BAGHDAD, Iraq

Three blasts kill 10 people, injure 31 north of capital

Three bomb blasts shortly before sunset Wednesday killed 10 people north of Baghdad in the latest spasm of violence to grip Iraq.

The blasts underscored the volatility of the country eight months after the last U.S. troops pulled out. Insurgents, led by the local branch of al-Qaida, are trying to re-establish themselves in their old strongholds and undermine the government.

The first bomb went off Wednesday in Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of the Iraqi capital. Police said two civilians and one police officer were killed, and five people were wounded.

Minutes later, authorities said, a car bomb exploded at the entrance of the main market in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. A second blast struck as police arrived on the scene. Police said the toll for both bombings in the town was seven killed and 26 wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though large coordinated bombings are often the work of al-Qaida’s local franchise.

WASHINGTON

Astronomers find galaxy creating 740 stars per year

Scientists have found a cosmic supermom. It’s a galaxy that gives births to more stars in a day than ours does in a year.

Astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-Ray telescope to spot this distant gigantic galaxy creating about 740 new stars a year. By comparison, our Milky Way galaxy spawns just about one new star each year.

The galaxy is about 5.7 billion light years away in the center of a recently discovered cluster of galaxies that give off the brightest X-ray glow astronomers have seen. It is by far the biggest creation of stars that astronomers have seen for this kind of galaxy. Other types, such as colliding galaxies, can produce even more stars, astronomers said.

But this is the size, type and age of galaxy that shouldn’t be producing stars at such a rapid pace, said the authors of a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

“It’s very extreme,” said Harvard University astronomer Ryan Foley, co-author of the study. “It pushes the boundaries of what we understand.”

The unnamed galaxy — officially known by a string of letters and numbers — is about 3 trillion times the size of our sun, said study lead author Michael McDonald of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

There’s another strange thing about this galaxy. It’s fairly mature, maybe 6 billion years old. Usually, these “don’t do anything new … what we call red and dead,” McDonald said in an interview. “It seems to have come back to life for some reason.”

POMPANO BEACH, Fla.

Parasailer dies after hitting ocean when harness breaks

Authorities say a Connecticut woman who was parasailing with her husband in South Florida died after her harness broke and she plummeted as much as 200 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission identified the woman as 28-year-old Kathleen Miskell.

Pompano Beach spokeswoman Sandra King said Miskell was parasailing Wednesday afternoon with her husband, Stephen, when her harness broke and she fell.

King said the boat crew reeled in her husband and circled back to rescue the woman. King said the woman was in cardiac arrest and the captain performed CPR until the boat met up with paramedics. Authorities said Miskell was pronounced dead at a hospital.

— From news service reports