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WORLD NEWS BRIEFS

ARGENTINA / 2 Americans on raft killed

Two U.S. tourists were killed Monday in an accident at the Iguazu Falls on northern Argentina's border with Brazil, authorities said. Laura Natejik Evert, 28, and Philip Musgrove, 70, were in an inflatable boat that flipped over after hitting rocks near the waterfall, said Jorge Veron, an official in Misiones province. He did not list their hometowns. Five people -- an American, two Germans, a Colombian and an Argentine -- were hospitalized.

PAKISTAN / 52 feared dead in mine

Rescuers used shovels and bare hands Monday to dig for miners buried after a gas explosion deep in a coal mine in Sorange, in southwestern Pakistan, as 52 are feared dead. Since Sunday, 27 bodies were found. A government official said the state-affiliated mine was declared dangerous two weeks ago because of methane gas. The search has been slowed by the gas and the mine's fragile state, he said.

RUSSIA / Robert Gates begins tour

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Russia Monday to ease Moscow's worries over a missile defense shield in Europe and to expand a military relationship that has grown dramatically since his Cold War days at the helm of the CIA. Gates, who is retiring this summer, told reporters that Russian cooperation in the Afghanistan war and support of UN resolutions against North Korea and Iran underscore an alliance that has evolved in recent years. Monday, he met with mid-level officers of the Russian naval academy. He heads to Moscow Tuesday.

CHINA / Google: Gmail blocked

Google said China's government is blocking its Gmail service, after users reported trouble accessing the site. Users of the Web-based email service have had difficulty accessing accounts and sending email in China for the past two weeks. Li Wufeng, chief of the Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau of China's State Council, didn't return a call to his office Monday.

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