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ENGLAND100,000 march to back tamil tigers

elbingerode, germany: People stand in front of an Easter bonfire, an old German ethnic custom, on Saturday. Meanwhile in Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI carried a candle into a packed St. Peter’s Basilica to start the vigil Mass.

Associated Press

elbingerode, germany: People stand in front of an Easter bonfire, an old German ethnic custom, on Saturday. Meanwhile in Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI carried a candle into a packed St. Peter’s Basilica to start the vigil Mass.

At least 100,000 people marched in London on Saturday to demand an immediate end to Sri Lanka's military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. Ethnic Tamils and their supporters packed the streets, brandishing Tamil Tiger flags and urging Britain to suspend development aid to Sri Lanka, a former British colony.

Sri Lankan forces have recently made significant gains in their more than two-decade-long war against the rebels, who draw their support from the minority Tamil population. The offensive has sent the civilian death toll soaring and led to international criticism.

The Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for Tamils, who have faced decades of marginalization by governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Ecuador

Volcano threatens Galapagos species

A volcano erupted Saturday in the Galapagos Islands, and officials said unique animal and plant species could be harmed. La Cumbre volcano began spewing lava, gas and smoke on uninhabited Fernandina Island after four years of inactivity.

The eruption is not a threat to people living on nearby Isabela Island, Galapagos National Parks said. But it said lava flowing to the sea likely will affect marine and terrestrial iguanas, wolves and other fauna.

FOREST HILLS, Pa.

Priest's car runs into parishioners, killing 1

The pastor of a western Pennsylvania church said a retired priest was in a state of shock and in need of prayers after police and witnesses said he drove into a group of churchgoers following a Good Friday service, killing an elderly woman and injuring four other people. Police and witnesses said the priest was driving around to the church entrance when his car sped into a small group standing under a shelter.

terrytown, La.

Gunmen storm home, killing woman, 2 kids

Gunmen kicked down an apartment door in a troubled New Orleans-area neighborhood and opened fire early Saturday, killing two children and a woman, authorities said. An 11-year-old girl was in stable condition, and investigators were searching for suspects. Dominique Sterling, 19, her 23-month-old son and a 6-year-old boy were killed. Investigators found marijuana and crack cocaine in the apartment.

united nations

Sanctions for N. Korea to be slightly stricter

The U.N. Security Council was poised Saturday to penalize North Korea for launching a missile, with the five permanent members plus Japan agreeing to slightly tighten sanctions. The draft text of the presidential statement, a step below a Security Council resolution, called for ramping up some of the sanctions in Resolution 1718, passed in 2006 after North Korea carried out a nuclear test.

Georgia

Rallies against leader to pause for a day

Thousands of people marched through Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, on Saturday, the third day of peaceful protests demanding the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili. Despite a steady decline in numbers each day, leaders vowed to resume the protests with new vigor after a break for Palm Sunday, which Georgians and other Orthodox Christians celebrate today.

Iran

President claims gains in nuclear program

Iran now controls the entire cycle for producing nuclear fuel, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday, highlighting his country's growing capabilities at a time when the United States wants to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program. Ahmadinejad's comments came two days after the inauguration of a facility that produces uranium oxide fuel pellets for a planned heavy-water reactor — the final step in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Times wires

ENGLAND100,000 march to back tamil tigers 04/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 11, 2009 8:55pm]
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