Minibus bomber kills at least 20 in Shiite town
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A suicide bomber detonated a minibus Wednesday in an outdoor market packed with shoppers ahead of a Muslim festival, killing about 20 people and wounding more than 60 in a Shiite town south of Baghdad. The suicide bombing occurred about 5 p.m. in the center of Musayyib, a Euphrates River town 40 miles from Baghdad. Six U.S. troops were killed, two in a helicopter crash west of the capital. A U.S. statement said the cause of the crash was under investigation.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Riot police deployed across the Ethiopian capital firing guns and lobbing grenades Wednesday to quell a second day of protests over disputed parliamentary elections. At least 23 people were killed and 150 wounded, including children, doctors and hospital workers said. The May 15 vote gave Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front control of 60 percent of the parliament. Opposition parties say the vote and ballot-counting were marred by fraud, intimidation and violence, and accuse the ruling party of rigging the elections.
PARIS -- French President Jacques Chirac, intervening after six nights of rioting in housing projects outside Paris, called Wednesday for calm and said authorities will use a firm hand to curtail what may become a "dangerous situation." The violence, sparked initially by the deaths of two teenagers, has renewed debate about France's failure to fully integrate its millions of immigrants, many of whom are trapped in poverty and grinding unemployment, living in low-cost, sometimes decrepit, suburban housing projects where gangs dealing drugs and stolen goods sometimes are in control.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Security has been tightened at the U.S. military prison in Afghanistan following the escape of a suspected al-Qaida leader, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Omar al-Farouq, born in Kuwait to Iraqi parents, was considered one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants in Southeast Asia until Indonesian authorities captured him in 2002 and turned him over to the United States. He was one of four suspected Arab terrorists to escape in July from the detention facility at Bagram. Although the escape was widely reported at the time, al-Farouq was identified by an alias and the U.S. military only confirmed Tuesday that he was among those who fled.
JERUSALEM -- A group of Israeli rabbis has put together a list of names they say should be off-limits to Jewish children -- including Ariel and Omri, the given names of Israel's prime minister and his eldest son. Uttering the name Ariel is problematic because it could beckon an angel namesake instead, drawing down his wrath, they caution. Omri -- the name of an evil biblical king -- should be taboo because of the negative connotation. The list, at www.moriya.org.il, also offers preferred names. Rabbis said they compiled the list in response to a flood of requests from parents concerned they may accidentally give their children names that could shame them for life.
-- From wire reports