Two rockets fired from southern Lebanon fell on an Israeli border town late Monday night, causing property damage but no casualties. The attack, the second of its type since the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah militants, came on the eve of President Bush's trip to the region. Neither Hizbullah nor Lebanese government officials would comment on the incident. Hours later, two members of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon were hurt when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
Tamil rebels were blamed for the assassination Tuesday of a senior Sri Lankan government official in an incident considered certain to heighten worry of an intensified civil war. D.M. Dassanayake died after a bomb exploded beside his car (above) in a suburb of Colombo, the capital. He had coordinated rebuilding efforts in eastern areas damaged when government forces ousted the rebels last summer. The assassination came two days after the death of the rebels' top intelligence officer and less than a week after the government pulled out of the 2002 truce with the separatists.
Newly elected African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma won a key vote of confidence from party executives Tuesday and will remain its candidate for president of South Africa. Zuma is due to go on trial in August for fraud, racketeering, and other charges. But the ANC's executive committee said it had "grave misgivings" about the charges and will seek to assist his defense. His trial could overlap next year's presidential election.
Despite the official visit of India's defense minister, the government of Malaysia announced Tuesday that it has suspended the recruitment of guest workers from his country as well as from Bangladesh.Nationals from those countries already in Malaysia won't be granted extensions of their work permits, the government said. Analysts suggested the move was linked to large street protests late last year over the treatment of ethnic Indians. Malaysian factories and plantations employ about 250,000 Indians and Bangladeshis.
Leftist President Evo Morales of Bolivia and dissident provincial governors met for seven hours Monday night and into Tuesday to try to resolve their deep political feud. But the talks appeared to result only in a proposal to resume the meeting later. The governors oppose Morales's reform agenda, spelled out in a new draft constitution, that would give more power to the poor indigenous majority. Above, an ethnic Indian contrasts with affluent teens on a park bench in La Paz, the capital.
All but a few members of former Indonesian President Suharto's large family gathered at a hospital in Jakarta Tuesday amid reports that his condition had become "highly unstable" and his life was hanging in the balance. The longtime dictator has been in ill health for years, causing a trial on corruption charges to be canceled in 2006. But Indonesia's attorney general rejected a call on Monday by some of his children to drop a civil case against him.
A teenage Boy Scout grabbed the knife that an attacker used to try to assassinate the president of the Maldives Tuesday.Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has ruled since 1978, was unhurt, but the youth required medical treatment for a wound to his hand. The motive for the attack wasn't immediately known, although the Maldives have experienced repeated political turmoil in recent years.
Almost half of the perfect scores on one of the world's most challenging tests of academic proficiency last year were earned by students from a single school in Singapore, reports said Tuesday. The International Baccalaureate was taken by 5,500 students from 125 countries in November. Twenty of them – nine from Singapore's independent Anglo-Chinese School – scored the maximum 45 points. A score of 40 qualifies a student for admission to an Ivy League university in the US or to Oxford in England.