Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was expected to return to Zimbabwe as soon as Monday after agreeing to a runoff election against President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai, who claimed victory in the March 29 election, said he'd deal a "final knockout" to Mugabe. But he insisted on numerous preconditions "to level the playing field, among them holding the vote "no later than May 24." He also sought a commitment from the Southern African Development Community to provide peacekeepers. But the the government rejected all conditions, and the Elections Commission said it cannot organize a second round that soon.
With NATO peacekeepers providing security, minority voters in Kosovo joined their brethren across the border in Serbia Sunday for an election to decide whether the latter draws closer to membership in the European Union. The UN, which maintained that it alone had authority to organize elections in Kosovo, called Sunday's voting illegal but did not try to stop it. Above, a Serb in the village of Gracanica drops his ballot into the collection box.
Claiming a "clear mandate for peace through the defeat of terrorism," Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse celebrated election results in the eastern sector of the troubled island nation – a region recently wrested from Tamil separatist rebels. Rajapakse said the outcome was a cue to push harder against the rebels in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna Peninsula. But opposition leaders said the voting was tainted by fraud and intimidation. They planned to meet Monday to decide whether to file a lawsuit asking that the results be overturned.
Three more senior Mexican police officers were shot dead in successive days over the weekend, all in attacks blamed on narcotics traffickers resisting a crackdown by the government. The most recent victim, the deputy chief of Ciudad Juarez, a city on the border with Texas, had been atop a "hit list" found at a memorial for fallen police officers.
Leftist President Evo Morales of Bolivia called for a national referendum on whether he should remain in office after the nation's wealthiest state voted heavily in favor of autonomy last week. A referendum would have to be held within 90 days. Morales still has two years left in office, but his plan to redistribute much of Bolivia's natural gas and agricultural wealth to the poor, indigenous majority has angered residents of affluent states. Morales's ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, threatened to intervene in the constitutional confrontation, saying he wouldn't tolerate "secession."
Police arrested a record number of Tibetan protesters Sunday in Nepal's capital – and for the first time all were female. A senior officer put the total at more than 600 (one of them below) and said they were taken to detention centers. Protesters generally are released the same day. Such rallies have been held almost daily for since mid-March, although Nepal's government has said it will not tolerate demonstrations that could damage relations with neighboring China, which supplies generous financial aid.
Animal rights activists were seeking approval to return to towns around southern Chile's Mt. Chaiten volcano to try to rescue hundreds of dogs, cats, and horses left behind when their owners were ordered to evacuate. But geologists warned that magma is rising toward the surface and could destroy almost everything in its path if the cone of the volcano collapses. Chaiten began belching gas and massive volumes of ash May 2.
Microsoft Corp. announced it has appealed its latest penalty by the European Union – a $1.4 billion fine for failure to comply with an order to share trade secrets with competitors. The US software giant also contested its original $770 million fine in the case, which was imposed in 2004, but lost.