New Lebanese President Michel Suleiman moved into his official residence Monday, the first time the palace has had an occupant in 18 months. Suleiman, who was confirmed as chief of state by parliament a day earlier, gave up command of the Army to take the post after pro- and anti-Syrian forces agreed last week on a formula to end their conflict. He's expected to appoint a new prime minister almost immediately to head a unity cabinet in which Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian allies will hold veto power.Skip to next paragraph
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Hard-line President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe "will be the first to go on national television and acknowledge the [will] of the people" if he loses the June 27 runoff election, an aide said Monday. But Mugabe is "very, very confident" he'll win, the aide said. Opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, who outpolled Mugabe in the March 29 first round, returned home Saturday after weeks abroad, saying he also was confident of victory.
Tamil separatist rebels were blamed for a bomb explosion that ripped open one car of a commuter train in a suburb of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, Monday. The blast killed at least seven people and injured 67 others, authorities said. The attack came two days after explosives experts defused time bombs found aboard two buses outside Colombo.
Army commanders in Nigeria confirmed that a vital oil pipeline was attacked in an area unguarded by troops early Monday. But they denied a claim by the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta that it had killed 11 soldiers in a subsequent gunfight. Royal Dutch Shell, operator of the pipeline, said it could not comment until the situation had been investigated.
By a vote of 305-to-103, Egypt's parliament approved a request by President Hosni Mubarak to extend emergency rule for two more years – or until his government can write a new antiterrorism law. Emergency rule has been in effect since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
Claiming victory was stolen from them in last week's election, an estimated 40,000 opposition supporters protested in Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, vowing to disrupt the new parliament until there is a rerun of the voting. Final results of the election gave President Mikhail Saakashvili's United National Movement more than two-thirds of the seats in the legislature. European monitors faulted some aspects of the election but said it expressed the overall will of the people.
At least 11 people died, 54 others were hurt, and hundreds more crowded into temporary shelters in central Colombia after a strong earthquake struck the region Sunday. The 5.7-magnitude quake, the strongest there since 1999, knocked out electricity and water delivery and sent showers of bricks onto the streets from buildings in Bogotá, the capital.
Soldiers angry at the dismissal of Prime Minister Lansana Kouyate of Guinea were rioting Monday in the capital, Conakry. Witnesses said gunfire could be heard, although there were no early reports of casualties. Kouyate was appointed last year in a power-sharing deal with President Lansana Conte and had pledged to work for higher pay for the troops. But Conte fired him last week on national television.
The American recipient of one of the world's most prestigious awards in mathematics said Monday he'll donate his $33,333 share to advance the education of Palestinian students. Israel's parliament chose Prof. David Mumford of Brown University and two others as co-winners of the Wolf Prize. Mumford said he was motivated by a conviction that "access to mathematical knowledge ... should be accessible to everyone."