China's main north-south national highway reopened Monday after weeks of snow and ice storms that disrupted transport and fuel supplies during the country's peak holiday season. Rail service was also slowly returning to normal, but crowd control remained a challenge in Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton) as a river of new travelers flowed into the city on Monday. Above, a passenger climbs through a window of a crowded train at the city's railway station.
In opening Iran's first major space center and unveiling the country's first domestically built satellite Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran needs to have "an active and influential presence in space." According to state-run television, Iran launched a research rocket that was its first into space, reaching more than 60 miles above the earth.
Afghan and unidentified foreign troops conducted two raids on the homes of suspected Taliban militants on Monday, police said. In one attack, nine insurgents were killed, but in another, a raid on the home of a Taliban member resulted in his slipping away and civilians being killed. NATO and US military officials accuse militants of hiding in populated areas and using civilians as human shields.
Former UN chief Kofi Annan brought Kenya's rival sides together on Monday to try to end a month of postelection bloodshed, but his efforts to solve ethnic strife hit a new setback when a top mediator quit. South African business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa, who was selected to head efforts to iron out deep ethnic divisions, pulled out after complaints from government officials that he had business links to opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The world's largest clean-transport area was introduced in London Monday, with 12-ton diesel trucks banned from a "low emission zone" designed to improve air quality. Cameras at 75 sites in and around the zone will snap pictures of license plates for checking against a database. Trucks not permitted in the zone will be charged $400 if caught. Similar zones exist in several European cities, including Berlin and Stockholm.
The US military offered its condolences Monday after American troops hunting Al Qaeda militants south of Baghdad accidentally killed nine Iraqi civilians over the weekend. The military gave no further details but Iraqi police at the scene said American helicopters had fired on a checkpoint manned by a neighborhood police patrol after a US convoy was attacked.
Sri Lanka celebrated its 60th anniversary of independence Monday with a military parade of tanks and troops in Colombo the day after a suspected female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded 92 at the island's main train station. It was the latest in a litany of attacks as a 25-year civil war escalates.
In making his first appearance Monday before Cambodia's UN-backed genocide tribunal, defendant Nuon Chea, the Khmer Rouge's former ideologist, demanded "international standards" of treatment in his case. The hearing on his appeal to be released from pre-trial detention was adjourned after his lawyer asked for a delay. Chea (above l. in court) is charged with war crimes for his involvement with the brutal communist regime, which killed an estimated 1.7 million people during its 1975-79 rule.
The city of Florence, Italy, which annually attracts about 11 million tourists, is considering a plan to move its most popular attraction, Michelangelo's statue of David, to a theater to be built on the outskirts of town, according to CBC News. This relocation, along with a proposed tram line, should lessen downtown congestion. The marble masterpiece is located in the Galleria dell'Accademia, but the proposed theater could become its permanent home.