At least 24 people were killed and more than 200 others were hurt Tuesday in Lahore, Pakistan, in twin terrorist bomb explosions. The blasts, about 15 minutes apart, were the sixth and seventh of their type since the Feb. 18 election for a new parliament. Opponents of US-backed President Pervez Musharraf blamed him for the violence, with one saying, "It started when we started having a friendship with America." Above, flames from an exploded car bomb burn outside the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore.
If any other candidate but incumbent Robert Mugabe wins Zimbabwe's March 29 presidential election, the Army will not "support or salute" him, its commander warned. Gen. Constantine Chiwenga was quoted by the Zimbabwe Standard newspaper as asking rhetorically, "What is wrong with the Army supporting [Mugabe] against the election of sellouts?" Mugabe is opposed for reelection by ex-Finance Minster Simba Makoni and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He accuses both of accepting financing for their campaigns from the US and Britain.
There will be clean air in Beijing for the Olympic Summer Games, a senior Chinese environmental official said Tuesday. Zhang Lijun said "all tasks necessary" for cutting pollution in the city will be completed by June. The Games open Aug. 8. Zhang sought to allay concerns that surfaced again when the world record-holder in the marathon, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, said he was unlikely to compete in that event at the Olympics because "the pollution in China is a threat to my health." Above, in a photo taken Monday, the Olympic countdown clock in Beijing's Tiananmen Square isn't visible because of the smoky air.
Sinn Fein, the major Catholic political party in Northern Ireland, warned of new instability unless it achieves control of the justice system by May. Leaving a meeting Monday with Prime Minister Bertie Ahern of the Irish Republic, Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness said if the goal isn't met, they'd demonstrate that sharing power with Protestants is faltering. That, they said, "risks undermining the investment potential" of Northern Ireland. Responsibility for police and the courts currently rests with Britain, and Protestants worry that with Sinn Fein in control, a veteran of the outlawed Irish Republican Army would be put in charge of both.
Airbus, the European aviation giant and chief competitor to Boeing, lost $1.35 billion last year, its parent company reported. The European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Co. (EADS) blamed the red ink on production delays, especially on its A380 superjumbo passenger jet, and on the fact that its costs are paid in euros while customers pay for finished planes in US dollars. EADS predicted it would return to profitability this year.
Over the protests of animal welfare activists, Canada's government raised the quota of harp seals that may be culled this year. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said hunters may kill up to 275,000. That is 5,000 more than last year, when poor ice conditions limited the hunt. The International Fund for Animal Welfare said it was "stunned" at the increase, calling it impossible to justify. But a fisheries department spokesman said, "The seal herd is healthy and abundant right now."
Almost on its original site, a Jewish sports club reopened in Vienna Tuesday, 70 years after it was seized by Nazi troops arriving to annex Austria. The Hakoah Athletic Club had facilities for soccer, wrestling, swimming, and water polo and regularly sent teams abroad to compete before many of its members were executed. Membership in the new club will be open to non-Jews as a means of building bridges to the larger community, reports said.