Another terrorist attack targeted a Baghdad university Sunday, killing at least 41 people and wounding 35 others after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had expressed optimism that his security crackdown in the capital was proving effective. Maliki estimated that US and Iraqi units had killed 400 militants and arrested 426 others and that the crackdown would be extended to other provinces once Baghdad had been stabilized. On Saturday, a truck bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque in Habbaniyah, 50 miles west of the capital, killing 39 people.
Iran successfully launched a rocket capable of rising 94 miles into Earth's atmosphere, officials of the aerospace research program said Sunday. But they denied earlier claims of a missile launch that could reach into space. The test followed by one day a Defense Ministry comment that Iran was planning to "become a member of the space club" by building a satellite and launcher.
In a show of faith, North Korea invited Mohamad ElBaradei, the chief of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, for a visit after agreeing earlier this month to dismantle its nuclear facilities. Aides said ElBaradei probably would make the trip within two weeks to discuss ways to implement the agreement. The North's deputy foreign minister – and chief nuclear negotiator – is due in the US Thursday for meetings on the same matter, reports said.
The Red Cross pleaded for the warring factions in Somalia's capital to protect civilians trapped by the conflict after at least 10 more people were killed and 13 others were hurt in weekend clashes. The mayor of Mogadishu, however, disputed reports of a mass exodus from the city and asked the news media "not to overstate what is happening."
Back in office after being reappointed prime minister of Italy, Romano Prodi was predicting Sunday that he'll have enough support to win a vote of confidence in parliament. Prodi quit the post last week after a key defeat on foreign policy but was asked by President Giorgio Napolitano to form another government because "there was no concrete alternative." Analysts said they do not expect the confidence vote to take place before midweek.
There was new optimism for an end to the political strife that has engulfed Guinea for weeks after President Lansana Conte agreed to name another prime minister, this time from a list of candidates submitted by his opponents. Unions, which have staged two general strikes against his government, said they'd halt the latest walkout Tuesday. Martial law, which Conte imposed to quell street protests, ended Friday after parliament refused to extend it. Earlier this month, Conte flouted an agreement to share power with a prime minister by appointing a crony to the post.
International aid was pouring into Bolivia over the weekend, helping to ease the plight of more than 350,000 people after the worst flooding there in 25 years. At least 35 people and an estimated 22,000 head of cattle have drowned because of three months of rains that meteorologists attribute to the El Niño phenomenon but President Evo Morales blames on developed nations ignoring the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
At least one more person died and three others were missing Sunday aboard the Indonesian ferry that caught fire at sea last week. Reports said police, safety investigators, and TV news crews were inspecting the vessel after it had been towed to port when it rolled over and sank. The latest victim brought the number of deaths on the ferry to at least 42.
Jose Ramos-Horta, who shared the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent resistance to Indonesian rule in East Timor, announced Sunday he will seek the nation's presidency. Ramos-Horta accepted the prime ministership last year in the midst of a governmental crisis that brought Australian peacekeeping troops to the fledgling nation. Independence hero and first president Xanana Gusmao has said he will not run again.