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Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political bloc, the National Accordance Front, returned to the government fold Saturday after calling off a nearly one-year boycott of the Shiite-dominated leadership. The return is seen as a significant advance toward reconciliation and efforts to cement security cooperation between Shiite-led forces and armed Sunni groups that rose up against Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Beijing started its most drastic pollution-control plan Sunday, restricting car use and limiting factory emissions in a last-minute push to clear smog-choked skies for the Olympics, which begin Aug. 8. Under the plan, half of the city's 3.3 million cars must stay off the roads on alternating days, depending on a car's license number. Meanwhile, a 100,000-strong antiterrorism force is increasingly making its presence known. Above, paramilitary policemen stand in front of the main Olympic stadium, known as the Bird's Nest.

NATO said Sunday that its forces accidentally killed at least four civilians in eastern Afghanistan, and that an investigation is under way to determine how three other civilians were killed in the Barmal district of Paktika Province. The reported civilian deaths could hurt popular support for the Afghan government and for foreign forces operating there.


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