Pakistan flatly rebuffed accusations by India's prime minister that its "official agencies" must have supported the November siege of Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The Foreign Ministry called Manmohan Singh's remarks a "propaganda offensive" that shifts the focus of the counterterrorism fight. But Pakistan said it is nonetheless examining the findings of an Indian investigation into the siege, which were handed over Monday.

Germany's largest energy supplier was bracing Tuesday for the loss of all natural gas flow from Russia as the latter's pipeline dispute with Ukraine intensified. Germany is Europe's largest economy, and alternative energy measures will not be sustainable over the long term, E.ON Ruhrgas warned. In Hungary, power plants were told to switch to other sources of fuel after the supply of Russian gas stopped completely. Gazprom, the Russian state-owned utility, and Ukraine blame each other for the disruption.

New questions arose about the health of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il after TV footage appeared to show that he didn't attend a huge New Year's rally in his honor in the capital, Pyongyang. Kim has not been seen at a public event since before North Korea's 60th independence day last September, and intelligence reports have suggested that he underwent brain surgery following a stroke. On Tuesday, the government released what it said were new photos of him visiting a new power plant, and later, a couple whose residence is heated by it. But the pictures did not specify an exact location or date.

In a stark warning, the magazine of the official Xinhua news agency said China faces "a peak period" for riots and protests this year. What the communist regime calls "mass incidents" will come, it said, from ongoing anger over official corruption, from the politically sensitive 20th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, and especially from the faltering economy, which is leading to millions of lost jobs.

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.

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.

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