Protesters in China have a duty to "calmly and reasonably" express their love of country, the Communist Party said Sunday after an outpouring of nationalism spread to more cities. The demonstrations, many of them outside stores in France's Carrefour supermarket chain, represent a backlash against protests over the Olympic torch relay, Tibetan independence, and Western news coverage of both subjects. The protesters accuse Carrefour of publicly supporting the Dalai Lama, a claim it denies. The demonstrations have taken place in Xian, Harbin, Wuhan, Qingdao, Dalian, and Jinan.
Another local office of Spain's ruling Socialist Party was damaged Sunday in a bomb explosion forewarned by the Basque separatist organization ETA. The blast, in the city of Elgoibar, caused no injuries since police had time to evacuate nearby residents. It was the second incident of its type in four days. Last Thursday, ETA warned of a bomb that ultimately wrecked Socialist Party offices in Bilbao and injured seven policemen.
For the second time in a row, a returning Soyuz space capsule made a hard landing far off target Saturday in the ex-Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. The craft touched down 260 miles from its intended landing site, and search helicopters could not find it for almost half an hour. The astronauts aboard, Peggy Whitson of the US, Yi So-yeon of South Korea, and Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko, were pronounced "healthy" after undergoing medical tests.
Muslim separatists were blamed for planting a bomb that exploded near a busy market in southern Thailand Sunday, wounding 13 people. Police in troubled Yala Province said the remote-controlled device was activated by a cellphone signal. In neighboring Narathiwat Province, two police officers were shot to death as they guarded a polling place during a local election. Violence in the Muslim-majority south has killed more than 2,900 people since early 2004. Last week, the region was the only one in Thailand not to be affected by the lifting of martial law.
At least 20 rebels and six soldiers were reported dead in the heaviest fighting in months near Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. The clashes began last Thursday night when fighters of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) shelled the city and the Army counterattacked. The FLN and Burundi's government signed a peace accord in September 2006, but it has yet to be implemented.
An investigation was ordered by Argentina's president into whether hundreds of fires in the countryside were set deliberately by farmers to clear their land. At least two people were arrested Saturday, and courts issued warrants to search more than a dozen farms for evidence. Smoke from the rapidly spreading fires was blamed for causing nine traffic fatalities, delays of commercial flights, and cancellation of sports events in Buenos Aires, the capital. Below, a couple in the city wear protective masks in the smoky air.
Some patrons were forced to escape through bathroom windows as fire raced through a crowded nightclub in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, killing at least 15 people. Thirty-five others were hospitalized with burns or due to smoke inhalation. Arriving firefighters reported having to batter open the exit doors, which had been padlocked. The blaze was blamed on fireworks ignited by a popular rock group.
A $1.3 billion plan to increase production of rice, vegetables, and fruits was announced by Malaysia's prime minister Saturday to try to offset fast-rising prices at market. Malaysia has been producing enough rice to meet almost 70 percent of demand, but Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he sought to raise the standard to 100 percent. Public anger over spiraling prices was an issue in the national election last month in which Abdullah's National Front turned in its worst showing in a half century.