Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Iraq to preside over change-of-command ceremonies, saying there will be a further narrowing of the sectors where US forces are engaged. But terrorists sought to overshadow his presence by exploding two car bombs in Baghdad, killing at least 12 people. In Tuesday's ceremony, Gen. David Petraeus will turn over control of US troops to Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno.
Saying, "We've arrived at a gridlock," the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has blocked every effort to investigate its alleged nuclear arms development efforts. The report concludes that Iran now has one-third of the enriched uranium needed to form the core of a bomb. In response, the Islamic republic said "constructive interaction" with the IAEA would continue but that the latter "needs to adopt a logical approach based on evidence."
Emergency discussions between Bolivian President Evo Morales and governors who oppose his leftist agenda appeared on the verge of producing a framework that could end a week of political violence. In a gesture aimed at facilitating the talks, protesters said they'd halt roadblocks in eastern Santa Cruz Province that have contributed to the strife. Morales was attending a second meeting on the matter Monday in neighboring Chile with fellow South American leaders.
A jury convicted Muslim cleric Abdul Benbrika and five followers Monday of plotting "violent jihad" in the biggest terrorism trial in Australian history.Four other defendants in Melbourne were acquitted of planning to assassinate Prime Minister John Howard and explode a bomb at a 2005 Australian Rules football championship game to pressure the government into recalling its troops from Iraq. The attacks would have been the first of their type on Australian soil, but police uncovered the plot before they could be carried out.
A second Chinese infant died and almost 1,000 more were added to the list of those made ill by drinking contaminated powdered milk. Police arrested two brothers who operated a collection station in central Hebei Province on suspicion of adding melamine, a chemical used in plastics, to the milk to make it appear higher in protein. The Health Ministry warned that the number of babies to whom the milk was been fed may be as high as 10,000.
Militants riding in speedboats raided a Royal Dutch/Shell pumping station in Nigeria's delta region before dawn Monday, their first attack in the "oil war" they declared over the weekend. An Army spokesman said there were no casualties among the guards at the facility but that it may have been damaged. In their declaration, the militants warned all foreign-owned oil companies to vacate the region.
More controversy arose in Thailand's already volatile politics Monday as the ruling party nominated acting Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat for the post on a full-time basis. The move drew angry opposition from protesters because Somchai is the brother-in-law of exiled former government chief Thaksin Shinawatra, who is charged with corruption and abuse of power. Analysts said Somchai's confirmation by parliament Wednesday cannot be taken for granted.
At least 23 people were trampled to death and eight others were critically injured Monday as thousands of poor Muslims jammed a narrow alley in a central Indonesian city to collect a traditional handout of money from a wealthy family for the Ramadan holy month. Afterward, police placed the family under protection to prevent reprisal attacks by angry relatives of the victims.