World

Some supporters of the antigovernment protests in Burma (Myanmar) said their campaign appeared to be over Monday in the face of last week's overwhelming military crackdown. Only a light security presence remained in central Rangoon, which was quiet and orderly, with most stores closed. With the situation apparently under control, the ruling junta denied the UN's visiting envoy a meeting to protest the crackdown until Tuesday.

Fifty-seven members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party were freed from Israeli jails Monday in a goodwill gesture aimed at providing him with a political boost before the expected international peace conference next month. All of those released were driven to the West Bank, where they were welcomed by relatives. But 30 others slated to return to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip remained in custody due to an unexplained delay, reports said.

Nuclear rivals India and Pakistan opened the first overland trucking route across their border in 60 years Monday, another step in their gradual peace process. Previously, cargo had to be unloaded at the boundary by porters, who handed it to their counterparts on the other side so it could continue to its destination. Officials said they expect 150 trucks a month to use the new route.

An immediate investigation was ordered by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko as his bitter rival's forces opened a lead in the late stages of ballot-counting from Sunday's election. Yushchenko's allies had claimed victory on the basis of early returns and exit polling. Vote-rigging in 2004 led to the Orange Revolution by Yushchenko and his supporters that resulted in the Supreme Court overturning an election won by President Viktor Yanukovich. But Yushchenko's failure to move the nation forward resulted in Yanukovich making a comeback as prime minister. Sunday's vote was intended to resolve their feud.

Saying, "We have won the mother of all battles," leftist President Rafael Correa claimed his forces may end up with 80 seats in Ecuador's Congress after Sunday's election. His Alianza Party needs 66 seats to control the legislature and offer a rewritten constitution – marginalizing the traditional political parties – for approval in a national referendum. Official results of the election are not expected for 20 days.

Suspected Muslim separatists exploded 13 bombs across southern Thailand early Monday in their most coordinated attacks in months. A 14th device was defused by police before it could go off. Authorities said the blasts killed a soldier and wounded at least nine other people. A policeman's wife was shot to death in a related incident. More than 6,000 attacks have been logged since Muslims opened their latest campaign for autonomy in January 2004.

FBI agents from the US were en route to the Maldives to help investigate the unprecedented bomb explosion that wounded 12 foreign tourists Sunday. There has been no claim of responsibility, police said, but they upped the number of suspects in detention to 10, identifying two as Bangladeshi nationals. They also said the reason for the attack "is now clear," but declined to make it public "at this stage of the investigation."

Ships of Yemen's Navy hastily evacuated personnel from a military island in the Red Sea Monday after earthquakes triggered a "catastrophic" volcanic eruption. At least three men were reported killed as molten lava covered Jabal al-Tabir 80 miles off the mainland; six others were missing. Authorities asked a passing NATO fleet to help in the search and keep other marine traffic from approaching the scene.

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