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Central African Republic

BANGUI — Armed gangs roamed the capital of the Central African Republic on Tuesday, pillaging homes and looting shops just days after rebels occupied the city. Former army Gen. Francois Bozize, who declared himself president after the takeover, said his forces were not involved in the destruction. Stores in the central business district of Bangui either were shuttered or destroyed after looting Sunday, and armed men in stolen vehicles fanned out into the suburbs.


BEIJING — Two pandas scheduled to spend the next decade at the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee will leave China on April 7, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday. Le Le, a male, and Ya Ya, a female, are to make the 15-hour flight in two custom-built containers aboard a FedEx MD-11 jet, Xinhua said, citing Xie Zhong, vice secretary of the China Zoo Association.


BOGOTA — Gunmen killed a Colombian print and radio journalist outside his office in the turbulent eastern state of Arauca on Tuesday. Luis Eduardo Alfonso Parada, 27, was the second reporter with Radio Meridiano-70 killed in the past year.


LONDON — A 46-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in the slaying of an American artist who was stabbed to death while jogging in a London park last month. The Metropolitan Police said a man from east London was arrested Tuesday morning. It was not immediately known why police believe he is connected to the death of Margaret Muller, a 27-year-old native of Falls Church, Va.


KARLSRUHE — Germany's highest court on Tuesday threw out the government's bid to outlaw a far-right party accused of inciting racist violence and spreading neo-Nazi propaganda, delivering a defeat to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government. Schroeder's administration invested considerable political capital in the drive to outlaw the National Democratic Party after a wave of hate crimes blamed on neo-Nazis in 2000.


TEHRAN — Iran announced Tuesday it has handed over 390 of the 1,240 Iraqi POWs it was still holding from the two countries' 1980-88 war. The fate of thousands of Iranians missing in action from the war remains a source of tension between the two neighbors. Both have accused each other of concealing how many prisoners they hold.


JERUSALEM — An Israeli soldier and two leaders of the militant group Hamas were killed Tuesday in separate clashes in the West Bank, military officials said.


COTABATO — Suspected Muslim rebels ambushed a minibus Tuesday, executing at least six passengers. In separate attacks, a bomb exploded outside a church, injuring five people and nine separatists died in a clash with soldiers. All three incidents took place in the southern Philippines, where Muslim militants for decades have waged a guerrilla war to push for independence from the largely Roman Catholic nation.


AMMAN — The emir of Qatar pardoned a Jordanian journalist Tuesday, six months after the reporter was convicted of spying and sentenced to death, the Qatari news agency said. Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani issued the pardon to mark the visit to his nation of Jordan's King Abdullah II.


MOSCOW — Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday decided to indefinitely put off a vote on ratification of a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty because of the U.S. threat of war against Iraq. The treaty, agreed to last May by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Bush, calls on both nations to cut their strategic nuclear arsenals by about two-thirds, to 1,700 to 2,200 deployed warheads, by 2012.


BELGRADE — Police arrested two suspects and seized weapons in the home of a slain underworld boss during a massive manhunt for the assassins of the Serbian prime minister, the government announced Tuesday. Dragan Ninkovic and Zoran Vukojevic, two key members of an underworld clan blamed for Zoran Djindjic's assassination last week, were arrested late Monday.

South Korea

SEOUL — Prime Minister Goh Kun warned Tuesday that high tensions over North Korea's nuclear programs could rise further with an outbreak of war in Iraq.