BEIJING -- Assailants attacked police and other people with knives and set fire to police cars in China's restive far-western region Wednesday in violence that killed 27 people, one of the bloodiest incidents since unrest in the regional capital killed nearly 200 in 2009.
The early morning violence -- described by state media as riots -- occurred in a remote area of the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Xinjiang is home to a large population of minority Muslim Uighurs but is ruled by China's Han ethnic majority.
New PM in Australia
CANBERRA, Australia -- Kevin Rudd will be sworn in as Australian prime minister today, three years and three days after he was ousted from the nation's leadership in an internal government showdown.
Julia Gillard tendered her resignation as prime minister to Governor-General Quentin Bryce Wednesday night after losing a ballot of ruling lawmakers to Mr. Rudd, 57 votes to 45.
'99 coup case dropped
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed Wednesday not to pursue one of four death penalty cases now pending against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.
Mr. Sharif's attorney general, Munir Malik, told the country's Supreme Court that the government would drop its high treason charges against Mr. Musharraf for overthrowing Mr. Sharif in 1999, but that it would move forward with prosecuting him for suspending the constitution in November 2007, when he sacked and jailed the country's top judges.
Vote monitor suspended
MOSCOW -- Russia's Justice Ministry on Wednesday suspended a prominent independent election monitoring organization for its refusal to register as a foreign agent as required by the Kremlin.
The organization, Golos, and thousands of other nongovernment organizations oppose the law requiring groups that receive foreign funding to register as foreign agents, saying it would make them seem like spies.
Protesters, police clash
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- Brazilian protesters and police clashed Wednesday near a stadium hosting a Confederations Cup soccer match, as thousands of demonstrators trying to march on the site were met by tear gas and rubber bullets.
The protesters were angered in part by the billions spent in World Cup preparations.
Brazil's senate voted to increase penalties for those found guilty of corruption, responding to a key demand made by protesters across the country.
Marine's Iraq murder case
SAN DIEGO -- The military's highest court overturned a murder conviction Wednesday against a Camp Pendleton Marine in one of the most significant cases against American troops from the Iraq war.
The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces threw out the conviction of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III of Plymouth, Mass., who has served about half of his 11-year sentence.
According to the ruling posted on the court's website, the judges agreed with Sgt. Hutchins, who claimed his constitutional rights were violated when he was held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer for seven days during his 2006 interrogation in Iraq.
Sgt. Hutchins led an eight-man squad accused of kidnapping an Iraqi man from his home in April 2006, marching him to a ditch and shooting him to death in the village of Hamdania.