Pakistan attacks Taliban hideouts

KHYBER AGENCY, Pakistan - Pakistan's newly elected government launched the first major assault against militants in the country's volatile northwest on Saturday, destroying a militant leader's headquarters and shelling suspected hideouts of other fighters.

The offensive in the Khyber tribal region appeared to mark a refinement in strategy by the new government, backing its calls for peace deals in the tribal areas along the Afghan border with the threat of forceful action against militants who get out of line.

The United States said such deals were giving militants the freedom to regroup for attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Bush calls for more penalties upon Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe came under threat of further sanctions on Saturday as President Bush said the U.S. was working on new ways to punish longtime leader Robert Mugabe and his allies following the widely denounced presidential runoff election.

Earlier Saturday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. plans to introduce a U.N. resolution as early as next week seeking tough measures against Zimbabwe.

Al-Qaida in Iraq says it was behind attack

BAGHDAD - An al-Qaida front organization claimed responsibility Saturday for a suicide bombing that killed more than 20 people - including three Marines - as the U.S. military stepped up pressure on extremists in northern Iraq.

The Islamic State of Iraq posted the claim on a militant Web site, saying the bomber blew himself up among a gathering of the 'heads of apostasy' - a reference to U.S.-backed Sunni tribal leaders who were attending a meeting Thursday in Karmah, 20 miles west of Baghdad.

Smoking ban hits Holland, but it won't cover pot

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - This city's famed marijuana bars face an unwelcome blast of fresh air: On Tuesday, the Netherlands will be one of the last European countries to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in compliance with EU law.

The Health Ministry says the ban will apply to cafes that sell marijuana, known as coffee shops. But this being Holland, which for centuries has experimented with social liberalism, there's a loophole: The ban covers tobacco but not marijuana, which is technically illegal anyway.