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Terrorists exploded car bombs in Baghdad, Baquba, and Ramadi, Iraq, Tuesday, killing at least 53 people in the worst violence in more than two months. All three appeared to target predominantly Sunni areas. The purported leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq issued a new audiotaped appeal for Sunni tribesmen who switched sides to help in the US surge against terrorism to switch back.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said Tuesday it would participate in a runoff election for the presidency of Zimbabwe only if the all phases of voting were administered by the "international community." The MDC was dealt a major blow earlier this week when the High Court refused to order the release of the tally from the March 29 election, which its candidate claims he won over incumbent Robert Mugabe. A general strike to pressure the elections commission into making the results public largely was ignored Tuesday, however.

Conservative media baron Silvio Berlusconi moved quickly to set his agenda as he returns to Italy's prime ministership. With clear majorities in both houses of parliament after Monday's election, he pledged to save Alitalia, the national airline; to close the borders to illegal immigrants; and to spend "three days a week" in Naples until the city's massive trash-disposal problem is solved.

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For the second day in a row, police in Kenya's capital fought with the outlawed Mungiki crime gang, killing two more of its members. The gang caught authorities off-guard Monday by blockading transportation in Nairobi and other areas and causing the worst turmoil since the aftermath of the disputed presidential election Dec. 27. At least 14 people died in Monday's violence, which did not appear to be political. Above, police inspectors examine a bus that was destroyed in the fighting.

Share prices in Petrobras, Brazil's state oil company, soared after the company announced the discovery of another offshore reserve that could be the third-largest in the world. Industry experts estimated that it contains as much as 33 billion barrels – an amount greater than the known reserves of the US. But the first significant production from the new field, known both as Carioca and Sugarloaf, is not likely to reach market for at least 10 years, reports said.

At least 15,000 residents were being evacuated from the vicinity of Nevado del Huila, Colombia's highest volcano, after it erupted early Tuesday in a shower of hot ash. Volcanologists said it was too soon to tell whether a lava flow would follow. The volcano had been dormant for more than five centuries before showing signs of activity last year.

Twenty-one people – all but two of them preteen girls – died and several others were hurt Monday night in a dormitory fire at a primary school near Uganda's capital, Kampala. Authorities said they suspected arson because the building had been locked from the outside. Staffers at the school had been on a month-long strike over nonpayment of their wages.

Researchers at the site of the largest nuclear explosion ever detonated by the US reported "really striking" coral reefs and schools of fish, although, above water, Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific remains contaminated. The 15-megaton bomb exploded there on March 1, 1954, vaporized three islands in the atoll and raised the water temperature to 55,000 degrees F. The survey by an international team was conducted at the request of the Marshall Islands government to help determine whether a sport diving industry was feasible.

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