Tens of thousands of Shiites commemorated their most important holiday of Ashura in Baghdad, surrounded by stringent security measures the day after attacks left at least 34 of them dead.
President George W. Bush said he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to explain decisions seen as autocratic, such as moves against the oil giant Yukos, a media clampdown and alleged interference in Ukraine's presidential election.
More than 750 Catholic clergy in the United States were accused last year of sexually abusing children, according to a report released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The British government said it will roll out fresh legislation to control terrorism suspects after it failed to win the support of opposition leaders for its proposals.
Thousands of riders and their hounds were charging through the British countryside testing the limits of a new law banning fox-hunting.
A top North Korean diplomat said Pyongyang would abandon its nuclear weapons and befriend the United States if Washington promised peaceful coexistence and non-interference, according to a news report.
An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale rocked Indonesia's Sulawesi island, causing sea levels to rise and sparking fears of another tsunami, meteorologists and police said.
The situation in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region is deteriorating, with millions at risk of starvation if the world community cannot agree to act soon, the UN's top relief official warned.
Former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush arrived in Thailand on the first stop of their tour of Asian nations hit by December's catastrophic tsunamis.