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Government forces in Sri Lanka claimed another major victory over Tamil rebels, the capture of much of a strategic causeway linking the mainland to the separatist enclave on the Jaffna Peninsula. If confirmed, this would allow the government forces to link up with fellow troops who've been cut off from the mainland by rebel positions on Jaffna, analysts said. Last week, the Army took the rebel capital, Kilinochchi.Skip to next paragraph
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Toyota said it will close all of its Japanese assembly plants for 11 days next month because it is "coping with a slump in global sales." The automaker already is preparing for a three-day shutdown later this month of its domestic plants, the first in 15 years. Its plants in the US were closed twice last year for up to three months. Japan's Automobile Dealers Association reported Monday that sales of new vehicles fell by 3.2 million last year, the most since 1974.
A rival who challenged the authority of Congo's powerful rebel chief apparently has failed and will be charged with "high treason," reports said. The BBC quoted the National Congress for the Defense of the People as saying it removed Laurent Nkunda last weekend for "bad leadership." But Nkunda "is still chairman," an aide said, and the NCDP would discuss the matter at a special meeting. Eastern Congo has been relatively quiet since an offensive by Nkunda's forces last fall that left an estimated 250,000 people homeless.
A "deliberate explosion" was discovered by employees of EnCana, one of Canada's largest energy utilities, at a natural gas pipeline site in British Columbia. The incident, which caused no leakage, was at least the fourth targeting an EnCana site in three months. An ecoterrorism expert familiar with the attacks said the public so far has not responded to appeals for tips or leads.