Kosovo appeared headed for a coalition government following Saturday's election for a new parliament. Former ethnic Albanian rebel Hashim Thaci claimed victory (above) for his Democratic Party, which would make him the likely prime minister and the man to lead the breakaway province to independence from Serbia. But not-yet-final results indicated his party would fall short of a majority in the 120-seat legislature. The election was marked by a low turnout, both because of general apathy and a boycott by Serb voters.
Despite its violent crackdown against antigovernment protesters in September, Burma (Myanmar) will not be suspended from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the latter's spokesman said. By unanimous vote Saturday, the US Senate urged suspension or other "appropriate disciplinary measures" until Burma's ruling junta demonstrates "improved respect for and commitment to human rights." But the ASEAN spokesman likened the junta to "a troubled child" who should be disciplined through dialogue. ASEAN opens a summit meeting Monday in Singapore.
An estimated 25,000 people braved snow and cold winds to stage a rare solidarity march through Belgium's capital, demonstrating impatience at the deadlock that's keeping a new government from taking office.At issue is increased self-rule for the nation's French- and Dutch-speaking regions. Since elections almost six months ago, political leaders have been unable to agree on the composition of a coalition government, fueling worry that the 177-year-old kingdom could break apart along linguistic lines.
Greenpeace, the environmental movement, was vowing to chase four Japanese whaling ships as they set out Sunday for their largest harvesting expedition since the 1960s. The whalersplan to kill up to 50 humpbacks, 935 minkes, and 50 fin whales in waters off Antarctica, resuming a hunt that was interrupted last February by a fatal fire aboard the mother ship of the fleet. The International Whaling Commission allows hunts for scientific purposes, but critics say Japan uses that policy as a cover for commercial harvesting.
Thirty-three men died and 67 others were listed as missing after a methane gas explosion deep inside a coal mine in Ukraine's Donetsk region Sunday. Rescuers brought an estimated 350 miners to the surface. But a fire that broke out following the explosion was burning unchecked, hindering further efforts.Many of Ukraine's mines are outdated, and the accident was one of the worst since the ex-Soviet republic achieved independence in 1991. Below, a rescue team leader holds a map of the mine shafts.
Closing arguments are to be made by both the prosecution and defense in New Westminster, British Columbia, Monday in the trial of a farmer accused of being the worst serial killer in Canadian history. Jurors have heard 10 months of testimony in the case of Robert "Willie" Picton, who is alleged to have murdered 49 women. Picton's lawyers admitted that the remains of some of the victims were found on his property but deny that he was responsible for their deaths.
Emergency crews brought a fire under control on a vital natural gas pipeline in Saudi Arabia early Sunday, but not before it and an accompanying explosion killed at least 28 people. The blaze will not affect operations at a processing plant that converts the gas to liquid, the state-owned oil Saudi Aramco company said. It ruled out sabotage or terrorism as a cause.
A pledge of $300 million for research on lowering carbon emissions for improving the environment was announced by Saudi King Abdullah in his welcoming speech Saturday to the OPEC summit conference in Riyadh, the capital. But reports said no other cartel member appeared ready to commit to a similar pledge.