Shrugging off new criticism by the Bush administration, Iran's leaders revealed that they are building a second nuclear power plant. The White House said that with the delivery Monday by Russia of fuel for the virtually complete Bushehr reactor, the Islamic republic had no further need for a program to enrich uranium. But Iran's Atomic Organization said another 360-megawatt power plant is under construction near Bushehr and its fuel "needs to be produced" domestically. It was not clear how far the work on the second plant has progressed.

Although he has remained on the campaign trail, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan (above) lost his challenge Tuesday to a ruling that he may not compete in next month's critical parliamentary election. The Election Commission said the appeal should have been filed with a special tribunal of judges known to be loyal to his political enemy, President Pervez Musharraf. Sharif has refused to ask that tribunal for help. The Election Commission also denied permission for his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, to contest the Jan. 8 vote.

Conservative candidate Lee Myung-bak appeared in position to win Wednesday's presidential election in South Korea. He predicted "a large backlash" from voters after the National Assembly OK'd at the 11th hour an independent investigation into allegations that he was involved in a stock-manipulation scandal. Sounding confident in late campaign appearances, Lee said he'll "make sure there will be no grounds for negative campaigning" once he's in office. Above, supporters of rival candidate Lee Hoi-chang warm up the crowd for his final campaign appearance in Seoul.

Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of trucks hauling gasoline in western Afghanistan Tuesday, killing at least 15 guards, wounding nine others, and setting one of the tankers on fire, authorities in Farah Province said. A Taliban spokesman claimed that 12 more guards had been captured, but that could not immediately be confirmed. The spokesman disputed claims that six Taliban died in a counterattack by coalition forces in the area, saying only two had been lost.

By a bare majority, members of parliament in Ukraine voted to confirm "Orange Revolution" heroine Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister. She won 226 votes, the minimum requirement, when her oppo nents boycotted the process. Tymoshenko was denied her old post last week by a single vote. Analysts cautioned, however, that her narrow victory leaves the opposition in a strong position to challenge any initiatives attempted by the pro-Western prime minister.

In a lengthy letter read on state TV Monday, Fidel Castro suggested for the first time that he may not return to Cuba's leadership. He wrote, in part, "My basic duty is not to cling to office [or] obstruct the path of younger people." Castro yielded power temporarily to his younger brother, Raul, when he underwent surgery in July 2006. He has not appeared in public since then.

Results of last weekend's national election in Kyrgyzstan were thrown into doubt as the Supreme Court overturned a new rule on vote-counting that would have kept opposition parties from winning any seats in parliament. Under the rule, only President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's Ak Jol Party would have cleared the threshold for representation in the legislature. The court's move means that one rival party now may be awarded some seats.

Venturing where other Russian ships would not, the crew of a powerful Norwegian helicopter rescued all 12 seamen aboard a freighter that had run aground and lost power in "severe weather" off the port of Murmansk Tuesday. Norweg-ian authorities said they were asked for help because Russian vessels in the area couldn't risk approaching the stranded freighter.

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