Chinese soldiers blew up wooden houses and other debris Sunday in the Tangjiashan lake formed by the May 12 earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people. Draining the lake by speeding the flow of water into a spillway has become a priority in government efforts to head off another catastrophe. More than 1 million people who live downriver are threatened by imminent flooding.
Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to start drafting sections of a proposed peace accord that addresses the main issues of their conflict, Ahmed Qureia, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Saturday. It is the first time since negotiations resumed more than six months ago that anything will be put to paper on final borders, the status of disputed Jerusalem, and the future of Palestinian refugees. Israeli government officials declined to comment.
Tokyo police arrested a man Sunday who drove a rented truck into a crowd of pedestrians and then went on a random midday stabbing rampage that left six people dead and 12 wounded. The accused said he was in a depressed state.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said Saturday that his government would soon amend a controversial new law to allay fears of citizens required to act as informants if authorities believe they have information on national security threats. The law would have punished noncooperative citizens with up to four years in prison. Above, Chávez greets supporters as he attended a meeting Saturday in Maracaibo.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahma-dinejad Sunday that Iraq's government will not allow the country to become a launching pad for an attack on its neighbor. Iran strongly opposes a long-term security arrangement that Washington and Baghdad hope to finish by mid-summer.
A junior party in Pakistan's coalition government called Sunday for the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf after the longtime US ally in the war on terror deflected rising calls for his resignation. Musharraf also denied he planned to go into exile. The infighting comes as the country faces a dire economic situation and ongoing militancy in its regions bordering Afghanistan.
In what some observers call mostly a symbolic gesture, the government of Indonesia's mountainous Gorontalo Province has begun requiring prospective newlyweds to plant 10 tree seedlings as part of a nationwide "re-greening" initiative. Illegal logging endangers Indonesia's forests.
Severe restrictions placed on purse-seine tuna fishing in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean since the early 1990s appear to be having their intended effect in restoring dolphin populations, according to biologists with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Because they got caught in the tuna nets, the number of northeastern offshore spotted and eastern spinner dolphins dropped by as much as 80 percent between 1960 and 1990.