Almost 100 Tibetan monks were under arrest in China's Qinghai Province Sunday after an attack on a police station that came despite weeks of intensive security precautions. Sources in exile said the attack, which involved as many as 2,000 people, was sparked by the apparent suicide of a monk who was being interrogated for unfurling a Tibetan flag earlier this month. That incident took place on the anniversary of the 1959 revolt against Chinese rule.
Soldiers guarded air and seaports in at least three Venezuelan states governed by opponents of President Hugo Chávez Sunday after the leftist leader ordered their seizure and legislators in Congress rubber-stamped the move. Chávez said the takeover was necessary on security grounds. But critics noted that it also means state and local authorities no longer will be able to collect tariffs and tolls that could be used to fund projects other than those for which he'd get credit. Meanwhile, Chávez said he'll seek legislative approval to raise sales taxes and sell $10.2 billion in government bonds to try to close a funding gap caused by falling crude oil revenues.
Hopes dimmed Sunday for an early end to a new strike by farmers in Argentina who are angry over Congress's failure to vote on a measure that would lower export taxes on soybeans. As in last year's strikes, farmers blocked highways, preventing cattle and produce from being shipped to market and, probably, disrupting delivery of harvested beans to the nation's seaports. Despite the farmers' appeals and a devastating drought, President Cristina Fernandez has refused to lower the export tax. Instead, she has offered to share up to $1.8 billion in revenues from the tax with local and provincial governments.
New President Andry Rajoelina assumed office in Madagascar, pledging its friendship "to every nation and to all the world's citizens." But no foreign leaders or diplomats attended his swearing-in Saturday, and the African Union gave him six months to restore constitutional government or face possible sanctions. Rajoelina has said he'd schedule an election within two years once a new constitution and new elections laws have been adopted. Other governments say that time-frame is too long.
By a 246-to-176 vote, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva survived a vote of no confidence in Parliament, saying though a spokesman that his government had "gained more stability" because of it. Analysts agreed, but Abhisit opponents calling themselves the United Front for Democracy and Against Dictatorship said it would mass protesters outside his offices beginning Thursday to try to force him to resign.
Deeply unpopular Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary quit his post over the weekend, saying "I'm being told that I am the obstacle" to recovery from the deepest financial woes since the fall of communism in late 1989. But his Socialist Party quickly reelected him as chairman, meaning he'll have a say in choosing a new government chief. Gyurcsany never recovered his former prestige after admitting that he lied about the status of the economy to win the 2006 election.