Clues are emerging from confidential documents in UN files that suggest deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein may have diverted funds from the oil-for-food program to Al Qaeda, Fox News reported Sunday night. If proven correct, such a link would contradict critics who maintain that there was no connection between Iraq and the terrorist network responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the US. Fox said much greater access to the files than the UN allows is needed to gain a clear picture of the situation. But it cited US General Accounting Office estimates that Hussein skimmed at least $4.4 billion from the oil-for-food program, some of which appears to have been redirected to contractors whose offices are in places used by Al Qaeda for meetings and financial transactions. The founder/president of one such company and his partner are on the UN's watchlist of persons affiliated with Al Qaeda, Fox News said.
Even with ballot-counting in its early stages, an overwhelming victory appeared certain for challenger Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Indonesia's presidential runoff election. The former minister of security in Megawati Sukarnoputri's government was winning 59 percent of the votes, compared to her 41 percent. Yudhoyono was refusing to claim victory until the results were final. But he said he needed to think about how to help heal the deep split that opened between them when he quit her cabinet in March.
A senior Hamas leader became the latest to die in a targeted attack by Israeli defense forces in the Gaza Strip. Khaled Abu Shamiyeh reportedly was alone Sunday night when a missile fired from either a military helicopter or a drone struck his car. Six bystanders were hurt in the resulting explosion, hospital officials said. Israeli defense officials identified Shamiyeh as being involved in building Qassam rockets and firing them at towns inside Israel.
Would-be assassins triggered a remote-controlled bomb in northern Afghanistan, but failed to kill their targets: Vice President Nayiamatullah Shahrani and the government's minister for development, who were en route to inspect a road-building project. The attack, in Kunduz Province, injured one bodyguard. It came less than a week after a similarly unsuccessful attempt to assassinate interim President Hamid Karzai.
Tropical storm Jeanne added to Haiti's miseries, killing at least 90 people and leaving croplands and roads under water. The problem was made worse by widespread deforestation, which leaves the impoverished nation vulnerable to flooding and landslides. Four months ago, flooding along the Haitian- Dominican Republic border was blamed for more than 3,000 deaths.