World briefs 2/10/05
Pope misses first Ash Wednesday public prayers
VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II marked Ash Wednesday with a Mass for doctors in his Rome hospital room as he recovered from the flu and breathing troubles, missing public prayers ushering in the sacred Lenten season at the Vatican for the first time in his 26-year papacy. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope's vicar for Rome, visited the 84-year-old pontiff and said he found him "very well" more than a week after he was hospitalized.
Russians killed in blast at Siberian coal mine
MOSCOW -- An explosion ripped through a mine in a coal-rich region of Siberia on Wednesday, killing at least 18 workers and leaving eight missing in the latest accident in an industry plagued by dilapidated shafts, aging equipment and safety violations. The blast occurred at the 20-year-old Yesaulskaya mine in the Kemerovo region, about 1,850 miles east of Moscow, as mine workers were trying to prevent a fire from spreading.
Strong earthquake in Indonesia sets off panic
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- A strong earthquake struck Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province Wednesday, shaking buildings as terrified residents fled for higher ground in cars and on foot while police shouted "Tsunami! Tsunami!" Entire families jumped aboard nearby scooters and passing vehicles and sped off, snarling traffic on the main two-lane thoroughfare. Some headed to mosques, whose sturdy foundations and upper floors offered protection from the killer waves in the Dec. 26 disaster. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Bomb blamed on Basque separatists injures 43
MADRID, Spain -- A car bomb blamed on Basque separatists exploded in a Madrid office park Wednesday near where King Juan Carlos later appeared, injuring at least 43 people in the worst terrorist attack in the Spanish capital since last year's bombing of commuter trains. The bomb exploded at about 9:30 a.m., less than an hour after a warning call purportedly made by the Basque separatist group ETA. It shattered thick panes of glass in buildings -- spraying shards over a wide area -- and damaged cars.
Death of terror suspect raises torture questions
KUWAIT CITY -- The alleged ringleader of an anti-American terrorist group died of heart failure nine days after he was detained, the government said Wednesday, raising questions over whether he was tortured. Amer Khlaif al-Enezi, 29, died Tuesday, an interior ministry official said on condition of anonymity. A Muslim fundamentalist lawmaker, Walid Tabtabai, asked the government to disclose the circumstances of al-Enezi's death and whether a coroner had examined the body.
Diplomats: U.S. wants ElBaradei out of IAEA
VIENNA, Austria -- The United States is lobbying allies in a bid to oust the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, perhaps as early as the end of the month, diplomats and officials said Wednesday. Washington, which accuses Iran of making nuclear weapons and wants it brought before the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions, considers IAEA head Moham-med ElBaradei too soft on the Tehran leadership.