Special US envoy Christopher Hill is due in North Korea Wednesday in a new bid to salvage the aid-for-disarmament pact that the reclusive communist nation has been flouting, reports said. Stopping in South Korea, Hill declined to discuss the mission except for saying, "Let's see if we can resolve this matter." North Korea has alarmed its negotiating partners by undertaking to resume operations at its Yongbyon reactor.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Pirates who seized a cargo ship off Somalia late last week apparently have turned on each other, and at least three are thought to be dead, a US defense official said Tuesday. A purported spokesman for the group hotly denied the claim, however, saying shooting had taken place but that it was in celebration of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr. The vessel is carrying Russian-built tanks and ammunition and is hemmed in by American warships. The pirates have demanded a $20 million ransom for its cargo and crew.
More than 440 suspected militants have been arrested in Nigeria's restive oil region, a senior Army officer said Tuesday. He said the roundup was carried out because of reports that the largest alliance of militants, the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, was trying to recruit new members despite declaring a unilateral cease-fire Sept. 21. A recent spate of attacks on foreign-owned oil facilities in the region was the worst in years.
Eight more people were killed and almost 100 others were hurt as explosions rocked Muslim neighborhoods in western India. They appeared to be the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted New Delhi, Ahmadabad, Jaipur, and other cities in recent weeks. There were no claims of responsibility for the latest explosions, but a group calling itself Indian Mujahideen said it set off 10 previous blasts dating back to last November.
At least 168 pilgrims died in a stampede at a religious festival in Jodhpur, India, Tuesday. Dozens of others were hurt when a rumor spread through the crowd of 12,000 people that a bomb had been planted at the Chamunda Devi Hindu temple. The stampede was the fourth in India this year.
Residents of a Tijuana, Mexico, neighborhood blocked the streets Monday to keep their children from passing the mutilated remains of 12 murder victims en route to school. Four more unidentified victims were found in another section of the city in what police said was an escalating war among narcotics traffickers. So far this year, 390 people have been murdered in the city, a key smuggling route for drug shipments to the US.
Unionized pilots and flight attendants for Alitalia dropped their objections to a plan calling for the bankrupt airline to be sold to a consortium of investors. The agreement clears the way for Italy's national carrier to merge with smaller rival Air One. The investors are pledged to pump $1.4 billion into Alitalia while they seek to lure another international carrier, perhaps Lufthansa or Air France, into buying a minority stake.
To the cheers of family members and friends, six trapped gold miners were brought to safety in the northern Philippines Tuesday, a week after being stranded by flooding from a typhoon. Eight other miners remain unaccounted for, authorities said, although rescuers were continuing to search.
One of the year's most powerful earthquakes struck a chain of islands off New Zealand Tuesday. The quake, with a magnitude of 7.3, was centered at sea, but caused no tsunami and there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The Kermadec Islands, nearest its epicenter, are sparsely populated.