Lawyers for Saddam Hussein blamed "turmoil and chaos" in Iraq's court system for the latest postponement of his trial on war-crimes charges. The session, which was to have been held Tuesday, was rescheduled for Sunday. The prosecution, however, said some witnesses had not yet returned from the hajj, or Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The tribunal in Baghdad has been beset by problems such as the fear of witnesses to appear, the murders or wounding of three defense attorneys, the resignations of judges, and Hussein's emotional outbursts in court.
For the first time in almost 13 years, Canadians awoke Tuesday to the news that they'll be led by a Conservative government. But political observers were quick to caution that Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper may be unable to fulfill such campaign pledges as cutting the national sales tax and reforming the justice system. The Conservatives did not win a majority in Parliament and will need the votes of legislators from other parties if Harper's initiatives are to pass. He is, however, expected to bring new warmth to relations with the US that had become strained under the outgoing Liberal Party government.
In a new embarrassment for coalition forces in Afghanistan, seven veteran Taliban guerrillas escaped from a high-security prison over the weekend. A manhunt was under way, although it was complicated by the fact that prisoners do not wear uniforms. The escapees took advantage of confusion at Policharki Prison at a time when it was crowded with visitors, the Justice Ministry said, but 10 guards were arrested on suspicion of aiding them. The breakout came six months after a senior lieutenant to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and three other prisoners escaped from the US military lockup at Bagram Air Base.
Bombs exploded in the restive oil city of Ahvaz, Iran, killing eight people and wounding 46 others Tuesday, although President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad already had canceled a scheduled visit because of weather conditions. Otherwise, Ahmadinejad, whose hallmark is taking walks through the streets of cities he's visiting, might have been nearby at the time. Ahvaz is a center of Iran's Arab minority and has experienced intermittent bombings and rioting since last spring that have resulted in 14 deaths.
Saying, "This is God's will," the 65 members of Kuwait's parliament voted unanimously to depose Emir-designate Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah Tuesday. Minutes later, a courier delivered a letter of abdication from him. Although in ill health, he succeeded his cousin, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, who died Jan. 15. Power was transferred temporarily to the cabinet before Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, a half-brother of the late emir, was confirmed as the new ruler.
US and Israeli rescue teams and power tools capable of cutting through iron rebars and concrete arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, to help in the search for survivors of Monday's collapse of a five-story building. But the number of deaths from the accident rose to 14 overnight, reports said. To date, 106 of the estimated 280 people who were in the building have been accounted for, the reports said.
Excessive speed and failing brakes appeared to be the causes of a passenger train derailment near the capital of Montenegro Tuesday that killed at least 46 people. Another 198 were hurt when the train left the tracks and fell into a ravine. The operator was arrested on suspicion of negligence, and the former Yugoslav republic's transportation chief and railway director both resigned. Authorities called the accident the worst in Montenegran history.