Car bombing kills 16 in Shiite neighborhood

BAGHDAD - Storekeepers swept up broken glass in darkness. Grim-faced shoppers cut forlorn figures making their way home down side streets. Trucks hauled off the charred skeletons of cars under police escort.

A dreary mood descended after a parked car loaded with explosives blew up and killed at least 16 people Wednesday in a Shiite district of Baghdad where life had come closer to normal than any other during the security campaign that has quieted the city's long bout of violence.

Berlin Zoo's polar bear celebrates his first birthday

BERLIN - The Berlin Zoo's famous polar bear, Knut, who was rejected by his mother but went on to win the hearts of millions around the world, celebrated his first birthday Wednesday with more than 2,000 well-wishers.

But Knut - no longer a tiny cub, thanks partly to his penchant for croissants - probably didn't get a taste of his own giant birthday cake, made with 300 eggs and 22 pounds of marzipan. He now tips the scales at more than 240 pounds and has been on a diet since July.

His special treat, instead, was a healthier concoction of fresh fruit, vegetables and rice - topped with a toy wooden candle.

Suicide bomber attacks Afghan soldiers, kills at least 13 people

KABUL, Afghanistan - A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a minibus carrying Afghan soldiers in a crowded market south of Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 13 people and wounding 20, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility. The third suicide blast around the capital in eight days was in line with the militants' strategy of staging spectacular attacks on Western-trained security forces, but civilians usually pay the highest price.

Iranian leader declares US reversal a victory for nuke program

TEHRAN, Iran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called the dramatic U.S. turnaround in a new intelligence review a victory for Iran's nuclear program, suggesting it shows the success of his hard-line stance rejecting compromise.

But his more moderate opponents at home are hoping the assessment's conclusion that Tehran shelved its effort to develop atomic weapons will boost a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear stand-off with the West.