Pakistan group threatens more bombings

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A militant group that claimed to be behind the deadly Marriott Hotel bombing in Pakistan's capital threatened more attacks Wednesday, warning again that Pakistanis should stop cooperating with the United States.

In a cell phone message to reporters, the little known group calling itself 'Fedayeen al-Islam' - 'Islam commandos' - referred to the owner of the Marriott by name.

'All those who will facilitate Americans and NATO crusaders like (owner Sadruddin) Haswani, they will keep on receiving the blows,' said the message, which was in English.

Japan elects straight-talking conservative PM

TOKYO - A quick-smiling former Olympic skeetshooter with a penchant for tailored suits and manga comic books took power as Japan's third prime minister in two years Wednesday, vowing to boost a languishing economy.

Lawmakers elected Taro Aso, a 68-year-old conservative popular with the young and known for his straight talk, after quelling an attempt by the upper house to install a rival as premier.

In his first news conference as premier, he also vowed to rescue the ruling party from disaster in parliamentary elections.

Iraqi parliament approves elections law

BAGHDAD - Iraq's parliament overwhelmingly approved a provincial elections law Wednesday, overcoming months of deadlock and giving a boost to U.S.-backed national reconciliation efforts.

Also Wednesday, gunmen opened fire on a group of Iraqi policemen and members of a so-called awakening council northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 18, Iraqi officials said.

School shootings in Finland share similarities

KAUHAJOKI, Finland - The gunman in Finland's latest school shooting likely bought his gun in the town where a teenager went on another rampage less than a year ago, police said Wednesday, adding to the growing list of eerie similarities between the massacres.

Matti Saari, 22, bought a .22-caliber gun at a store in Jokela, about 155 miles from his home, and on Tuesday killed 10 people and himself, police said. Last November, 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen likely got his gun at the same store and went on to kill eight people and himself, they said.