Marathon bomb suspect eludes police, hunt paralyzes Boston
WATERTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Black Hawk helicopters and heavily armed police descended on a Boston suburb Friday in a massive search for an ethnic Chechen suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, hours after his brother was killed by police in a late-night shootout. The normally traffic-clogged streets of Boston were empty as the city went into virtual lockdown after a bloody night of shooting and explosions. Public transport was suspended, air space restricted and famous universities, including Harvard and MIT, closed after police ordered residents to remain at home.
Pakistani police arrest former president Musharraf
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani police arrested former president Pervez Musharraf on Friday to face allegations he overstepped his powers while in office, marking a dramatic break with a political culture in which military rulers have remained untouchable. The one-time army chief had hoped to rekindle a degree of influence by standing in a general election in May, but has instead become ensnared in a showdown with judges who fought bruising battles with him while he was still in office.
Drop in gasoline prices help keep Canada inflation benign
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's annual inflation rate in March slowed to 1.0 percent from 1.2 percent in February, further underlining how little pressure there is on the Bank of Canada to raise rates any time soon. The main reason for the drop in the annual rate was lower gas prices, Statistics Canada said on Friday. The March rate was slightly less than the 1.1 percent predicted by economists.
Italy center-left leader Bersani quits after vote debacle
ROME (Reuters) - Center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani announced his resignation on Friday after party rebels sabotaged two separate candidates he had backed for state president, deepening Italy's political chaos. Bersani told a meeting of parliamentarians he would quit as Democratic Party (PD) leader as soon as the election of the next head of state was completed, following two dramatic days of parliamentary voting in which successive center-left candidates were scuppered in secret ballots.
U.S. assures Japan of defense against North Korean threat
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden assured Japan's deputy prime minister on Friday that the United States is committed to the defense of Japan against the threat posed by North Korea. North Korea in recent weeks has engaged in threatening rhetoric and is believed to have been taking steps toward a missile test launch, actions that have raised tensions in the Asia-Pacific.
Maduro sworn in, Venezuela to review disputed vote
CARACAS (Reuters) - Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as Venezuela's president on Friday at a ceremony attended by leaders from Iran to Brazil after a decision to widen an electronic audit of the vote took some of the heat out of a dispute over his election. Maduro, a bus driver-turned-foreign minister who became the late Hugo Chavez's chosen successor, narrowly beat opposition challenger Henrique Capriles in the election last Sunday.
Youths and police skirmish in Bahrain before Grand Prix
MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahrain police fired tear gas in clashes with rioting youths after thousands of opposition supporters rallied peacefully for democracy on Friday, two days before a Formula One car race that puts the Gulf Arab kingdom in the global spotlight. An authorized rally attended by men, women and children west of the capital Manama was orderly but as it broke up, dozens of young men skirmished with security forces firing tear gas.
Georgia's Saakashvili holds out olive branch to prime minister
TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili held out an olive branch to Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Friday, proposing an end to months of friction that threatens stability in the former Soviet republic. Saakashvili struck a conciliatory tone in remarks to thousands of supporters at their first big rally since his party was swept from power by Ivanishvili's opposition movement in a parliamentary election last October.
Rios Montt genocide trial up in air as Guatemalan judges squabble
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - The genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was mired in uncertainty on Friday as judges squabbled over who should hear the case following an order to annul nearly a year-and-a-half of proceedings. The trial was suspended on Thursday when Judge Patricia Flores, who was originally assigned to the case, ruled all actions taken since she was recused in November 2011 were void, citing an order from the country's top courts.
Ukraine government beats off no confidence vote
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's government survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Friday despite its unpopularity over pension reform and charges of corruption - an outcome that reaffirmed President Viktor Yanukovich's grip as he eyes a second term in office. Opposition politician Arseny Yatsenyuk, a former foreign minister and ex-minister of economy, pushed the opposition motion, charging Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's government with pursuing policies that only enriched those in power.