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World

By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn / March 28, 2008



There will be a fight to the finish against Shiite militias, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed Thursday as the militants put up more stiff resistance in the power struggles in Basra, Kut, Hillah, and Baghdad's Green Zone and Sadr City neighborhood. Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, however, calling Maliki a "new dictator," and Sadrist members of parliament urged security forces not to be "tools of death."

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Weeping and shouting, about 30 Tibetan monks burst into a news briefing for foreign reporters in Lhasa, the capital, accusing China's government of lying about the unrest there earlier this month. They also complained about a lack of religious freedom.The incident lasted 15 minutes before police led the protesters away. China has called foreign reporting on the Tibet violence "a textbook of bad examples."

All 11 South Korean executives at a joint industrial park on the border with the communist north were expelled Thursday, apparently in response to criticism of the latter's human rights record. The move was seen as one of the most aggressive in years by North Korea, and analysts said it suggested that the government in Pyongyang is "trying to train" the south's new president in how it wants to conduct bilateral relations. Production in the industrial park, hailed as a model for eventual reconciliation, reportedly will continue.

In another blow to Colombia's largest left-wing rebel force, government agents seized at least 66 pounds of uranium that had been stashed in an area not far from the capital, Bogotá. The site reportedly was found in files on the computer of Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) leader Raul Reyes, who died March 1 in a cross-border raid in Ecuador. FARC lacks the ability to make a bomb from uranium, analysts said. But they suggested that trafficking in the radioactive element appears to indicate that FARC meant to sell it to raise money for its operations.

Gen. Than Shwe, the senior member of the ruling junta in Burma (Maynmar), told Army Day celebrations that it "will try" to make the referendum in May on a new constitution "free and fair." But he said there would be no "handing over of state power" to civilians until after multiparty elections that have been announced for 2010. Foreign reporters were barred from the event, the first since Buddhist monks led antigovernment protests last year.

NATO and European Union troops conducted a new raid on the homes of fugitive Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's family and that of a neighbor, looking for clues to his whereabouts. The search was sought by the UN War Crimes Tribunal for the Balkans, which has indicted Karadzic for genocide in the Bosnian war of the 1990s. He and ex-military chief Ratko Mladic have eluded arrest for 16 years in what analysts call an embarrassment for the two alliances. Below, police wave away the curious during the raid.

Five residents remained missing Thursday in the rubble of a large apartment building in western Norway, and authorities rated the probability that any would be found alive as "minimal." Fifteen others were hospitalized. The accident in the city of Aalesund Wednesday appeared to be caused by a rockslide that caved in lower floors and ruptured a propane gas tank. The building was less than five years old.

A mother in Latvia was awaiting word on when she'll be reunited with her son, 16 years after he was kidnapped while she shopped for groceries. Authorities said DNA testing confirmed their relationship. His mother had placed repeated newspaper ads asking for a sign that he was still alive. He was 6 weeks old when abducted at a supermarket.

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