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3 astronauts return from space station

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A Soyuz space capsule carrying two Russians and an American touched down safely Friday, ending the men's 163-day stay on the International Space Station.

Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and NASA's Daniel Burbank returned to Earth as the Russian-made module landed on schedule.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko has taken over as commander of the space station and will stay until July together with NASA astronaut Don Pettit and Holland's Andre Kuipers.


Gere criticizes premier over private meeting

OTTAWA (AP) -- American actor and activist Richard Gere chided Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday for meeting with the Dalai Lama privately, not publicly.

Harper met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader in his Parliament Hill office for a "private courtesy call," in an apparent bid to avoid tensions with China. Canada's Conservative government has ambitious trade goals with China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist and opposes any contact between him and foreign leaders.

The Dalai Lama was here to address the 6th World Parliamentarians' Convention on Tibet.

"The positive thing was that he met him. The less positive thing is that it wasn't public," Gere said at a news conference.


4 explosions leave 27 people injured

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Four explosions rocked an eastern Ukrainian city on Friday, injuring 27 people. Authorities say it was a terrorist attack, but an opposition lawmaker claims it could be a government plot to divert attention from the imprisonment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Top law enforcement officials rushed to investigate, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

President Viktor Yanukovych vowed to investigate and punish the perpetrators.

The opposition party led by the jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, suggested that Yanukovych's government may have organized the blasts in order to deflect the world's attention from Tymoshenko's imprisonment and reported abuse in prison.

Police officers thwart suicide bomb attempt

LONDON (AP) -- Police snipers and heavily armed officers locked down several blocks of central London's shopping district Friday after a man allegedly armed with gas canisters entered an office building and threatened to blow himself up.

Police said a 48-year-old man was arrested hours after a standoff with police at Advantage, a training company that offers tests for truck drivers.

Police and security personnel said the incident was not terror-related and presented no risk to the upcoming 2012 summer Olympics.