</B>Dado Galdieri, Associated Press
An opponent of Bolivia's President Evo Morales holds a molotov bomb during riots in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Bolivia: U.S. ambassador out

LA PAZ — President Evo Morales said Wednesday that he is expelling the U.S. ambassador in Bolivia for allegedly inciting violent opposition protests.

Morales' announcement came hours after a pipeline blast triggered by saboteurs forced the country to cut natural gas exports to Brazil by 10 percent.

"Without fear of the empire, I declare the U.S. ambassador 'persona non grata,"' Morales said in a speech at the presidential palace. He said he asked his foreign minister to send a diplomatic note to Ambassador Philip Goldberg telling the American to go home.

Canada: Oil spill kills birds

CALGARY, Alberta — Up to 300 ducks and other birds died when they flew on to a pool of oil that leaked from an idle well in Alberta, Canadian wildlife officials said Wednesday.

The deaths came just months after a similar incident dented the public image of Alberta's oil industry, which has been drawing criticism from environmentalists. A flock of 500 migratory ducks died in April after landing on a waste pond at Syncrude's oil sands mine in northern Alberta.

Georgia: Police officer killed

KARALETI — Shots fired near a Russian checkpoint outside separatist South Ossetia killed a Georgian police officer Wednesday, and police accused Russian forces of hindering their investigation.

The shooting on the tense line where Georgian authority ends underscored the threat of violence in the area, even as Russia begins to withdraw forces still deep in Georgia a month after a war.

In another show of defiance toward the United States, which has backed Georgia, Russia announced that two Russian strategic Tu-160 bombers landed in Venezuela on a training mission Wednesday.

Japan: 4-inch tsunami hits

TOKYO — A magnitude 7 earthquake hit northern Japan on Thursday morning, triggering a small tsunami that apparently caused no damage, Japan's Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The agency said the quake hit at 9:21 a.m. off the eastern coast Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island at a depth of about 12.4 miles.

A 4-inch tsunami rippled at the shore about 35 minutes after the quake.

Lebanon: Bomb kills politician

BEIRUT — A bomb tore through a car in the hills east of Lebanon's capital on Wednesday, killing a Druse politician who recently helped reconcile rival factions within that minority community, police said.

The bomb that killed Sheik Saleh Aridi, a senior member of the Lebanese Democratic Party, was planted under his car in the village of Baissour, police said.

It was the first political assassination in about a year in Lebanon and came less than a week before planned reconciliation talks among rival Lebanese factions. Prime Minister Fuad Saniora contacted Druse leaders and joined them in calling for calm.

Puerto Rico: 3 acquitted

BAYAMON — A Puerto Rican judge on Wednesday found a contractor and two of his workers not guilty of animal cruelty in a highly publicized massacre of dogs and cats seized from a housing project and hurled off a bridge last year.

Following weeks of testimony, Superior Court Judge Miguel Fabre ruled prosecutors did not show sufficient evidence to make a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, telling the court that investigators had no witnesses linking the trio to the pets' deaths in October.