hExplosive battles continue in Bolivia

hExplosive battlescontinue in Bolivia
LA PAZ, Bolivia -- A day after his second try at quitting as this Andean nation's president, Carlos Mesa remained in office Tuesday as opposing camps failed to agree on where they should meet to choose his replacement. Street battles, including a miner, above, who grasped sticks of explosives in his mouth during a march, raged on the streets of this capital city and commerce ground to a halt. Demonstrators have cut off the city's road links as they demand that the government nationalize Bolivia's oil and gas reserves and convene a constituent assembly to rewrite the Constitution to grant more power to the Indian majority. Congressional leaders could decide as early as today where the legislature will meet.
500-year-old map for sale
LONDON -- A nearly 500-year-old map from the first set to identify the New World as "America" and depict the Pacific Ocean is being auctioned today. Scholars created the set of maps -- believed to be components of the earliest printed globe -- based on explorers' accounts and had to draw the Pacific Ocean before Europeans had discovered it. The work depicts a land mass labeled "America" that corresponds to part of South America. Christie's auction house expects the map to fetch from $900,000 to $1.46 million, adding that it is one of only four known surviving examples produced by a group working under German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller.
Accidental death in Arubais possibility for teen girl
ORANJESTAD, Aruba -- Accidental death has not been ruled out in the disappearance of an Alabama honors student, despite the arrest of two men known to police for trying to pick up women in hotels in this resort, authorities said Tuesday. In an important reversal, officials also said the two arrested men have not been charged as had been announced previously. Attorney general spokeswoman Vivian Van Der Biezan said authorities initially misspoke while trying to explain the situation to foreign reporters in English, a second language in this Dutch territory. Police and FBI kept up a search for 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, but a lack of any solid leads was hindering progress after nine days, according to officers.
U.S. sees breakthrough on talks with North Korea
WASHINGTON -- In a diplomatic breakthrough, the Bush administration said Tuesday it had wooed North Korea back to negotiations on the Koreans' nuclear weapons program, though a date had not been set for reopening the long-stalled talks. In New York, China's United Nations ambassador said six-nation talks were likely to resume in the next few weeks in Beijing. Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters the talks were the best way to resolve the nuclear standoff and said he was hopeful progress would be made. The negotiations, in which the United States and four other countries want to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program, have been dormant for a year.
Harris has eye on Senate
MIAMI -- U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, the Republican star of the disputed 2000 presidential election and a favored target of Democrats, said Tuesday she'll challenge Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for re-election in 2006. Harris' move comes as Republicans grow increasingly intent to vanquish Democrats by taking out Nelson -- the last Democrat in Florida to hold statewide office -- and it sets the stage for a costly national event, with Republicans determined to knock out Nelson and Democrats eager to hold the seat and seek revenge against Harris.
Combined dispatches

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