The second explosion in three days in Baghdad's busy shopping district killed one Iraqi civilian and injured another. Witnesses said the blast went off as US military vehicles drove by. Hours earlier, US troops detained nine men north of the Iraqi capital in a raid targeting suspected anticoalition insurgents. The Los Angeles Times reported, meanwhile, that documents recovered in Iraq indicate that SES International Corp., a Syrian firm headed by a cousin of the country's leader, Bashar Assad, supplied arms and ammunition to the former regime ahead of the US-led invasion in March, violating a UN embargo. The company denied involvement in illicit trade.
After a series of letter-bomb incidents, the European Union tightened security at its Brussels headquarters and elsewhere. Two devices have been intercepted at EU offices in The Hague and another was sent to the head of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, since a package bomb went off Sunday at the Bologna, Italy, home of EU Commission President Romano Prodi. None of the incidents caused injuries. Investigators reportedly are focusing on an Italian anarchist group.
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf won the power to fire the prime minister and disband parliament in sweeping constitutional changes approved by the Senate Tuesday. Opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote and a previous one in the house. Passage followed Musharraf's recent agreement with a powerful Islamist political bloc, the MMA, to resign as army chief by the end of 2004. The president originally seized power in a 1999 military coup.
Unusually cold weather in northern India has killed more than 100 people in four days, officials said. Most were street laborers or beggars in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, where temperatures are hovering near 41 degrees, F. Many schools have closed, and local authorities have distributed blankets and lit bonfires for the homeless.
Although he's said he won't run, Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma may seek a third term next year, the Constitutional Court ruled. The post-Soviet constitution sets a two-term limit, but the court said that didn't apply because it was ratified in 1996, two years after Kuchma's first term began. Opposition parties said they may stage protests against the ruling in January.