National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley arrived in Baghdad unannounced Monday for "ongoing consultations" with Iraq's senior leaders. But US officials denied that the discussions on military and political coordination were a reflection of recent strains between the two governments over the so-called "timeline" for further progress as Iraq struggles with spiraling sectarian violence. Meanwhile, at least 80 more deaths and dozens of injuries were reported, many of them after a bomb exploded near day laborers as they lined up for work in the capital's Shiite Sadr City neighborhood.
Federal police were wrapping themselves in protest banners for warmth early Monday in Oaxaca, Mexico, after pushing leftist demonstrators and striking teachers out of the main square. But while calm returned to the city after five months of turmoil, the streets still smelled of tear gas and smoke from burning barricades built by the protesters. The latter regrouped and vowed to continue their campaign to force unpopular Gov. Ulises Ruiz to resign. Without written guarantees of their safety, it was not clear whether all teachers would honor their agreement to return to the schools they've kept shut since May.
Joyous Serbs partied in the streets of Belgrade Sunday night, celebrating the acceptance of a new constitution that declares volatile Kosovo Province an integral part of the republic. Unofficial results put the "yes" vote at 96.5 percent, although the minimum turnout threshold for the outcome to be valid was barely met. The opposition Liberal Party alleged massive fraud because turnout at midday was so low as to indicate that the threshold wouldn't be reached. Ethnic Albanians, most of whom harbor dreams of independence, make up 90 percent of Kosovo's population. But Serbs consider the province the cultural heart of their nation.
Peace negotiations between Tamil separatist rebels and the government of Sri Lanka collapsed, and within hours Monday the sides were shelling each other's positions. Residents of the Tamil heartland told news agencies they believe there now will be a resumption of the heavy fighting that killed hundreds of people last summer. The talks stalled when government negotiators rejected a demand to reopen a strategic highway that cuts across Tamil territory. There were no indications that either side was agreeable to a new round later.
An Islamist militant group that recently declared allegiance to Al Qaeda was blamed for two explosions in suburbs of Algeria's capital late Sunday that killed three police officers, injured 24 others, and caused heavy property damage. The attacks, 15 minutes apart, were the most sophisticated in years in the north African country, where an amnesty for militants was part of President Abdulaziz Bouteflika's national reconciliation plan. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat did not claim responsibility for the blasts, but it refused to take advantage of the amnesty and has rejected all other peace initiatives offered by the government.
Typhoon Cimaron defied predictions and was still battering the northern Philippines Monday, hours after meteorologists expected it to be tracking across the South China Sea toward Vietnam. At least 15 deaths were blamed on flooding, landslides, and toppled trees caused by winds of up to 130 m.p.h. The typhoon is the second to lash the region recently. Last month, Xangsane caused 230 deaths as it passed over Manila.
Voters gave pro-Western President Georgi Parvanov a landslide victory in Bulgaria's runoff election over an ultranationalist challenger. The win makes him the first chief of state to be reelected there since the fall of communism in 1989 and ensures that he will preside over Bulgaria's entry into the European Union Jan. 1. Rival Volen Siderov conceded defeat as soon as the first exit poll results were announced.