On the heels of his discredited reelection, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe sat in on an African Union summit Monday, listening to fellow leaders urge that he engage his opponents in talks on a transitional government. His counterparts did not criticize him, as Western leaders had urged, however, and observers said their final communiqué likely would condemn the election violence only in general terms.
Israel's agreement to swap a Lebanese prisoner for the remains of two soldiers gives Hamas an opportunity to raise the stakes in its own exchange with the Jewish state, a senior security official told radio interviewers Monday. Mahmoud Zahar said, "We have to take advantage of this to release our prisoners" in trade for captured Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Israeli Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-Or, who opposed the swap for the dead soldiers, said he believes the price for Shalit's return now will become so high that Israel will have difficulty paying it.
The first shipment of food aid – 37,000 tons of wheat – promised by the US arrived in North Korea Monday after the reclusive communist nation agreed to outside help for its people. In all, the US is committed to send a half-million tons for distribution by the UN to help feed an estimated 5 million-plus people. Officials said it was mainly coincidental that the shipment arrived three days after North Korea handed over a declaration of its nuclear activities and toppled a cooling tower at its main reactor.
Eager to project an image of political stability, China's government began a nationwide campaign Monday to squelch dissent, protest, and even petition drives before the Olympic Summer Games begin. Local authorities were ordered to prevent riots and other "mass incidents," such as the violence involving an estimated 10,000 people in Guizhou Province over the weekend. The affected area was reported calm but tense Monday, with a heavy police presence and radio stations warning participants to turn themselves in.
Representatives of the Dalai Lama arrived in Beijing Monday for a new round of fence-mending talks with Chinese government officials over the violence that roiled Tibet in the spring. The two sides held informal discussions May 4 in the city of Shenzen following a harsh crackdown on participants in the Tibet protests. A spokesman for Tibet's government in exile said the envoys were instructed to make "every effort" to help alleviate "the difficult situation for Tibetans in their homeland."
Jubilant Spaniards celebrated all night Sunday in the streets of Madrid after their national team won the Euro Cup soccer championship for the first time in 44 years. Playing before a sellout crowd in Vienna, Spain defeated Germany 1-0. Above, a proud Fernando Torres of Spain's team holds his national flag aloft after the game.
American cyclist Floyd Landis lost his final appeal Monday against the decision stripping him of the 2006 Tour de France championship for using performance-enhancing substances. The ruling came six days before the start of this year's race.
A $42 billion takeover bid that would have resulted in Europe's largest communications provider was withdrawn Monday by France Telecom. It said a tie-up with TeliaSonera of Sweden "was not essential" to its business strategy. The latter's board said the offer "substantially undervalues the company."