Iraqi leader disputes version of shooting

BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister Wednesday disputed Blackwater USA's version of a weekend shooting that left at least 11 people dead, saying he cannot tolerate 'the killing of our citizens in cold blood.'

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki suggested that the U.S. Embassy should find another company to protect its diplomats.

Blackwater, which provides security for American diplomats and other civilian officials in Iraq, insisted its contractors were responding to gunfire from insurgents.

But more witnesses came forward saying they saw Blackwater security guards firing at civilians in the Mansour district of western Baghdad on Sunday.

Cambodia tribunal charges top Pol Pot aide

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Cambodia's most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leader was arrested and charged with crimes against humanity on Wednesday - three decades after the murderous regime left 1.7 million people dead through starvation, overwork and execution.

Khmer Rouge ideologist Nuon Chea, the top aide to late leader Pol Pot, was arrested at his home in northwestern Pailin near the Thai border and flown to Phnom Penh, where he was put in the custody of a U.N.-backed tribunal.

Israel calls Gaza an 'enemy entity,' undermining talks

JERUSALEM - Israel declared the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip an 'enemy entity' on Wednesday and said it would cut utilities to the territory, complicating the U.S. plan to relaunch peace talks aimed at establishing a separate Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israel made the provocative decision hours before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived for talks setting up what President Bush hopes will be a pivotal international Mideast peace conference this fall. Rice neither endorsed nor criticized Israel's move.

Anti-Syria lawmaker assassinated

BEIRUT, Lebanon - A powerful bomb killed an anti-Syria lawmaker and six others Wednesday in a Christian neighborhood of Beirut, threatening to derail an effort by an already deeply divided Parliament to elect Lebanon's next president in voting to begin next week.

Antoine Ghanem, a 64-year-old member of the Christian Phalange party who had returned from refuge abroad only two days earlier, was the eighth anti-Syria figure and fourth lawmaker from the governing coalition to be assassinated in less than three years.