WASHINGTON

Indictment charges four in tainted peanut outbreak

Four former peanut company employees have been charged with scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine, sickened hundreds and prompted one of the largest recalls in history in 2009.

The 76-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Albany, Ga., accuses Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell and Georgia plant manager Samuel Lightsey with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead.

Stewart Parnell, Lightsey and quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson were also charged with obstruction of justice.

DAMASCUS, Syria

Car bombing leave 53 dead near ruling party offices

A car bomb exploded Thursday near Syria’s ruling party headquarters in Damascus, killing at least 53 people in one of the bloodiest days in the capital since the uprising began almost two years ago.

Elsewhere in the city, two other bombs struck intelligence offices, killing 22, and mortar rounds hit the army’s central command, activists said.

HYDERABAD, India

Bombs in shopping area explode, killing at least 12

A pair of bombs exploded Thursday evening in a crowded shopping area in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, killing at least 12 people and wounding scores of others in the worst bombing in the country in more than a year, officials said.

The blasts occurred about two minutes apart around 7 p.m. outside a movie theater and a bus station, police said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to the public to remain calm.

The bombs were attached to two bicycles about 500 feet apart in Dilsukh Nagar district, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters in New Delhi. The district is a usually crowded shopping area near a residential neighborhood.

When asked if the government had any suspects, Shinde responded: “We have to investigate.”

– From news service reports