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India's Congress party was headed for a bruising defeat in key state elections, including in the capital, early results showed on Sunday, underlining the struggle it will face to cling to power in a national election due by May. Congress, led by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for most of the 66 years since independence, is facing widespread anger at corruption and high inflation after two successive terms at the head of a national coalition. The center-left party's main opponent, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the clear winner in three big states that went to the polls, though with the count still on it was a neck-and-neck race in a fourth. Markets are closely tracking the outcome of the polls, seen as a test of support the BJP's business-friendly candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi. Bond, rupee and share prices rose last week after exit polls predicted a strong BJP performance.
Car bombs killed at least 30 people across Iraq on Sunday and wounded nearly a hundred, with attackers mainly targeting busy commercial streets in the capital, police sources said. The deadliest attack took place in the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim district of Bayaa in Baghdad when a bomb in a parked vehicle detonated near car workshops, killing seven and wounding 14, the sources said. Violence in Iraq is at the highest level in at least five years and the capital has been targeted almost daily. More than 8,000 have been killed this year, the United Nations says.
By Douwe Miedema and Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When U.S. regulators adopt the Volcker rule on Tuesday, they will make good on a promise by politicians to rein in banks' ability to gamble with their own money. The coordinated action by five separate regulatory agencies is seen sparking a court challenge as Wall Street tries once again to avoid one of the harshest elements of the post-financial crisis crackdown. The rule, championed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, was a last-minute addition to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and takes aim at a business that had been a big money spinner for banks before the crisis. "For something of this magnitude and this controversial ... there will be somebody who will challenge it," said Brian Cartwright, an advisor at consultancy Patomak Global Partners and a former general counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the agencies voting on the measure.