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Australia

SYDNEY — Up to 25,000 body parts, including hundreds of baby hearts, are held in hospitals, universities and museums in the state of New South Wales and may have been taken without permission from relatives, a report found.

Canada

TORONTO — Three teenagers were believed dead after being washed off an ice floe and into the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Canada's east coast, north of St. John's, Newfoundland.

China

BEIJING — Coal miners clashed with police in a protest over layoff payments that they said were too low, a human-rights group said. The protest took place in Datong in the northern province of Shanxi, a poor area hurt by state industry job cuts, said the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.

BEIJING — Faced with angry parents, officials promised better safety laws after a schoolhouse explosion killed dozens of children in southeastern China. While parents blamed Tuesday's blast on school officials who they said forced students to make fireworks, government-run media stuck to the official stand that a mentally deranged man carried explosives into a third-grade classroom.

Fiji

SUVA — Fiji's powerful tribal chiefs were divided over whether the military-backed government should be dismissed as more foreign companies said they were pulling out because of the country's political crisis. The Great Council of Chiefs debated a ruling by the Court of Appeals that the country's interim government is illegal. However, the council again broke up without taking any action.

Germany

STUTTGART — Leaders of Germany's Greens Party, torn between traditions of environmental protest and new responsibilities in government, appealed to the grass roots not to disrupt atomic waste shipments. Their appeal came as police said metal hooks had been placed overnight on overhead railway power lines in northern and eastern Germany in an apparent bid to disrupt traffic around nuclear storage facilities there. No major damage was caused.

Indonesia

PALANGKARAYA — Hundreds of Dayak demonstrators rampaged through a town in central Borneo, setting ablaze security posts and a police truck. Officers fired warning shots to disperse the crowd. The violence in Palangkaraya came a day after riot police shot and killed as many as six indigenous Dayaks following a visit by President Abdurrahman Wahid.

Japan

TOKYO — Speculation that embattled Prime Minister Mori may resign before his party's annual convention next week intensified despite denials by the government. News reports said that Mori had already decided to step down, though it was denied by Kazuhiko Koshikawa, his spokesman.

Mexico

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS — Gov. Pablo Salazar said he would free all Zapatista supporters from jails in Chiapas, partially meeting one of three remaining demands made by rebels in the southern state. The move came as the Zapatista rebels began to wrap up a 15-day march through Mexico to build support for an Indian rights and autonomy bill before Congress.

Pakistan

KARACHI — Eight people from one family, including five children, died when a truck carrying china clay overturned in southern Pakistan, media reports said.

Syria

DAMASCUS — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's insistence on expanding Jewish settlements and continuing the occupation of Arab lands "meant he was dashing any hopes for peace," an official Syrian newspaper said. Al-Thawra daily attacked Sharon's policy that violence must stop before peace negotiations can start.

Ukraine

KIEV — Riot police clashed with scores of people protesting against President Leonid Kuchma before thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the biggest march yet to demand he step down for alleged links to the murder of an opposition journalist.