Australia: Whaling protest

CANBERRA — Environmentalists again clashed with Japanese whalers Tuesday in the Antarctic Ocean, with Greenpeace activists failing in a risky attempt to prevent the fleet's factory ship from refueling.

The protesters were drenched with freezing water from Japanese hoses as they piloted an inflatable boat between the factory ship Nisshin Maru and supply ship Oriental Bluebird, a Greenpeace spokesman said from a ship trailing the Japanese fleet.

"They've gone ahead with refueling now," Greenpeace spokesman Dave Walsh told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.

Congo: No end to misery

Five years after Congo's catastrophic war officially ended, the rate at which people are dying in the country remains virtually unchanged, according to a new survey, despite the efforts of the world's largest peacekeeping force, billions of dollars in international aid and an historic election that revived democracy after decades of violence and despotism.

The survey, released Tuesday, estimated that 45,000 people continue to die every month, about the same pace as in 2004, when the war had just ended and the international push to rebuild the country had scarcely begun. Almost all the deaths come from hunger and disease, signs that the country is still grappling with the aftermath of a war that gutted its infrastructure, forced millions to flee and flattened its economy.

In all, more than 5.4 million people have died in Congo since the war began in 1998, according to the most recent survey's estimate, the latest in a series completed by the International Rescue Committee, an American aid organization. Nearly half of the dead were children younger than five.

Japan: Asian stocks rebound

TOKYO — Asian stock indexes rose sharply today, rebounding from steep losses in the previous two days after a surprise interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained as much as 3.9 percent before easing back to a gain of 421.27 points, or 3.4 percent, to end morning trading at 12,994.32 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It had fallen 5.7 percent Tuesday — its biggest percentage drop in nearly 10 years — on fears of a U.S. recession.

Mexico: Missing Marine visit?

GUADALAJARA — Missing Marine Cesar Laurean, wanted in the slaying of a pregnant colleague, visited relatives in Mexico last week, a man who said he was his cousin told The Associated Press Tuesday.

CNN first reported that Laurean had briefly stopped by the liquor store of Juan Antonio Ramos Ramirez in Zapopan, just outside Guadalajara. Speaking to The Associated Press late Tuesday from his store, Ramos Ramirez said Laurean walked into his store last Monday or Tuesday and the two cousins talked for about 10 minutes.