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WORLD: Suicide bomb kills 21 in Iraq

Suicide bomb kills 21 in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt killed at least 21 people, mostly Shiites, on Friday in a town north of Baghdad, shattering what had been weeks of relative calm, the town's mayor said.

The blast in the town of Balad Ruz emphasizes the delicate nature of Iraq's security gains and comes as the country is approaching its eighth month without a new government since the March elections.

The suicide bomber blew himself up inside a popular cafe in the town of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad as people were gathered to play dominoes and drink tea, said the town's mayor, Mohammed Maaruf. An additional 65 people were injured, he said.

Scientists say countries must work together on asteroids

BERLIN -- Countries around the world must team up to help prevent an asteroid, or giant speeding rock, from slamming into Earth, scientists and former astronauts said Friday.

NASA has tracked nearly 7,000 near-Earth objects that are bigger than several feet across. Of those, 1,157 are considered ''potentially hazardous asteroids.''

''We can't escape the conclusion that one could happen tomorrow,'' former NASA astronaut Thomas D. Jones said of a possible asteroid strike. ''If it happens in the wrong place, it can be deadly. But we now have the technology to prevent them from happening.''

To the experts, risky asteroids are those that come within 4.6 million miles of Earth's orbit. NASA says that currently none of these is near enough or big enough for public concern.

Tropical storm nears Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Bermuda canceled ferry services and urged islanders to secure their boats as Tropical Storm Shary swirled toward the tiny British Atlantic territory Friday.

The storm had sustained winds near 65 mph and could gain strength before passing near or just east of the island by early Saturday morning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The darkening skies did not dampen the spirits of tourists like Bill and Margaret Breen, a married couple from Boston, who carried rain jackets as they strolled through Hamilton.