World news in brief
Iran failed to turn over sensitive information on its nuclear program to representatives of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna Monday, causing the latter's executive director to warn of a "brewing confrontationthat must be defused." His warning came as another IAEA source said that Iran's goal of 3,000 operating centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium may be reached as soon as the end of this month.
Both the home and the Cabinet office of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh came under fire as fighting between Hamas and Fatah escalated in the Gaza Strip. Haniyeh was not hurt, and he and the members of his government fled after the latter attack. The incidents occurred despite a new truce mediated by Egyptian officials so that high school students could take their final exams in peace.
A day after the third attempt on his life, aides to Afghan President Hamid Karzai said there would be no changes in security measures for him and his visits to provincial areas would continue without interruption. Seven suspects were arrested after rockets fell near the site where he was meeting with about 500 people southwest of Kabul, the capital. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. In Kabul, security forces found a sophisticated roadside explosive planted where a government motorcade could be expected to pass. The device was similar to those used in Iraq and suspected of having been supplied by Iran.
More than 50 public schools in southern Thailand were closed indefinitely after gunmen invaded one at lunchtime Monday and killed two Buddhist teachers, execution-style. A third Buddhist teacher was shot dead nearby as he visited a shop near his school. Education officials said the schools would reopen only after new security measures are "ensured."
A rush-hour explosion Monday in Kenya's capital killed two people, injured 37 others, and pointed suspicion either at militant Islamists or members of the Mungiki criminal gang. Papers found at the scene reportedly contained verses from the Koran. The blast occurred close to the US Embassy in Nairobi, where 231 people died in an Al Qaeda bomb attack in 1998. Last week, a police crackdown in Nairobi on the Mungiki resulted in at least 38 deaths.
In a resounding endorsement of new President Nicolas Sarkozy's reform agenda, French voters appeared ready to give his allies in parliament a landslide victory. First-round elections Sunday put Sarkozy's UMP Party on track to expand its absolute majority, and leftist opponents were exploring the possibility of a new alliance with centrists to avoid what Socialist leader Ségolène Royal called a "crushing" defeat.
Saying, "The voters have opted for a different majority," Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt resigned after eight years in power. His Liberal-Socialist government fell in Sunday's national election to an alliance led by conservative Christian Democrats, amid calls for greater autonomy for Flanders, Belgium's Dutch-speaking and economically dominant northern half.
At least 86 people were killed as the heaviest monsoon rains in a 10-hour period in Bangladesh history fell Monday. Dozens more were hospitalized, many of them after mudslides buried neighborhoods in the key port city of Chittagong. Meanwhile, continuing rains in China were blamed for 77 deaths and an estimated $447 million in property damage so far. In Australia, thousands of people returned home Monday following heavy flooding that Prime Minister John Howard said had turned parts of the nation "unrecognizable."