The Dalai Lama said Tuesday he'd quit as leader of Tibet's government-in-exile "if things become out of control." But at a news conference (above) in Dharmsala, India, his base, he denied accusations by Chinese Premier Wen Jibao that he was orchestrating the riots in Tibet in which an unknown number of people have been killed; estimates range from a few to as many as 99. Wen also thanked Indian authorities for halting the planned march back to Tibet by exiles in Dharmsala.
Protesting that they hadn't been properly invited, Sunni Arabs boycotted a conference on national reconciliation in Iraq Tuesday. They also complained that resolutions passed at earlier conferences hadn't been acted on. The meeting, opened by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, began less than 24 hours after a female bomber killed herself and 51 other people near a Shiite shrine in Karbala.
De facto military rule was imposed on the volatile Kosovo town of Mitrovica by NATO forces Tuesday in the wake of riots by ethnic Serbs that forced UN personnel to evacuate. A Ukrainian policeman serving with the UN died of wounds inflicted in the violence; several other police officers also were seriously hurt. NATO's move obliged Serb police in the town to suspend "normal" activities. Above, residents watch a NATO armored personnel carrier roll along a Mitrovica street.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez went on national TV in Venezuela Tuesday to proclaim, "We have defeated Exxon!" after a British court overturned the freeze on $12 billion in assets that had been awarded to the US energy giant. The freeze was granted two months ago by a judge in London to provide ExxonMobil with compensation in case an arbiter ruled in the company's favor in the case of an oil field that was nationalized by Venezuela's government. In losing Tues-day's ruling, Exxon Mobil also was ordered to pay $767,000 in Venezuela's legal expenses.
Swift approval was expected as Kenya's parliament opened debate Tuesday on the power-sharing deal between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. Two-thirds majorities are required on two bills that would establish the posts of prime minister and two deputies. If both pass, Kibaki would name a new cabinet with Odinga at its head. Following last December's election in which Kibaki was declared the winner, violence between rival supporters resulted in almost 1,500 deaths and left another 300,000 people homeless.
Lawyers for Zimbabwe's political opposition and would-be poll monitors asked the High Court to order that they be provided with electronic copies of the voter rolls before next week's presidential and parliamentary election. Without them, the attorneys argued, it would be difficult to uncover discrepancies, such as a finding that 50 people were registered at a hair salon owned by a member of the ruling ZANU-PF movement. Last week, the Electoral Court rejected the same request, ruling that the matter was outside its jurisdiction.
Flags flew at half-staff across Albania Tuesday in an official day of mourning after the number of deaths from last weekend's explosions at an Army ammunition dump rose to 17. At least 25 of the more than 300 people injured in the series of blasts were listed in serious condition in hospitals. Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu resigned over the incident, and one of the department's employees was among three people arrested for negligence.
All-night negotiations in Belgium produced a final agreement Tuesday between French- and Dutch-speaking political parties on the formation of a new coalition government. The pact ends nine months of stalemate in which it appeared that the two sides no longer shared the same vision of statehood. Under the new formula, Dutch-speaking Yves Leterme is expected to succeed interim Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt on Thursday.