China: Bus crash kills students

BEIJING — A bus overturned in a mountainous region of China's west, killing 24 students and their parents, state media said late Tuesday.

The bus had been traveling on a remote highway in the restive western province of Xinjiang, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. It was about 730 miles from the regional capital of Urumqi when it turned over.

Most of the dead were students who were on their way to have health exams necessary for admission to high schools in China's more developed east, the report said.

France: Dalai Lama message

EVRY — The Dalai Lama sent China a message of good will for the Olympics and skirted the contentious issue of Tibet at the start of his 12-day visit to France on Tuesday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is spending most of the duration of the Beijing Olympics in France, with only one political event on his schedule — closed-door talks with French lawmakers today. His trip is focused mainly on Buddhist teachings and reaching out to his flock of hundreds of thousands in France.

Guatemala: Victim of attack

MORALES — Nancy Dryden had hoped to use her experience as a physical therapist to help Guatemala's children.

But after four machete-wielding men killed her 66-year-old husband, Daniel, and stabbed her, puncturing her lung, Dryden said Tuesday that all she wants to do is leave the Central American country.

The retired couple was attacked Saturday on their boat anchored in a relatively busy bay in Rio Dulce.

Police said the men were trying to steal the motor off the couple's dingy when Daniel Dryden confronted them.

"They wanted dollars, but we only had a few quetzales with us on the boat," Nancy Dryden said, referring to the Guatemalan currency.

After demanding money, the attackers repeatedly stabbed Daniel and then strangled him, officials said.

India: 13 protesters killed

SRINAGAR — Indian forces shot and killed at least 13 Muslim protesters on Tuesday as tens of thousands of people defied a blanket curfew in Indian Kashmir, the bloodiest day in nearly two months of unrest that has rocked this long-troubled Himalayan region.

Police and protesters battled each other through clouds of bullets, tear gas and rocks, while in New Delhi, politicians again failed to find a solution to the crisis that threatens to shred the last tenuous threads binding the predominantly Muslim region of Kashmir to Hindu-majority India.

New Zealand: 6.2 quake hits

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A strong earthquake has struck near the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 6.2 quake was centered 290 miles northwest of the key city of Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Sweden: Name law eased

STOCKHOLM — Swedish authorities say parents can now name their newborns "Budweiser" or "Metallica" if they so wish.

For decades, Swedish tax authorities had banned parents from naming their children after fast food chains, rock bands or their favorite brand of beer.

But tax authority spokesman Lars Tegenfeldt says the guidelines have been relaxed. He says "there is nothing negative about a name like Coca-Cola or McDonald's today. In the 1970s, maybe it was."

Zimbabwe: Power sharing

HARARE — A third day of talks over Zimbabwe's governance wound up on a conflicting note Tuesday amid reports that President Robert Mugabe and the leader of an opposition faction had reached a power-sharing agreement.

Shortly after the talks concluded, officials from Mugabe's party and the main opposition movement said the two sides had agreed on the plan, but a spokesman for the splinter group later denied the claim.

The reported agreement excludes Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main Movement for Democratic Change. He won the first round of presidential elections in March but boycotted the runoff to protest widespread violence against opposition supporters.