Relations between Turkey and the US will be irreversibly damaged, the former's senior general warned Sunday, if Congress passes a Democrat-sponsored resolution labeling the World War I killings of Armenians a genocide. Turkey has recalled its ambassador for consultations over the issue, and its minister of foreign trade canceled a scheduled trip to the US in protest. Turkey is a key US ally in the war on terrorism, and two senior American diplomats were due to meet in Ankara with Foreign Ministry officials to try to deflect anger over the resolution.
Internet access was restored by the ruling junta in Burma (Myanmar) over the weekend, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew in major cities was reduced to four hours as tensions eased further following last month's protests. But Amnesty International said four more high-profile political activists were arrested despite UN appeals to the regime to halt its crackdown on dissent. Activists scorned a rally Saturday in Rangoon, the former capital, by an estimated 120,000 people in support of the junta. Many of the participants were paid to attend, the critics said.
Authorities in Iran rearrested the head of a human rights group for "activities against national security," official news agencies said Sunday. Emadeddin Baghi, an activist on behalf of prisoners, had served two years of a three-year sentence on the same grounds when he was paroled in 2003. Security sources said he would be returned to jail for the unexpired portion of his sentence.
Eighteen months behind schedule, aviation giant Airbus is scheduled to deliver the first of its vaunted A380 "superjumbo" passenger jets Monday. The customer: Singapore Airlines. Production of the plane, which can seat 800 people, has been delayed by repeated problems and overshadowed by alleged insider trading among executives of Airbus's parent company. Airbus reportedly has orders for 189 A380s at a list price of $320 million each. But due to the problems, industry analysts say 420 must be sold if the plane is to be profitable.
As expected, a general election in Australia was scheduled for Nov. 24, with political observers predicting a humbling defeat for Prime Minister John Howard and his coalition government.Howard (above) announced the date Sunday. For months, opinion polls have showed the opposition Labor Party with a commanding lead. Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd is pledged to pull Australian combat troops out of Iraq, to overturn controversial labor legislation passed during Howard's rule, and to sign the Kyoto protocols on climate change.
Well-wishers crowded outside a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, where revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej was recovering from eight hours of treatment Saturday for circulatory problems. The world's longest-reigning monarch has battled medical problems for the past decade, and Thais pay close attention to news of his health.
A search for survivors was expected to resume Sunday at an open-pit mine in southern Colombia after its walls collapsed, killing at least 21 people. Twenty-six others were hurt, and authorities were unable to estimate how many more remained missing. A rumored discovery of gold deposits lured local residents to the abandoned pit despite warnings that recent heavy rains had made it unsafe.
A dedication ceremony for a new statue honoring former Mexican President Vicente Fox was canceled Sunday after protesters pelted it with eggs and toppled it to the ground (above). The fall broke off the right hand and damaged the base. The bronze statue had stood for only about four hours Saturday in the city of Boca del Rio, when the attack occurred. Fox's election in 2000 ended 71 years of political control by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and many of the protesters were reported to be PRI supporters.