's cabinet voted 22 to 3 Tuesday to approve the trade of a Hezbollah militant for two soldiers captured in a 2006 cross-border raid â€“ even though the latter are believed to be dead. Hezbollah's commander in southern Lebanon boasted that the exchange, which is expected to take place Wednesday, is an official Israeli admission of defeat in their 34-day war two years ago.
Another campaign to impeach Thailand's prime minister was begun Tuesday, allegedly for giving up a claim to disputed territory on the border with Cambodia. The issue has brought daily protests to the streets of Bangkok for almost two months. The area in question contains an ancient Hindu temple, which was declared a UN World Heritage Site last week. Cambodia placed troops on alert at the temple after its caretaker claimed that a Thai military unit had been seen nearby earlier in the day.
US Army deserter Robin Long was awaiting deportation back to his base at Fort Knox, Ky., Tuesday after Canada's Federal Court rejected a final appeal of his case. The court said Long hadn't provided convincing evidence that he would be subject to irreparable harm if handed back to US authorities. He fled to Canada in 2005, claiming the war in Iraq was illegal and unjustified. A war-resisters' support group has said it believes "hundreds" of other US deserters are living underground in Canada.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono of Indonesia accepted the final report Tuesday of a truth commission on human rights abuses committed during the 1999 vote for independence in East Timor. He offered "deep regret over what happened," but did not apologize. At least 1,000 Timorese were killed by Indonesian soldiers and allied militias before and during the referendum, but only one person has gone to prison in connection with the violence.
With the coalition government of Belgium on the brink of collapse Tuesday, King Albert II was consulting with political leaders on how to proceed. Hours earlier, Prime Minister Yves Leterme offered to resign, saying it was "impossible" to bridge the divisions between Dutch- and French-speaking Belgians in a way that would give both more autonomy. The king didn't immediately accept Leterme's resignation, and his deputy urged that he stay on.
Almost all 250,000 of Japan's commercial fishermen docked their boats Tuesday to protest the spiraling price of fuel. Their federation asked the government for a tax break to help them deal with mounting losses. The one-day strike was considered the largest yet in a nation where labor actions are relatively rare. Japan is the world's second-largest consumer of seafood on a per capita basis.
Unidentified gunmen killed a state prosecutor in Guatemala City who was investigating the high-profile murders last year of three members of the Central American Parliament. Juan Carlos Martinez's death was the second of persons charged with solving the case, which is suspected of being drug-related. Four Guatemalan policemen traced to the scene of the crime also were killed before they could testify.