The leaders of India and Pakistan used temperate language Sunday in an effort to avoid confrontation after two reported violations of the latter's airspace by military planes. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari called the incidents "technical incursions [that] do happen." Citing only one of them, an Indian government spokeswoman said Pakistan had been assured that it was "inadvertent." The incidents came as visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised Pakistan both financial and technical aid to help battle extremism. Earlier, he told his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, that Britain will give "every help we can ... in tackling terrorism."
Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters jammed Gaza City Sunday for 21st anniversary celebrations as the militant Palestinian organization announced it will not renew its cease-fire with Israel, which expires this month. Speakers said Hamas has "gone from stone-throwing to guns and rockets" and has "succeeded in striking at Israel's national security."
Leaders of Zimbabwe's opposition vowed Sunday to block new legislation that would establish a unity government and the office of prime minister. The Movement for Democratic Change, which holds a narrow majority in Parliament, said it hadn't been consulted. Its chief, Morgan Tsvangirai, and President Robert Mugabe have agreed to such a government, but have failed to resolve a dispute over which would control the top cabinet posts.
Between Moscow and St. Petersburg, police arrested at least 100 opposition protesters Sunday, shoved them into waiting vans, and drove them away. The participants, members of a group cofounded by chess champion Garry Kasparov, had been denied permission to demonstrate against recent moves to extend the president's term from four years to six. Kasparov, who calls his group Solidarity after the anticommunist movement in Poland, said Russia's leaders have learned to use "liberal rhetoric" to create "a complete dictatorship."
New international condemnation was being heaped on Russia's military Sunday after hundreds of troops returned to a disputed town in Georgia they'd vacated only hours before. The town, on the border with South Ossetia, was covered by the peace agreement Russia signed last summer. Georgian police sent to dismantle roadblocks that had been left behind were ordered out by the returning Russians, and a delegation of ambassadors from European governments was denied entry.
Saying, "We know well who we are up against â€“ real monsters," Ecuador's president ordered his government not to make a $31 million payment on the national debt that is due Monday. Rafael Correa said the obligation was illegally incurred by a previous administration and already had been repaid "many times over." The leftist leader warned bondholders to prepare for renegotiations at "a very big discount."
A new prime minister is expected to be named in Somalia early this week after transitional President Abdullahi Yusuf ended his rift with government chief Nur Hassan Hussein Sunday by firing him and his entire cabinet. The latter said he'd challenge the move in Parliament, claiming Yusuf had exceeded his authority. Hussein, who'd held the post for a little over a year, failed to bring security to Somalia and his government was "paralyzed by corruption, inefficiency, and treason," Yusuf said.
Only 10 people survived one of Egypt's worst highway accidents in years, police said Sunday, after the bus in which they were riding swerved to avoid an oncoming truck and plunged into a deep irrigation canal. At least 53 others died. The accident happened 133 miles south of Cairo.