Taliban kill 6 in Afghan cities

GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Suspected Taliban militants armed with bombs, rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launched near-simultaneous assaults Tuesday on Afghan and U.S. facilities in two eastern cities, killing six Afghan police and intelligence officers.

The attacks in Gardez and Jalalabad may have been aimed at relieving pressure on Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan - the focus of U.S. and British operations against the hard-line Islamic militants.

A quick response by Afghan police and soldiers prevented higher casualties. Eight insurgents were killed and one was captured in the two attacks, officials said, adding that none got away.

Spanish official visits Gibraltar

MADRID - Spain's foreign minister made a historic border crossing to the disputed British colony of Gibraltar on Tuesday, the first by a Spanish Cabinet minister since the Rock was ceded almost 300 years ago.

Miguel Angel Moratinos said Spain did not renounce its claim to the small British-held outcrop on Spain's southern tip, but it believes cooperation is the way to resolve disputes and improve standards for the multicultural territory's 30,000 residents.

Asia prepares for solar eclipse

TAREGNA, India - Scientists, students and nature enthusiasts prepared Tuesday for the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, while millions planned to shutter themselves indoors, giving in to superstitious myths about the phenomenon.

The eclipse will first be sighted at dawn today in India's Gulf of Khambhat, just north of the metropolis of Mumbai, before being seen in a broad swath moving north and east to Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China.

The eclipse - visible only in Asia - will reach its peak in India at about 8:50 p.m. EDT, and will last 6 minutes and 39 seconds at its maximum point.

18 dead in Iraq

BAGHDAD - Bombs killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens in Iraq on Tuesday in a sign that insurgents, though weakened, remain intent on destabilizing a country that is struggling to consolidate U.S.-backed security gains.

Children, shoppers and men looking for a day's work were among the dead in attacks in Baghdad, Ramadi and Baqouba.