Immediate pressure was building on Pakistani President-elect Asif Ali Zardari to address Islamist militancy as the casualty count from a massive terrorist bombing climbed to 35 deaths. Zardari, who was the overwhelming choice of members of parliament Saturday, has vowed to crack down on militancy. But, analysts say, if he's too tough, he risks inflaming public opinion as his predecessor, Pervez Musharraf, did, as well as a backlash by tribes in the regions bordering Afghanistan. There were no early claims of responsibility for the bombing Saturday at a police checkpoint outside the city of Peshawar, which also wounded more than 80 people.Skip to next paragraph
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Saying no deal is preferable to a bad deal, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai challenged Zimbabwe's president Sunday to call a new national election. Tsvangirai said his Movement for Democratic Change would pull out of the deadlocked negotiations for a power-sharing government unless President Robert Mugabe agrees to cede more of his authority. For his part, Mugabe has threatened to form a new cabinet without Tsvangirai. The latter won the March 29 election but not by enough votes to avoid a runoff, which Mugabe dominated when Tsvangirai boycotted it.
Military leaders and embattled Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej both dismissed the possibility of another coup in Thailand despite daily protests against the latter's rule that began in May and have intensified in recent weeks. Samak is due to leave Bangkok later this month to address the annual opening of the UN General Assembly. Two years ago, the Army ousted a predecessor, Thaksin Shinawatra, while he was attending the General Assembly's opening session. Protesters have vowed not to stop until Samak resigns.
A landslide victory appeared all but certain for Angola's ruling MPLA movement Sunday on the basis of preliminary election tallies. But UNITA, the largest opposition party and former rebel force, vowed to challenge the outcome in court because of what it called numerous irregularities. The MPLA has held power in the oil-producing nation since its independence from Portugal in 1975. Analysts did not expect a return to civil war, but cautioned that UNITA's challenge could shake the fragile stability that has followed 27 years of conflict.
Angry residents of a slum outside Cairo turned on police and civil defense officials Sunday for their "inefficient" response to a massive rock slide that buried the community, killing at least 31 people. Forty-six others were hospitalized, and authorities were unable to provide an accurate estimate of the number still trapped under the rubble; reports said only that it was "countless." The rock slide occurred early Saturday. More than 24 hours later, most rescue operations were being carried out by residents themselves with their bare hands.
Claims by her political party that democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has been refusing food were denied Sunday by the military rulers of Burma (Myanmar). Police commander Khen Yi told a news briefing that Suu Kyi had instructed her lawyer to respond to inquiries by saying she's well but has "lost some weight" in recent weeks. She has been under house arrest since early 2003. Late last week, her National League for Democracy stopped just short of saying she was on a hunger strike to protest her confinement.
At least 14 people were killed and dozens more were hurt early Sunday when a bus that may have been carrying tourists slammed into a pillar supporting an overpass along Croatia's Adriatic coast, reports said. The accident was one of the worst in the history of a nation whose economy relies heavily on tourism.