Al-Qaida group takes credit for explosions that killed 65

An al-Qaida in Iraq front group claimed responsibility Wednesday for bloody attacks that killed 65 people across the country a day earlier, underscoring the terror group’s potency a decade after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq said it unleashed the car bombs and other explosions to avenge the executions and “massacres” of convicted Sunnis held in Iraqi prisons.

Most of the nearly 20 attacks on Tuesday targeted Shiite areas in Baghdad. In addition to those killed, more than 200 were wounded, officials said.

CANBERRA, Australia

Prime minister apologizes for forced-adoption policies

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a historic national apology in Parliament on Thursday to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption over several decades.

More than 800 people, many of them in tears, heard the apology in the Great Hall of Parliament House and responded with a standing ovation.

“Today this Parliament on behalf of the Australian people takes responsibility and apologizes for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies, which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering,” Gillard told the audience.

She committed $5 million to support services for affected families and to help biological families reunite.

Unwed mothers were pressured, deceived and threatened into giving up their babies from World War II until the early 1970s so they could be adopted by married couples, a Senate committee report found.


Thousands of dead shrimp, hundreds of crabs wash up

Chilean officials are investigating the death of thousands of prawns that washed ashore Wednesday, covering a beach in red.

The dead shrimp appeared in Coronel, about 330 miles south of the capital, Santiago.

Local fishermen said the Bocamina 1 and 2 power plants owned by regional electricity generator Endesa and the Santa Maria plant controlled by Chilean power company Colbun have heated the water, endangering their livelihood.

“I’m 69 years old and starting fishing when I was 9, but as a fisherman, I never saw a disaster of this magnitude,” Gregorio Ortega told local Radio Bio Bio.

Hundreds of dead crabs also washed up over the weekend.