Car bomb blast kills at least 20, shakes Iraq

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded Thursday along a bustling commercial street in a mostly Shiite area of north Baghdad, killing at least 20 people in the third major attack in the capital this month.

Recent high-profile blasts suggest that Sunni insurgents are trying to mount a comeback as the U.S. prepares to leave Iraqi cities in three months and hand over responsibility for security in the capital to the Iraqis.

Shaken survivors voiced fears that the blast heralded a return to violence that swept the Iraqi capital before U.S. and Iraqi forces turned the tide in late 2007.

Witnesses said the vehicle - believed to be a yellow Peugeot - was parked along a street near a bus stop, a food market and a hospital in the Shaab district when it blew up around noon.

Somali pirates hijack 2 tankers in 24 hours

BRUSSELS - Pirates armed with machine guns hijacked a Norwegian chemical tanker Thursday off the coast of Somalia, the ship's owner said, an attack that came less than 24 hours after a smaller Greek-owned vessel was seized in the same area.

The U.S. 5th Fleet, which patrols the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, confirmed both hijackings and said they took place in the same area but separate from the gulf, one of the world's busiest - and now most treacherous - sea lanes.

The 23,000-ton Norwegian-owned Bow Asir was captured 250 miles off the Somali coast on Thursday morning, and the 9,000-ton Greek-owned Nipayia, with 19 crew members, was seized 450 miles off Somalia on Wednesday afternoon, the European Union's military spokesman said.

Gordon Brown: $100B needed to boost trade

BRASILIA, Brazil - The world's top economies need to create a $100 billion fund to stimulate global trade, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Thursday.

Visiting Brazil as part of a three-continent tour to drum up support for a coordinated global economic plan, Brown said the world's richest nations, along with multilateral lenders and the private sector, must act immediately to turn back the global crisis.

'We need a transfusion of capital into the global economy,' Brown said.