An offer by Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to join his coalition government was turned down Monday by the leader of the opposition Labor Party. The rejection by Ehud Barak, himself a former prime minister, was the second for Netanyahu in two days. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of the Kadima Party also said "no," although she held out the possibility of further discussion with Netanyahu.
North Korea has deployed a new generation of ballistic missiles with enough range to hit targets as far away as India, much of Russia, Guam, and northern Australia, a report by rival South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday. But it did not say how many of the new missiles the North has or where their launch sites are. The report came amid speculation that North Korea soon will test-fire its longest-range missile, capable of reaching the US West Coast.
A delivery man who regularly brought supplies to African Union peacekeepers in Somalia's capital was blamed for triggering a bomb that killed 11 men and wounded 15 others. Within hours of the attack Sunday, the Islamist militia Al Shabaab posted a message on its website calling the peacekeepers "nonbelievers" and warning that "we shall never tire of increasing your death toll." The attack came as Somalia's newly chosen president and prime minister were due to return to Mogadishu from neighboring Djibouti, where they'd been choosing members of a unity cabinet.
Police in Cairo were questioning suspects Monday after a bomb explosion killed a French teenager and wounded 21 other tourists near a mosque that is one of Egypt's most revered shrines. A second bomb was detonated in a controlled explosion. Tourism is a major income-earner for Egypt and as such has been a target for terrorists trying to damage President Hosni Mubarak's government. But this was the first such attack in three years.
Senior officials of Colombia's domestic intelligence agency were asked to resign and a search of its headquarters was ordered as a wiretapping scandal spread. Department of Administrative Security agents allegedly eavesdropped on Supreme Court justices, opposition party leaders, and journalists. Analysts suggested that information learned from the wiretaps may have been passed to drug traffickers, leftist rebel groups, or paramilitary units.
Gusting winds fanned still-smoldering wildfires back into flame in southern Australia, only hours after a national day of mourning for the 209 people known to have died in the blazes earlier this month. Three firefighters were hurt battling the new flames, and more than 100 people evacuated their homes. The national and Victoria State governments said Monday they'd cover the cleanup costs of all who lost homes in the earlier fires.
All employees who were inside the coal mine in north-central China when gas exploded Sunday have been accounted for, a provincial government spokesman said, announcing that rescue efforts have ended. But relatives of those killed or injured complained of being sent to a shabby guesthouse and told to wait for information that wasn't forthcoming. Seventy-four men died in the accident, the worst in China in more than a year. Another 114 remained hospitalized, five of them in critical condition.
Police in Britain told the Guardian newspaper they're bracing for a "summer of rage" perpetrated by middle-class people who have lost jobs, their homes, or savings in the current recession. They warned that such people, egged on by "known activists," could target banks and other financial institutions and the headquarters of multinational corporations blamed for the downturn.