Patrols of Arctic seas by Russian warships will begin later this week, a naval spokesman said, in the Kremlin's latest move to widen the projection of its military might. Russia has staked claims to undersea mineral resources in that region, but its vessels haven't patrolled there since the breakup of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago. Last August, Russia resumed long-range flights by its bombers and in December it sent aircraft carriers into the Mediterranean Sea.Skip to next paragraph
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Three British Muslims accused of conspiracy in a plot to blow up commercial flights over the Atlantic Ocean pleaded guilty Monday. They also admitted to distributing videos that threatened attacks in Britain. Two codefendants pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. The unraveling of the plan in August 2006 led to new restrictions on liquids and gels that airline passengers may bring aboard. The defendants said they'd intended to highlight "injustices" against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.
Prosecutors indicted 86 former military officers, opposition politicians, and others in Turkey Monday on charges of plotting to overthrow its Islamist-based government. The move is seen as the latest salvo in the ongoing power struggle between the government and secular institutions over the former's perceived attempt to raise the profile of Islam.
In another embarrassment to China's government, hundreds of people rioted over the alleged beating of a migrant worker in Zhejiang Province, reports said Monday. A Hong Kong-based human rights group said the incident stemmed from the victim's attempt to obtain a temporary residence permit and resulted in at least 23 arrests. A similar but larger incident occurred last month in Guizhou Province. China has been seeking to project an image of harmony with the Olympic Summer Games due to open in less than a month.
Police in Malaysia's capital set up roadblocks and stationed armed guards outside parliament Monday to keep opposition legislators from demanding a debate on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's numerous problems. But the issue became moot when the speaker refused to allow such a discussion. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been trying to bring down Abdullah's government by encouraging his legislative allies to defect.
Workers aboard Brazil's offshore oil platforms began a five-day strike, vowing to disrupt a contingency plan that would maintain production. Their union is seeking concessions from Petrobras, the state oil company, on increased profit-sharing and time off. Union leaders also are expected to discuss extending the strike to Petrobras's refineries and storage terminals. Brazil is self-sufficient in oil and exports little of its production.
New drug-related violence was blamed for eight more deaths in Mexico, all but one of them coming when gunmen sprayed bullets at a car waiting at a stoplight Sunday morning. It was not clear whether the victims were the intended targets or were caught in crossfire between rival gangs. The incident took place in Gaumuchil, a city in Sinaloa, the state where two narcotics cartels are battling for supremacy.
Foreign ministers of South Pacific nations were gathering in Fiji for talks aimed at persuading self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama to honor his promise of a free election by next March. Recently, Binimarama has suggested that voting may take a back seat to his plans to root out corruption and reform Fiji's race-based political system. He also has accused neighboring governments of interference in Fijian affairs, helping to sink regional relations to their lowest ebb in years.