Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was urging Pakistan to cooperate "fully and transparently" with India in investigations of last week's terrorist attacks in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). But early signals from President Asif Ali Zardari suggested that he's reluctant to do as she asked. Zardari told CNN that his government won't honor an Indian demand to turn over 20 suspected terrorists believed to be in Pakistan. "If we had the proof, we would try them in our courts," he said. Amid the diplomatic discussions, Indian police defused explosives found in abandoned luggage at Mumbai's main railway station.Skip to next paragraph
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An estimated 230,000 stranded travelers finally had hope that they'll be able to leave Thailand as antigovernment protesters lifted their eight-day siege of Bangkok's new international airport and the first flights resumed. But protesters vowed to return at the first sign that allies of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra might regain political power. Parliament is due to meet Monday to choose the third head of government in three months.
Deep cuts in subsidies and a hike in taxes will be necessary, Iran's president said, acknowledging publicly for the first time that slumping crude oil prices are taking a heavy toll on the fragile economy. Iran is the second-largest producer in the OPEC cartel, which has seen futures prices nosedive from $147 a barrel in July to $47.53 in trading Wednesday. The IRNA news agency quoted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying his government has no choice but to adjust its budgeting assumptions for next year to a price of $30 to $35 a barrel and "leave a major part of our projects behind." Analysts said the admission comes at a bad time for the hard-line president, whose popularity is dwindling as he seeks reelection in June.
Without collecting a ransom, pirates from Somalia have released a cargo ship they seized last week, authorities confirmed Wednesday. The hijackers had been demanding $2 million to free the Yemeni vessel and its seven-man crew. The ship is carrying 507 tons of steel.
Canada's governor-general cut short an official trip to Europe Wednesday and was returning to address the political crisis that threatens to topple Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As Queen Elizabeth II's representative, Michaelle Jean will have the final say if Harper asks her to suspend Parliament so it can't hold a vote of no-confidence in his seven-week-old minority government. Such a request would be unprecedented, reports said, but Harper vowed to "use every means we have" to survive. An opposition alliance is seeking to force him from power for what it says has been too little attention to Canada's financial problems.