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In tears, the rebel believed to have wounded East Timor's president in an assassination attempt surrendered, kissing the hand of his intended victim. Marcelo Caetano and 11 followers (one of them above) turned in their assault rifles in a televised ceremony Tuesday. President Jose Ramos-Horta, who was severely wounded in the Feb. 11 attack, asked the rebels to confess but said he had "no desire for revenge."

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There will be no return to the politics that were in place before the coup that toppled Fiji's government two years ago, military ruler Frank Bainimarama said. Bainimarama, under international pressure to fulfill a pledge for a national election by April 2009, said his critics are "deluding themselves" if they think he'll allow the island nation to be governed again by a system "where there was repugnant racial discrimination [and] an alarmingly high level of official corruption." The remarks appear to cast doubt on whether his planned changes to the system leave enough time to meet the election deadline, analysts said.

Voters in Rome gave the conservative candidate for mayor an easy victory, ending 15 years of leftist control in Italy's capital. The outcome adds to the impact of the right-wing takeover of both houses of parliament earlier this month, when ex-Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni lost the prime ministership. Conservatives also run Milan, the financial capital, leaving only the ceremonial presidency in leftist hands.

Despite a harrowing return to Earth last week, South Korea's first astronaut pledged to "pay back" public support of her mission by passing up other opportunities to help develop the national space program. Yi So-yeon, a bioengineer still in her 20s, said she'll work as a researcher and lecturer in aerospace science. The Russian Soyuz capsule that carried her and two other astronauts back from the International Space Station made a hard landing 260 miles off-target.

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