Iran claims first launch of its own satellite
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran sent its first domestically made satellite into orbit, the president announced Tuesday, a key step for an ambitious space program that worries the U.S. and other world powers because the same rocket technology used to launch satellites can also deliver warheads.
For nearly a decade, Iran has sought to develop a national space program, creating unease among international leaders already concerned about its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The telecommunications satellite - called Omid, or hope, in Farsi - was launched late Monday after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the order to proceed, according to a report on state radio. State television showed footage of what it said was the nighttime liftoff of the rocket carrying the satellite at an unidentified location in Iran.
Israel strikes Gaza tunnels
JERUSALEM - Israeli warplanes bombed the Gaza-Egypt border Tuesday, aiming for tunnels used by Gaza's Hamas rulers to smuggle in weapons and supplies in strikes launched after a Palestinian rocket hit a city in southern Israel.
Despite the continuing attacks, the violence is still far below that seen before or during Israel's three-week offensive in the Palestinian territory.
Hamas officials said Tuesday they are ready to commit to a cease-fire with Israel for at least a year in exchange for a full opening of Gaza's borders, as the group began a new round of truce talks with Egyptian mediators.
Supply routes in Afghanistan squeezed
KABUL - U.S. troops in Afghanistan saw their supply lines squeezed from the north and east Tuesday after militants blew up a bridge in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan's government said it would end American use of a key air base following Russia's announcement of new aid.
Securing efficient and safe supply routes into Afghanistan has become a top priority for U.S. officials as the Pentagon prepares to send in up to 30,000 more American soldiers this year.
Attackers on Tuesday blew up a bridge in northwestern Pakistan in a fresh salvo in an escalating campaign seeking to cripple Washington's war effort in Afghanistan.