New obstacles were preventing the announcement of Iraq's cabinet, which had been expected Monday. One obstacle appeared to be the contention of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's party that despite the 40 seats it won in the Jan. 30 election, he had not officially been informed that he didn't figure in plans for the new government. The party, Allawi's List, had been seeking at least four cabinet posts. Meanwhile, Sunni Muslim legislators reportedly were demanding cabinet posts for some members of the former Baath Party - a move prohibited under the interim constitution.
Seeking to reassure worried investors, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed in his annual state of the nation address that such disincentives as overzealous tax investigations would become a thing of the past. In light of massive demands for back taxes from oil giant Yukos and other companies, Putin said auditors have no right to "terrorize" business. He also said Russians need encouragement to bring home their undeclared earnings rather than stashing them in tax-free "overseas zones." Critics, however, called his words "a mockery" and "an export product" aimed at impressing Western governments.
Security police were using tear gas a nd stun grenades to quell violence by opposition supporters after Sunday's presidential election in Togo. The vote followed weeks of chaos and political tension following the death of dictator Gnassingbe Eya-dema. His son, Faure Gnassingbe, installed as his successor by the Army, campaigned on a pledge to unite the country. But on election day, his main challenger was driven into hiding when thugs raided his offices and stole its computers.
Excessive speed appeared to be the probable cause of a commuter train derailment in Japan that killed at least 52 people and injured more than 400 others. Rescuers were working to free four passengers still trapped in the wreckage 11 hours after the train left the tracks 250 miles west of Tokyo and slammed into an apartment building. The accident was the worst of its type in Japan in 42 years.
Ezer Weizman, who died Sunday in Jerusalem, spent almost his entire adult life in public service, most recently as president of Israel. He began his career as a fighter pilot, helped to found the Israeli Air Force, served as a member of parliament, and held three different cabinet posts. He also played a key role in negotiating the 1978 Camp David accords and the peace treaty with Egypt a year later. Weizman was forced from the presidency in 2000 for alleged bribery. But he was never charged by prosecutors.