Russia, China urge N. Korea to return to talks

MOSCOW - Russia and China urged North Korea on Wednesday to return to the negotiating table on the fate of its rogue nuclear programs - an unusual joint appeal from two Security Council members who have resisted more punitive U.S. measures against Pyongyang.

The appeal, which also expressed 'serious concern' about tensions on the Korean peninsula, came just hours after North Korea warned of a 'thousand-fold' military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoke it. The U.S., meanwhile, called on Pyongyang to stop its saber-rattling and negotiate.

The fact that the Chinese and Russian leaders used their meetings in Moscow to jointly pressure North Korea appeared to be a signal that Moscow and Beijing are growing impatient with Pyongyang's stubbornness. And with both Washington and Pyongyang exchanging near daily rhetorical salvos, Russia and China appeared to be positioning themselves as moderators in the dispute.

Autopsies show Air France jet broke up in sky

SAO PAULO - Autopsies revealed fractures in the legs, hips and arms of Air France disaster victims, a Brazilian official said Wednesday. Experts said those injuries - and the large pieces of wreckage pulled from the Atlantic - strongly suggest the plane broke up in the air.

There have been no visible signs of burning or charring on bodies or wreckage, though that doesn't rule out an explosion somewhere outside the passenger cabin, these crash experts told The Associated Press.

A spokesman for Brazilian medical examiners told the AP that the fractures were found in autopsies on an undisclosed number of the 50 bodies recovered so far. The official spoke on condition he not be named due to department rules.

Iraq: Suspect nabbed in death of lawmaker

BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces acting on tips Wednesday arrested an al-Qaida-linked member of a Sunni paramilitary group who was believed to be a mastermind of the assassination of a prominent Sunni lawmaker in Baghdad, officials said.

The announcement came less than a week after Harith al-Obeidi, the leader of the largest Sunni bloc in parliament, was gunned down as he left a mosque following Friday prayers in Baghdad. The assailant died after detonating a grenade as guards gave chase.