So dire are global financial conditions that they will cost 20 million people their jobs by the end of next year, the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO) projected Monday. It singled out the auto, construction, financial services, and real estate industries as likely to be the hardest hit. No regional projections were offered, but the ILO said countries with large domestic markets that don't rely heavily on exports are better equipped than most to weather the crisis.
Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni of Israel was given two more weeks Monday to try to form a coalition government. Political observers said Livni, currently the foreign minister and leader of the Kadima Party, has won a preliminary OK from the rival Labor Party to join but has yet to convince the ultraorthodox Shas Party to do so. She must line up enough support by Nov, 3 or else Israelis will have to vote in a new election in late January.
With hundreds of their supporters rallying outside, 86 people went on trial Monday in Istanbul for allegedly plotting to overthrow Turkey's government. But the proceedings descended into chaos as the defendants complained they couldn't hear because the courtroom was overcrowded. Many of the accused are secularists fiercely opposed to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-oriented administration. The trial, which already has unsettled the nation's financial markets, is expected to take months to complete.
Snarling traffic in Thailand's capital, thousands of antigovernment protesters handed out compact discs Monday showing how people were killed or hurt in a clash with riot police earlier this month. The demonstration, the second of its type in four days, appeared timed to ratchet up pressure on Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to resign. He is awaiting a ruling Tuesday by the Supreme Court in a corruption complaint against him.
An estimated 1,500 dogs in China have died from eating feed tainted with the same chemical that has sickened tens of thousands of children, a veterinary expert said Monday. Prof. Zhang Wenkui said the dogs, a specialty breed whose raccoon-like fur is widely used as trim on coats and other garments, were fed a diet that included melamine. The company that produces the feed has pressured breeders not to discuss the matter publicly, he said. Chinese-made pet foods tainted with melamine were blamed for dozens of dog and cat deaths in the US and Canada last year.
Authorities in Venezuela hinted that sabotage might have been behind a massive electricity blackout Sunday, the third this year. It affected Caracas, the capital, and eight states, although some service was restored within an hour. But the fact that the outage occurred at a time of low demand "worries us," the National Electric Corp. said. Venezuelans are due to vote next month in state and local elections that President Hugo Chávez has called the most crucial in the nation's history.
For his work in combating AIDS and furthering stability in Botswana, its former president was awarded the annual Ibrahim Prize, which honors achievement by African leaders. Festus Mogae served two terms before yielding power to his successor in the latest in a series of multiparty elections dating back to 1966. The prize carries a $5 million cash award plus an annual stipend of $200,000. It was established by Sudanese telecommunications billionaire Mo Ibrahim.
Five more people – all of them police officers – were found murdered execution-style in or near Tijuana, Mexico, over the weekend, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The discoveries raised the number of deaths there in the past month to 134 in what authorities say is a turf war between rival drug traffickers.