Twin blasts kill 34 in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Two explosions went off minutes apart in the northwest city of Peshawar Saturday, killing 34 people and injuring nearly 100 in one of the deadliest attacks since the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last month, officials said.

The attack took place as CIA Director Leon Panetta and Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Islamabad, 95 miles to the east, to speak separately with senior Pakistani officials about intelligence sharing and efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.

No group claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban has pledged to carry out attacks in retaliation for the covert U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden.

Saturday's attack took place across the street from the offices of the top political agent to Khyber, part of Pakistan's volatile tribal region, and only about 100 yards from army housing. - AP

Pope tells Europe to include Gypsies

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI listened to Gypsies recount their way of life at a first-ever papal audience for them at the Vatican on Saturday, decried their persecution during World War II, and called on Europe to help end centuries of rejection of the Roma people.

About 2,000 Catholic Gypsies gathered to hear Benedict speak. "Your history is complex, and, in some periods, painful," Benedict said. "You are a people who over the past centuries never held nationalistic ideologies, never aspired to possess a land or dominate other peoples. You have remained without a homeland and have ideally considered the entire [European] continent as your home."

Benedict told how in 2006 he prayed before a plaque at Auschwitz marking the killing of thousands of Gypsies in Nazi death camps - "a drama that is still barely recognized and of which it is difficult to measure its proportions."

- AP

Bomb, gun attacks kill 11 in Iraq

BAGHDAD - Twin car bombs ripped through a crowded neighborhood of restaurants and peanut vendors in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Saturday, and gunmen killed a teacher and his family in the central part of the country. At least 11 people were killed in the attacks.

The violence highlighted concerns about Iraq's fragile security as its leaders ponder whether to ask U.S. forces to remain after a Dec. 31 withdrawal deadline. A drumbeat of bombings, assassinations, random shootings, robberies, and roadside attacks has added urgency to that debate.

The Interior Ministry reported that 321 Iraqis had been killed last month, a 28 percent increase from the 251 killed in April. But civilian deaths made up a lower proportion of those casualties, falling in May to their lowest level for the year, according to the Health Ministry. - N.Y. Times News Service

Elsewhere:

Protesters held mass demonstrations against nuclear power across Japan on Saturday, the three-month anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 23,000 people and triggered one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.