Heavy fighting erupted again Monday between supporters and opponents of Lebanon's government, and reports said at least 17 of the latter were killed. Clashes in Tripoli, the No. 2 city, subsided early Sunday after government troops moved between the two sides. But when they pulled back, the hostilities resumed. The trouble has been the worst since the 1975-90 civil war. A delegation of Arab League foreign ministers was expected to arrive Tuesday to try to mediate an end to the fighting. Above, a car destroyed in the town of Chouweifat attracts a passing schoolboy.
No Western countries will be permitted to send observers to monitor Zimbabwe's presidential runoff election unless they first cancel economic sanctions against the Mugabe government,the Justice Ministry said Monday. Presidential challenger Morgan Tsvangirai had demanded international observers as a condition for agreeing to compete in the runoff, whose date has yet to be announced.
New Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced his proposed changes to Russia's government Monday, but with few exceptions the cabinet will remain as it was before he left the presidency last week. The major changes:
• splitting the Ministry of Energy and Industry in two, a move that analysts said reflects the growing importance of oil and gas exports and a need to address the underdeveloped manufacturing sector;
•creation of a new Ministry of Tourism and Sport.
President Dmitri Medvedev's approval of the changes is considered a mere formality.
An indefinite curfew was reimposed on a suburb of Sudan's capital Monday, and government troops were searching for rebels after an attack on Khartoum killed about 65 people over the weekend. Police also arrested Hassan al-Turabi, leader of the opposition Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Turabi is believed to have considerable influence with the JEM rebels who staged the attack. He and President Omar al-Bashir were allies until a power struggle divided them eight years ago.
A recall election for Bolivian President Evo Morales and the governors of nine states that oppose his proposed constitutional reforms was set for Aug. 10. The leftist leader agreed to the nationwide referendum last week as a way of ending the deadlock over his bid to improve conditions for the impoverished indigenous majority, which has polarized the country. But analysts said the referendum is risky because he and the governors all must win by larger percentages than they did three years ago or submit to a new election. Morales, in particular, won by a landslide in the 2005 vote.
Residents who want to escape the violent Muslim separatism campaign in southern Thailand may sell their land to the government, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej announced on his weekly TV program. But, he added, "I've told them that they should stay and live together" since the level of violence has eased in recent months. On his first trip to the restive provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani since taking office, Samak appealed to the militants to surrender. More than 3,000 people have been killed since the campaign began in 2004.
After repeatedly blasting the Dalai Lama for inspiring the recent unrest in Tibet, senior Chinese leaders have inquired whether he'd agree to attend the Olympic Summer Games as a way of easing tensions, reports said Monday. A member of Tibet's government-in-exile told journalists, "If they want to invite [him], I'm sure he would consider this." The Buddhist spiritual leader's representatives and Communist Party negotiators met last week to discuss their differences, and although the talks produced no consensus, the two sides are expected to meet again before the Aug. 8-24 Games.
At least 20 people drowned and dozens of others were missing after a ferry capsized on a trip along Haiti's southern peninsula to the capital, Port-au-Prince. The accident occurred about 150 yards offshore, enabling an unknown number of survivors to swim to safety. The ferry probably was heavily overcrowded, authorities said.