In a highly visible step toward ending Iraq's political isolation, King Abdullah of Jordan flew to Baghdad Monday for consultations with government leaders. Details weren't made public, but the king is the first Arab leader to visit Iraq since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.Skip to next paragraph
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Aides to embattled President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan insisted again Monday that he will not resign, but impeachment pressure against him appeared to be approaching a peak.In Punjab, the most influential province, legislators declared him unfit for office by a vote of 321 to 25. The resolution lacks constitutional weight, but three other provincial legislatures are expected to follow suit this week.
Violence in Kashmir worsened Monday as police closed a highway and fired on thousands of Muslim produce vendors trying to cross into neighboring Pakistan. One person died and more than 100 others were hurt. The trouble erupted six weeks ago as a dispute over the government's plan to transfer land in India's only Muslim-majority state to a Hindu trust. It intensified after the plan was dropped, angering Hindus. The vendors said they wanted to sell their produce in Pakistan before it rotted since the violence was keeping them from shipping it elsewhere in India.
An estimated 130,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the southern Philippines as fighting between government troops and Muslim separatists widened Monday. The number of villages under attack grew from two to 15, despite warnings of a humanitarian crisis. The Army claimed to have killed up to 20 militants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); the latter admitted to only three dead. The MILF has waged a 30-year campaign for autonomy and appeared to have agreed on a final deal with the government last month before the Supreme Court stayed it.
Less than six months after returning from exile, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and members of his family fled to London rather than continue to fight graft charges.Thaksin said they wouldn't attempt another homecoming because his political opponents are trying to "finish me off." The billionaire politician had been given permission to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing but was scheduled for an appearance in court Monday. The court responded by issuing arrest warrants and confiscating almost $400,000 in bail.
Voters in Bolivia gave President Evo Morales a ringing endorsement in Sunday's recall referendum. In rolling up a 10 percent larger vote than when he was elected in 2005, he scored well even in states whose governors fiercely have opposed his leftist agenda. But those governors also survived the recall effort easily, and analysts said their dispute with Morales could widen since both sides can claim a new mandate to stand firm. Below, Morales supporters celebrate the outcome at the presidential palace in La Paz.
Thousands of Toronto residents were cleared to return home Sunday night after a series of powerful explosions and a seven-alarm fire at a propane gas depot were brought under control. A firefighter died at the scene and an employee of the depot was missing. Mayor David Miller said the city would investigate why the depot was permitted to operate in a residential neighborhood.
City officials appealed for calm in Montreal Monday after rioting turned a racially mixed neighborhood into a battleground. At least three police officers and an ambulance attendant were hurt, and firemen arriving to put out blazes in the streets were pelted with rocks and bottles. The violence flared after police killed a teenager they said was resisting efforts to search him. The youth's family vowed to sue the city, and a race-relations council demanded a public inquiry.