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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn / March 5, 2009



Five suspects were under arrest in Pakistan for what police said was their connection to Tuesday's ambush of the visiting cricket team from Sri Lanka. But a spokesman said no progress had been made in catching the gunmen who killed six police guards and wounded seven athletes. President Asif Ali Zardari pledged that the "perpetrators ... will be unearthed and dealt with with iron hands." But skeptics noted that the police have a weak record in investigating terrorist attacks, often rounding up people who are never charged.

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It's not possible to hold the voting for president of Afghanistan earlier than Aug. 20, the Election Commission said Wednesday, rejecting incumbent Hamid Karzai's attempt to move the date up to next month. The commission cited "the weather, security, budgetary, and technical problems" in vetoing the April date, even though the Constitution says the balloting should be held a minimum of 30 days before Karzai's term expires May 22. The August date has the support of his political rivals, plus the US, the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and the UN.

International critics of Zim-babwe's politics should note the progress made in forming a unity government and end the sanctions they've imposed, new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said in his first speech to Parliament. The former opposition leader said his economically distressed country needs to reestablish relations with "the donor community," but on the basis of respect for its sovereignty rather than strictly "humanitarian assistance." He also said the violent breakup of political rallies by police must stop.

Parliament Speaker Raimundo Pereira took the oath of office as interim president of Guinea-Bissau, easing worries that the military would seize power. He pledged to organize a national election "in time." The Constitution requires a presidential vote within 60 days of an incumbent leaving office. But one lawmaker said, "That is only a theory right now; two months is not much time to prepare" after Sunday's assassinations of President Joao Bernardo Vieira and his rival, Army chief Tagme Na Waie.

Masked security police raided Ukraine's state gas company, confiscating documents related to the controversial pipeline contract signed with its Russian counterpart in January. The company, Naftogaz, and Gazprom of Russia both suggested that the raid threatens Ukraine's next payment for the fuel, which is due this weekend. But a police official described it as a "standard investigation" and said Naftogaz knew a raid was likely. Gas supplies have been at the center of a bitter feud between Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko.

Full-time supervision of Micro-soft is no longer necessary, the European Union's executive commission said Wednesday because the US software giant is complying with a 2004 order to share technical data with competitors. Microsoft remains under the antitrust ruling, but the EU said that, when needed, supervision now can be conducted by consultants. The company twice was fined heavily for denying rivals access to "interoperability codes." It also has had to pay the costs of the full-time monitoring.

Two jet-ski operators towed the last stranded pilot whale from a beach in Tasmania back to open water Wednesday, completing what officials called one of the most successful wildlife rescues in Australian history. In all, 53 whales and seven dolphins that had beached themselves Sunday were refloated. Despite those efforts, 140 other whales and two dolphins did not survive. The mass beaching was the second there in three months and the third since November.

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