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World in brief: India names three bombing suspects

Indian authorities named three suspects in this week’s train bombings, an apparent breakthrough in the frenetic investigations into the well-coordinated attacks that killed at least 200 people.

The government’s Anti-Terror Squad issued photos Thursday of two young, lightly bearded men identified as Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz.

Officials did not provide their nationalities, and it wasn’t clear where the photos – head shots that appeared to have been taken for identification documents – originated.

A man known only as Rahil was also being sought in connection with the blasts, Bombay police said today. He refused to provide any further details on the third suspect.

But officials have said they believe the organization behind Tuesday’s bombings is Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group that operates in Kashmir, the Himalayan region at the center of the long-running India-Pakistan conflict.

Lashkar has previously carried out near-simultaneous explosions in Indian cities, including a bombing in New Delhi in October that killed more than 60 people. Lashkar was also named in an attack on India’s Parliament in 2001.


U.S. won’t wait long on N. Korea

The U.S. nuclear envoy said Thursday that Washington was likely to give Chinese diplomatic efforts over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs only a few more days before pushing for a tough U.N. resolution.

Meanwhile, North Korea abruptly pulled out from high-level talks with South Korea, denouncing Seoul for pressing it on its recent missile launches and warning of “unpredictable catastrophic consequences.” The South said it would freeze aid to the impoverished North as long as it stays away from international nuclear talks.

Backers of a Japanese-sponsored U.N. resolution threatening sanctions against North Korea over its missile tests last week had agreed to postpone a vote to give Beijing time to lobby the North. But North Korea appeared to reject diplomatic overtures by a visiting Chinese delegation.

“My sense is we’re down to a number of days,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters in Beijing.


Activists say more women are smoking

More women are lighting up cigarettes around the world even as the smoking rate declines for men, activists attending an anti-smoking conference said Thursday.

About 12 percent of women worldwide smoke, and that figure is expected to rise to 20 percent by 2025, according to a report by the International Network of Women Against Tobacco. The group relied on World Health Organization data.

About 48 percent of men smoke, but that number is expected to decline, according to the report released Thursday at a conference sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Lorraine Greaves, project leader on the report, said tobacco company marketing is nudging up the female smoking rate in developing countries, much as it did in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s.


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