Foreign Digest


Blast derails train traveling to Moscow from Chechnya

MOSCOW - A bomb derailed a passenger train traveling from Chechnya to Moscow yesterday, injuring at least 15 people in what officials described as a terrorist attack.

The bombing occurred after a relative lull in attacks in Russia, one suggesting that security officials were making progress against those behind a wave of terrorist acts, including the seizure of the school in Beslan in September that left more than 330 people dead.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the bombing, but the timing and the target suggested a link to the war in Chechnya.

@SUBHEDKuwait's first female Cabinet minister appointed

KUWAIT CITY - An American-educated professor and women's rights activist was named Kuwait's first female Cabinet minister yesterday, a month after lawmakers granted women the right to vote and run for Parliament.

Massouma al-Mubarak was given the planning and administrative development portfolios, Prime Minister Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah told the Kuwait News Agency. He described the appointment as a "wish come true" for the government that proposed the suffrage bill to the all-male legislature.

@SUBHEDLow turnout is reported in Italy's fertility law vote

ROME - Turnout was low yesterday in the first day of a contentious referendum vote on whether to scrap some of Europe's toughest restrictions on assisted fertility, including bans on sperm and egg donation.

Italian cardinals and bishops - backed by Pope Benedict XVI - urged citizens to boycott the two-day referendum, hoping the ballot initiatives would fall short of the required quorum to be valid, and the vote was widely seen as a test of the Roman Catholic Church's influence.

From wire reports

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