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IRAQ: Bomb kills 7 in Sadr City

A bomb in a parked car ripped through a Sadr City neighborhood Wednesday evening, killing seven young people who had gathered at a cafe to drink tea and play dominoes, Iraqi officials said. Sadr City is the eastern Baghdad stronghold of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Earlier in the day, three people were killed and 23 wounded in northwest Baghdad when a booby-trapped body exploded near a grocery store.


CHINA: Kindergarten slayer kills himself

In the deadliest of the rampages that have terrorized China's schools, a man hacked seven children and two adults to death with a meat cleaver Wednesday at a preschool in Shaanxi province before going home and killing himself. The attacker was identified as Wu Huanmin, 48, who owned the building that housed the Linchang Village Kindergarten, 100 miles southwest of Xian, according to Xinhua news service. Wu burst into the school as the children were arriving. Out of a class of 23 children, between the ages of 3 and 6, all but three were killed or injured. He also killed the school's administrator and the administrator's mother.


BRITAIN: Two rivals launch their coalition

Britain ushered in its first coalition government since World War II on Wednesday as two rivals-turned-partners pledged to set aside their deep policy differences and tackle the country's disastrous budget deficit. Newly minted Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his Liberal Democrat deputy Nick Clegg showcased their pact in Downing Street's sun-dappled garden. Cameron and his center-left partner pledged sweeping reforms to Parliament, civil liberties laws and ties to Europe. The one-time foes banded together after Britain's election last week denied all parties a majority, leaving the country with its first hung Parliament since 1974.


PORTUGAL: Benedict visits shrine of Fatima

Pope Benedict XVI traveled to the shrine of Fatima on Wednesday, recalling the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II and other "sufferings" of the church, which he has said included the clerical sex abuse scandal. He reminded priests and seminarians gathered at a vespers service that they must remain loyal to their vocation and help one another when "there is a certain weakening of priestly ideals." Benedict traveled to Fatima to mark the anniversary of the date, May 13, 1917, when three Portuguese shepherd children reported having visions of the Virgin Mary. John Paul was shot in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981, a coincidence that led him to believe the Virgin's "unseen hand" had "rescued him from death," Benedict said in a prayer at the shrine.

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