Kurdish rebels operating from bases in Iraq were expected to declare a cease-fire as Turkey massed military units at their border. For its part, the Bush administration was mounting "a full-court press" to discourage Turkish leaders from ordering an invasion. Iraqi President Jalal Talibani, himself a Kurd, said he'd been assured that the truce would be announced Monday night. Above, Turkish commandos discuss tactics at the border.
Ethnic Albanians vowed again to declare independence for Kosovo if there's no agreement on the future of the troubled Serbian province by Dec. 10. The final round of negotiations on the matter opened Monday in Vienna, with no give in the position of either side. Mediators were to offer a 14-point outline for discussion that makes no mention of independence but seeks to assure Kosovo's Albanian majority that Serbia will not "reestablish a physical presence" there. Albanian leaders (among them Hashim Thaci, above, surrounded by reporters outside the talks) say they'll settle for no less than full sovereignty and a seat at the UN.
As expected, Lebanon's parliament again postponed voting for a new president, rescheduling it for Nov. 12. Speaker Nabih Berri said Monday that legislators needed more time to find a consensus candidate "who would symbolize the unity and resilience of the country." But the postponement, the second since Sept. 25, raises the prospect that Lebanon will end up with rival governments – pro- and anti-Syrian – struggling for power, analysts said.
Tamil rebels staged another surprise raid on one of Sri Lanka's air bases Monday, killing nine people, wounding 20 others, and damaging a jet and two helicopters. Four more airmen died when their helicopter crashed in a search for escaping attackers. The offensive, aided by the rebels' tiny air wing, was the second of its type in less than a week on a base deep inside territory controlled by the government. Twenty of the attackers were killed, the military said.
Despite accusations that it's racist, the Swiss People's Party broke an 89-year-old national record for votes in Sunday's election to choose a new parliament. Its candidates campaigned on the theme that immigrants are responsible for much of the growing crime problem and that entire families should be deported if any of their members violate Swiss law. The party won 29 percent of the vote, although it still cannot govern without the help of coalition partners.
Armed with a referendum victory on amending the Constitution, the president of strategically important Kyrgyzstan dissolved parliament Monday and called a national election for December. Kurmanbek Bakiyev easily won Sunday's ballot question that proposed changing the way legislators are chosen. Since ousting longtime predecessor Askar Akayev in 2005, he has feuded with Akayev-era lawmakers, who've blocked his efforts to address poverty and social problems. Kyrgyzstan has both Russian and US military bases.
Former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique won the first $5 million Ibrahim Prize Monday for "excellence in leadership." The award, funded by Sudanese cellphone magnate Mo Ibrahim, promotes good governance in Africa. Chissano is credited with overseeing Mozambique's transition from Marxism to a market economy, developing its infrastructure, and then relinquishing power voluntarily in 2004.
An unlicensed shoe factory caught fire Sunday night in China's southeastern Fujian Province, and at least 37 people were killed. Nineteen others were hurt. The operators lost their business permit in 2004 after investigators discovered that the plant also contained living quarters, reports said. China's factories, like its mining sector, experience thousands of accidents each year because of poor safety standards.