RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Bush lobbies OPEC to increase production

President Bush warned yesterday that surging oil prices threaten the U.S. economy and urged OPEC nations to boost their output. His plea drew little sympathy from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which said production levels appear normal.

Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also pressed Arab countries to do more to reach out to Israel and help achieve a Mideast peace agreement before the president’s term runs out next January. Avoiding specific orders to Arab allies, Rice said the delicate question of diplomatic relations with Israel, the Arab world’s historical enemy, was “another matter and undoubtedly down the road.”

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister wondered what more could be expected of them than they are already doing.

BEIRUT, Lebanon

Bomb was intended for U.S embassy car

An explosion targeted a U.S. Embassy vehicle yesterday in northern Beirut, killing at least three Lebanese and injuring an American bystander and a local embassy employee, U.S. and Lebanese officials said.

The blast, which damaged the armored SUV and several other vehicles, took place just ahead of a farewell reception for the American ambassador at a hotel in central Beirut.

No Americans were in the car, which was carrying two Lebanese employees of the embassy, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.

There were conflicting accounts of the death toll, with the State Department, from information provided by the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, saying four people had been killed and Lebanese authorities saying that only three had died.

WASHINGTON

Commissioner: Bonds should have come clean

Barry Bonds’ team should have reported concerns about the home run king’s personal trainer to Major League Baseball, commissioner Bud Selig told Congress on yesterday during a hearing on the sport’s steroids era.

Even though no players were present, unlike the theatrical March 2005 session, the names of Bonds, seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and 2002 AL MVP Miguel Tejada all were raised during the 4-hour, 15-minute proceedings prompted by last month’s Mitchell Report.

Selig and union leader Donald Fehr sat side-by-side before a House committee friendlier in tone than three years ago yet still concerned about how serious baseball is in dealing with its doping problem.

KABUL, Afghanistan

Taliban threatens Western tourists

The Taliban said yesterday that its suicide bombers would attack restaurants where Westerners eat in Kabul, an ominous new threat that forced American and European workers to restrict outings in the Afghan capital.

The country’s intelligence chief linked Monday’s deadly attack on the Serena Hotel – a well-guarded, high-profile property in Kabul frequented by Westerners – to a Pakistani militant. Afghan officials arrested four people, and said they included one of the three attackers, who was disguised in a police uniform for the assault.

-Compiled from Daily wire reports

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