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Explosions in Afghanistan kill 3 U.S. soldiers, two dozen Afghans

kabul, afghanistan

explosions kill 3 u.s. soldiers and 25 afghans

Two explosions in eastern Afghanistan, one targeting an American convoy, killed three U.S. troops, an Afghan interpreter and at least 24 other Afghans on Wednesday. A suicide bomber on a motorbike targeted a convoy carrying coalition troops, killing the soldiers and 16 Afghans, and wounding 37. About the same time a civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb, killing eight civilians, half of them children.


Oil and gas leases auctioned for gulf

Oil and gas companies submitted $1.7 billion in winning bids to drill in the central Gulf of Mexico during a government auction Wednesday, and Norwegian energy giant Statoil offered a record $157 million for a single lease. Industry watchers and Obama administration officials heralded the strong auction as a sign of a gulf renaissance more than two years after the oil spill that halted most deep-water drilling and slowed exploration in shallower depths. The sale was driven by pent-up demand, recent big discoveries in the gulf and strong oil prices earlier this year.


Divided jury to try again in priest trial

In a 12th day of deliberations, the jury in the landmark trial of a Roman Catholic Church official accused of covering up sexual abuses by other priests said Wednesday it was deadlocked on four of the five charges. The judge instructed the jury to keep trying to reach unanimous agreement on all charges, which include two counts of endangering the welfare of children and one of conspiracy against the church official, Monsignor William J. Lynn, and charges of endangerment and attempted rape against a priest, the Rev. James J. Brennan. The panel will resume deliberations Friday.

rio de janeiro

U.N. environmental summit begins

Leaders from around the globe gathered Wednesday for three days of talks at the United Nations conference on sustainable development. But an unambitious mood prevailed as negotiators produced what critics called a watered-down document that makes few advances on protecting the environment. The hope was for clear goals on how nations could make economic advances without depleting resources, but negotiators ran out of time to work out contentious issues before the "Rio+20" conference.

Times wires