Responding to the harsh Chinese crackdown against protesters in Tibet, the International Olympic Committee said pressure for a boycott of the Summer Games in Beijing "doesn't solve anything." The IOC called for a peaceful resolution "to the tensions of the past days," and president Jacques Rogge offered condolences for the victims of the violence. But a boycott of the Aug. 8-24 Games, he said, "is penalizing innocent athletes."
One restaurant patron died and at least 12 other people – some of them Americans – were hurt when terrorists in Pakistan exploded another in a series of bombs. The incident occurred at a restaurant in Islamabad, the capital, twonights before the nation's new parliament is scheduled to hold its opening session. On Sunday, hundreds of miles to the west, as many as seven missiles struck a house near the border with Afghanistan believed to be a haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda militants. The dwelling was destroyed and early reports said "about 20" people were killed.
More casualties from the massive explosions at an Albanian Army depot were found Sunday, bringing the number of deaths to at least nine. Ten other people remain missing and hundreds more were hurt in the blasts. Prime Minister Sali Berisha called the explosions accidental and promised relief for residents of the area whose homes were destroyed. Contractors at the depot had been destroying hundreds of tons of communist-era ordnance.
A hostage drama in the eastern jungle of Guatemala ended peacefully late Saturday night when captors freed a party of visitors from Belgium. Police and Army troops had been ordered to the scene in case negotiations failed to win their release. The hostages were seized en route to a tourist attraction 155 miles north of Guatemala City by angry local farmers demanding title to their lands and the release of their leader from prison.
Under the watchful eyes of security police, hundreds of thousands of supporters of the two dominant political parties (some of them above) turned out across Taiwan Sunday for last-ditch rallies before next weekend's presidential election. Analysts, however, said the race between candidates Frank Hsieh of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party has inspired little of the passion of previous presidential campaigns, despite Ma's suggested closer ties with the communist government in mainland China.
For the first time, ordinary Cubans with the means to do so will be allowed to buy computers and DVD players, reports said over the weekend. A government memo obtained by the Reuters news agency said sales of these items, as well as microwave ovens and other consumer appliances would be on a staggered basis over the next year, due to tight supplies. However, the appliances must be bought in state-run stores that accept only hard currency. The average Cuban earns about $20 a month.
Decades of having to hold unauthorized services out of the public eye ended for Christians in Qatar over the weekend with the opening of a Roman Catholic church on land donated by the ruling family.Churches for five other denominations also are under construction. Although the emirate is Sunni Muslim and deeply conservative, more than 100,000 foreign nationals live there, most of them Christians who work in its oil industry.
A buildup of gas exploded in China's latest coal mining accident, killing 14 men and injuring four others, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It said the blast occurred in southwestern Yunnan Province and that an investigation was under way. Despite government efforts to upgrade safety standards, China's mines consistently rank as the most dangerous in the world.