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HONG KONG — New Hong Kong lawmakers were sworn in Wednesday, and one of their newest members — a longtime activist — shattered the solemnity by shouting pro-democracy slogans as he joined the system he has spent years protesting. "Long live democracy! Long live the people!" Leung Kwok-hung yelled, his voice bellowing through the Legislative Council chamber — in a preview of the troubles that unpopular Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa can expect during his last three years in office.


LONDON — Maurice Wilkins, "the third man" in the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, died Tuesday in London. He was 88. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962 along with James Watson and Francis Crick for his role in what is considered one of the most important discoveries in human history. Wilkins devised an X-ray technique that he used to take the first ever picture of DNA, which led to Watson and Crick's work building a model of the structure.


BERLIN — The United States broke ground for its new Berlin embassy Wednesday on the site where the old one stood before World War II. With its entrance set on a bustling square dominated by the Brandenburg Gate, the embassy will complete the revival of an historical downtown plaza rebuilt from scratch since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.


ST. GEORGE'S — Secretary of State Colin Powell got a glimpse of the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Ivan on Grenada and promised Wednesday that millions of dollars in U.S. aid was on the way to the island, where some complain they have been forgotten by the United States.


BISSAU — Soldiers recently back from a U.N. peacekeeping mission and angry over unpaid wages staged a revolt in this tiny, impoverished West African nation Wednesday, killing the armed forces chief of staff and another senior officer, officials said. Most troops returned to their barracks after nightfall, and the country was reportedly mostly calm throughout the day. Talks among the renegades, the government and lawmakers broke up after several hours Wednesday but were due to resume later, Portuguese state radio's African service RDP-Africa reported.


PORT-AU-PRINCE — Enraged supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide armed themselves with machetes, guns, rocks and bottles and roamed a downtown slum, threatening to behead foreigners after U.N. peacekeepers and Haitian police arrested dozens of people Wednesday. As gunfire crackled and two helicopters roared overhead, peacekeepers in armored personnel carriers moved into Bel Air, trying to put down a campaign by Aristide loyalists who have carried out gory beheadings in imitation of Iraqi militants.


TEHRAN — Iran said Wednesday it has processed several tons of raw "yellowcake" uranium to prepare it for enrichment — a key step in developing atomic weapons — in defiance of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. Converting raw uranium into hexafluoride gas does not violate any agreements Iran has made regarding its nuclear program and was done with the full knowledge of the International Atomic Energy Agency.


JERUSALEM — A top adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a published interview Wednesday that Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is meant to delay the establishment of a Palestinian state indefinitely, and claimed the United States supports the policy. The blunt assessment by Dov Weisglass, Sharon's point man with the Bush administration, came a week into a broad Israeli incursion in Gaza that has killed 75 people.


TOKYO (AP) — An earthquake struck eastern Japan late Wednesday, shaking buildings in Tokyo and injuring four people. There were no reports of major damage.

South Korea

SEOUL — The United States will withdraw a total of 12,500 troops from South Korea by 2008, delaying its original plan to redeploy the troops by the end of next year, the South Korean Defense Ministry said Wednesday. In a statement, the ministry said the U.S. military will pull out 5,000 troops by the end of this year. Some 3,600 of those troops have already redeployed from South Korea to Iraq. The rest of the troops will be redeployed in phases between 2005 and 2008, the ministry said.