Iranian police kill 4 drug smugglers
Iranian police killed four people during a clash with what were described as drug smugglers in the country's southeastern province of Kerman, state television reported yesterday.
The incident occurred about 1,000 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tehran, the report said, in an area that has frequently witnessed clashes between police and gangs of drug smugglers.
The report said police also uncovered guns and ammunition in the smugglers' den.
A new Russian history textbook that reportedly praises Russian President Vladimir Putin and justifies Stalin's dictatorship is a response to anti-Russian tendencies abroad, Kommersant daily quoted the controversial book's editor saying yesterday.
Kommersant said "the eras of Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev get good marks, with justification of authoritarianism and repression."
The 1990s rule of Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first post-Soviet leader, is portrayed as "crisis," while Putin's presidency - seen by critics as reversing many post-Soviet freedoms - is shown to be "effective," Kommersant said.
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook Chile's northern copper mining region on Wednesday but there were no reports of injuries or damages.
The quake struck at 8:40 p.m. (Chile time) and was centered 65 kilometer east-northeast of the mining town of Calama, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, near one of Chile's largest copper mines, Codelco Norte.
A spokesman at the mine, owned by state-owned company Codelco, said the quake had had no impact.
The popularity of Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has more than doubled since President Vladimir Putin named him his preferred successor two weeks ago, an opinion poll showed yesterday.
According to the poll, conducted by the independent Levada center polling company, 79 percent of those questioned would vote for Medvedev if a presidential election were held this weekend.
Medvedev's latest popularity rating is higher than Putin's own election results in 2004, when 71.3 percent of voters cast ballots for him.
Eritrea has accused Ethiopia of launching an attack on its security forces on Tuesday this week, describing it as part of ongoing provocation along their disputed border.
In a statement posted on its Web site shabait.com late on Wednesday, Asmara said the relatively small-scale raid targeted its troops and allied militias in the South Tsorona region, inside a former buffer zone, and ended in failure.
"(The) attack comes in continuation to (Ethiopia's) ongoing provocation and aggression in the Gash-Barka and Southern regions, whereby it planted mines, carried out incursions, abducted nationals and burned crop fields to the ground," the Eritrean statement said.