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Prime minister calls elections in November

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Nepal's prime minister called new elections in November after the term of the Constituent Assembly expired at midnight Sunday without political leaders completing the task of writing a new constitution.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said the Constituent Assembly had failed to achieve its goal.

"We have no other option but to go back to the people and elect a new assembly to write the constitution," Bhattarai said in his announcement broadcast live over television.

Bhattarai said he would be leading a caretaker government until the Nov. 22 elections.



Roadside bomb injures 24 Pakistani pilgrims

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb blast outside Baghdad has injured 24 Pakistani pilgrims. Their bus overturned as it headed to a Shiite shrine.

Police say the bomb exploded Sunday evening as the bus was passing by the predominantly Sunni suburb of Saqlawiyah, located 45 miles west of Baghdad.

The bus was filled with Pakistani pilgrims who were headed from Syria to the gold-domed shrine to a Shiite imam in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kazimiyah.



Official denies public was misled on N-crisis

TOKYO (AP) -- The chief government spokesman during Japan's nuclear crisis testified Sunday that he did not deliberately mislead the public about the extent of the accident.

Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano told a parliamentary investigative panel that the government did not fully understand the damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant after a massive earthquake and tsunami last year.

Edano has been accused of failing to provide full information about the accident and of downplaying health dangers.

He denied there was any cover-up and said he repeatedly used the phrases "no immediate risk" and "just to be safe" in his briefings because that's what officials believed.

Eventually, the government acknowledged that three reactor cores had melted at the plant in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The parliamentary panel is the only public inquiry into the accident at which top nuclear regulators and officials from the plant's operator have testified. Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who led disaster management at the height of the crisis, is to testify today.