Heavily armed attackers raided an open-air market south of Baghdad Monday, inflicting heavy casualties, mainly among Shiite Muslims. At least 50 people were killed and almost twice that number were hurt in what may have been retaliation for the kidnapping of seven Sunnis in Mahmoudiya last week. They were found dead Sunday. The relentless violence also claimed 28 lives – again, mostly Shiites – when a bomber detonated the explosive belt he was wearing in a popular coffee shop in Tuz Khurmatu Sunday. The town is roughly 100 miles north of Baghdad.
At least 38 people were killed after a powerful undersea earthquake sent a tsunami crashing onto resort beaches and fishing villages on Indonesia's Java island Monday. Many others were reported missing, and authorities said it was likely that the casualty count would rise. An advisory issued by regional authorities did not reach the island because it has no warning system. Still, thousands of people were able to seek the safety of higher ground. The quake, with a magnitude of 7.7 on the open-ended scale, struck in the Indian Ocean 150 miles southwest of Java. A tidal surge also was reported as far south as the Australian territories of Coco and Christmas islands. Almost 230,000 people died when a magnitude-9.1 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the region Dec. 26, 2004. Seven weeks ago, a magnitude-6.2 quake killed more than 5,000 people on Java and destroyed an estimated 150,000 dwellings.
An international peacekeeping force is not needed in Somalia and – if sent – would be "a recipe for violence," the new leader of the Supreme Islamic Council said Monday. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys issued the warning as the international contact group for Somalia was to convene talks on restoring stability there. Aweys is listed as a terrorist by the US, and his group's forceful takeover of the troubled Horn of Africa nation has raised concerns that it could become a Taliban-style haven for Islamist extremists.
Another massive rally was called for July 30 in Mexico City by defeated leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who set a goal of doubling Sunday's turnout in his bid to win a new recount of the disputed election. Organizers estimated that 1.1 million supporters jammed the central square, chanting, "You are not alone!" But journalists put the crowd at perhaps 500,000. The Federal Electoral Tribunal, to which López Obrador submitted 900 pages of purported documentation that the July 2 vote was rigged, is to consider his demand for a manual recount of ballots this week.
Despite its tiny size, a political party that represents pedophiles was cleared by a court in the Netherlands to register for the Nov. 22 national election. The Brotherly Love, Freedom, and Diversity Party (PNVD) caused outrage in May when it announced its existence and such goals as lowering the age of sexual consent from 16 to 12 and legalizing child pornography. But prosecutors refused to bring charges against its members on grounds that they threaten public order, and the court said voters should judge whether the new party has enough appeal to win seats in Parliament. Opponents argued that children have the right not to be confronted with the PNVD platform.
Roughly $25,000 in compensation was promised to each of the families of men killed in the latest coal mine accident in China, reports said. Emergency crews recovered 50 of the dead from an illegal mine in northern Shanxi Province; seven other workers who'd been underground when airborne dust exploded Saturday remained missing. In Hunan Province, 13 men died after a river overflowed because of heavy rains, flooding the mine and a pump room where they worked. Meanwhile, the Xinhua news agency raised the number of deaths due to tropical storm Bilis to 170 Monday. The flood season in China has been the worst in years, Xinhua said.