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No. 2 British diplomat escapes attack

SAN’A | Assailants fired a rocket at a convoy carrying Britain’s No. 2 diplomat in Yemen and killed a Frenchman working for an Austrian oil company Wednesday in a pair of attacks that heightened fears over the safety of Westerners in a country facing a growing militant threat.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the British motorcade, but the violence casts doubt on the effectiveness of the Yemeni government’s U.S.-backed campaign to uproot al Qaeda militants. Al Qaeda’s offshoot in Yemen has found a haven in parts of the mountainous, impoverished nation where the central government’s control is weak.


Trio wins Nobel for chemistry

STOCKHOLM | An American and two Japanese scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for finding new ways to bond carbon atoms together, methods now widely used to make medicines and even slimmed-down computer screens.

Richard Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki were honored for their development four decades ago of one of the most sophisticated tools available to chemists today, called palladium-catalyzed cross coupling.


Mob storms party base ahead of vote

BISHKEK | A mob stormed the headquarters of a leading political party in the capital of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions days ahead of a decisive parliamentary election in the Central Asian country.

Protesters seized the building of the nationalist Ata-Zhurt party, which includes several representatives of the former government led by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was ousted during bloody street protests in April.

Ata-Zhurt is expected to make a strong showing in Sunday’s election, with independent polls putting it in third place with at least 10 percent of the vote.

From wire dispatches and staff reports