The first group of foreign journalists allowed into Tibet's capital since the violence earlier this month saw heavily armed police stationed at virtually every intersection. The Chinese government arranged the two-day visit even as it vowed tighter controls over Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and adjoining provinces. It also said more than 660 people had surrendered and posted the names of 53 others wanted in connection with the violence.
Israel's Defense Forces announced the capture of the Hamas operative behind the 2002 Passover Seder bombing, an attack that killed 30 people and wounded 143 others. Omar Jaber was discovered in Qalqiliya in the West Bank when soldiers went there Tuesday night to arrest another fugitive. His capture came two days shy of the March 27 attack in a Netanya hotel.
Saying, "I want a new brotherhood," President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in London Wednesday for the first full state visit to Britain by a French leader since 1996. Sarkozy planned to propose pooling Britain's and France's arms industries as well as increasing cooperation on economic and immigration matters. Analysts said his visit comes at a time when he and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown both confront declining approval ratings, suggesting also that he may be reaching out to Britain because he has a chilly relationship with Europe's other key leader, Angela Merkel of Germany.
A news photographer was being treated for his wounds and more than 80 protesters were in jails around Minsk, the capital of Belarus, Wednesday after police beat demonstrators at a rally that the government had banned. Thousands of participants, many of them apparently students, were celebrating the anniversary of "Freedom Day," the March 25, 1918, declaration of independence from Russia that has become a rallying point for defiance of hard-line President Alexander Lukashenko.
In a toughly worded address to the nation Tuesday night, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez refused to back down from unpopular tax hikes that have brought the vital agricultural sector to a near-standstill. Despite a two-week blockade of highways used by farmers to bring their produce to market, plus angry pot-banging protests (one of them above) in the cities, Fernandez said she would "not submit to extortion" and that her government won't negotiate with farmers' representatives until the rebellion ends. Organizers have vowed to continue it "for as long as necessary."
An Egyptian vendor approaching a chartered container ship in the Suez Canal was killed by a warning shot, the US Embassy in Cairo acknowledged Wednesday. Embassy officials originally said there were no casualties as a result of the incident late Monday night. Although the cargo vessel (above, framed by fishermen hours after the shooting) bears no military markings, it is carrying war materiel and has a security team aboard. That's because terrorists in Middle Eastern waters have used small boats to approach military and other ships and detonate powerful explosives.
Quipping, "Do you remember the way?" Georgia's Economy Minister departed the cockpit moments before the first commercial flight to Moscow in 18 months took off from Tbilisi airport. The Georgian Airways jet carried 90 passengers. The Kremlin imposed sweeping sanctions against Georgia in October 2006 in a dispute with the latter's pro-Western government. Maritime links also are expected to be restored by week's end, although bans on highway traffic and Georgian imports remain in effect.
Thick black smoke made the work of firefighters difficult as they tried to contain a massive blaze in Dubai's industrial zone before it spread to residential neighborhoods. At least two people died in the inferno, caused by a series of explosions at a fireworks plant.