Early response to a major reshuffling of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet was mixed Tuesday, with one poll showing a sharp rise in his approval rating but another indicating that only 22 percent of voters in an Internet survey had high expectations for the new lineup. Abe filled the new cabinet with experienced conservatives in an attempt to halt sliding popularity following a series of gaffes and scandals by key ministers.
China began a program Tuesday aimed at weeding out the kind of manufacturing that has led to the global recall of millions of Chinese-made products in recent weeks, including toys and pet food. The government said that the export privileges of companies found to have serious problems in quality management and product safety control will be revoked.
A combined force of American and Iraqi soldiers killed 33 Sunni insurgents Tuesday who had shut off water to the Shiite town of Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, the US command reported. Meanwhile, local authorities began evacuating hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from the holy city of Kerbala as gun battles broke out between Iraqi security forces and followers of fiery Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Twenty-five people were killed, mostly policemen,according to one senior security source.
In a major triumph for Turkey's Islamic-rooted government, foreign minister Abdullah Gul was overwhelmingly elected president Tuesday in a parliamentary ballot. He's promised to uphold secularism, but the secularists express doubts that he will honor the separation of religion and politics.
Firefighters from 17 countries have joined colleagues in Greece in battling wildfires that have burned for nearly a week and killed at least 64 people. Officials expressed optimism that the fires that have destroyed olive groves, forests, and orchards can be brought under control.
Iran agreed to reveal nuclear information to the UN's Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency Monday. While some diplomats hailed the development as a milestone in laying out a timetable for transparency, others doubted it will allay suspicions about clandestine Iranian efforts.
Using animated "beat officers," Beijing police will begin patrolling the Internet Sept. 1 with virtual cops popping up on a user's browser to warn them to stay away from illegal content – that which the ruling Communist Party finds politically or morally threatening.
Businesses reopened and traffic returned to the streets of Hyderabad, India, Tuesday after the city was virtually shut down by deadly bombings over the weekend that killed 42 people. Officials have blamed Islamic militants based in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh for trying to foment civil strife with the blasts, but they haven't provided evidence or arrested anyone. Unlike most of India, which is predominantly Hindu, Hyderabad is 40 percent Muslim.
Norway's minimum-security Bastoey Prison, which houses serious criminals on an island south of Oslo, celebrated reaching its 10-year goal of becoming what it claims is the world's first ecological prison. The facility uses solar panels, strives to be energy self-sufficient, recycles, and serves food grown organically by the inmates.
The Dutch government unveiled plans to spend $38 million over the next four years on a program to prevent the "radicalization" of youth, including Islamic fundamentalism and right-wing nationalism.