Renewed fighting in Darfur has killed dozens of civilians, destroyed 15 villages, and displaced roughly 12,000 more people with only "the bare necessities," the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch reported. They said the violence began Oct. 5 as a dispute between rival tribes over livestock but was joined by government troops and Arab militiamen. Living conditions for the refugees are likely to deteriorate with winter approaching, the two agencies warned.
A resurgent rebel force has seized an Army base and a national park headquarters in eastern Congo, causing thousands of civilians to flee, reports said Sunday. Government troops were en route to the scene for a counterattack. UN peacekeepers were appealing to both sides to hold their fire long enough for noncombatants to leave for their safety.The park is home to some of the world's few remaining mountain gorillas, the reports said.
A heavy workload has made Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ill and he has missed several recent commitments, a close associate confirmed Saturday. But he scorned suggestions that the hard-line leader would not soon be able to resume his duties. Ahmadinejad has come under heavy criticism from some ex-supporters for his management of the economy and uncompromising defense of Iran's nuclear program just as potential rivals emerge to challenge him for reelection next June.
In no way has International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn lost his effectiveness, and he may keep his job, the organization's board said Saturday, concluding an investigation into his admitted affair with a former subordinate. A spokesman said the board "has accepted his apologies" and predicted that he'll soon regain any confidence lost because of the matter. The controversy erupted as the IMF began dealing with the world's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
More than 32,000 tons of dairy products tainted with the chemical melamine have been incinerated, Chinese TV news footage showed over the weekend, and Premier Wen Jibao told a conference of Asian and European nations that his government soon will implement the nation's first comprehensive food-safety law. Meanwhile, however, health authorities in Hong Kong reported finding excessive levels of melamine in eggs imported from China.
A massive protest against Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi filled Rome's vast Circus Maximus Saturday in an effort by opposition leftists to regain ground lost in the national election last April. Ex-Mayor Walter Veltroni, who lost that vote, told the crowd that Berlusconi was steering Italy too far to the right and making it more fascist. Veltroni's Democratic Party estimated the turnout at 2.5 million people; police put it in the hundreds of thousands.
At least 64 people have died, scores of others were missing, and an estimated 20,000 more were beyond the reach of rescuers in Yemen after days of relentless rains and lightning strikes, authorities said. They pleaded for international help. Normally arid Yemen is accustomed to only a few inches of precipitation a year.
Forty-four runners in an annual long-distance race in England's Lake District were missing Sunday due to high winds, torrential rains, and flooding that forced the event to be called off before completion. Helicopter crews were searching for the runners, but organizers of the race said they probably are in peak condition and not in danger. Another 2,500 entrants checked into shelters or were camping along the course. The event purposely is scheduled for a time of year when conditions are expected to be difficult.