Asian neighbors hastened to ban or recall dairy products from China because of the spreading milk powder scandal. Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and Hong Kong all acted out of concern that the products may be tainted with the chemical melamine. The director of China's food-quality agency resigned Monday, a year after the system had been overhauled because of tainted toothpaste and pet food exports. The government raised the number of infants sickened from drinking formula made from the tainted milk powder to 53,000.

Only a late change in plans kept Pakistan's entire government leadership and top military commanders from being in a luxury hotel in Islamabad when it was devastated by a terrorist bomb, reports said Monday. The group was to have been the guests of the speaker of parliament at the Marriott Hotel at the time of the blast Saturday, but the venue was shifted to the home of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Riza Gilani, a government spokesman said. At least 53 people were killed in the blast; 266 others were hurt.

An intensive investigation into the Marriott Hotel attack was under way, and the government pledged to raid militant "hot spots" along the border with Afghanistan. But in the northwestern city of Peshawar, gunmen intercepted a car carrying Afghan Ambassador Abdul Khaliq Farahi Monday, taking him hostage and killing his driver.

Members of parliament in South Africa agreed that President Thabo Mbeki's resignation will take effect Thursday. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) appeared ready to appoint its deputy leader, Kgalema Motlanthe, a onetime student activist, to succeed Mbeki until next year's national election. ANC chief Jacob Zuma sought to reassure South Africans Monday that the leadership transition "will be managed with care and precision."

Mortar shells fell on a market and on two African Union peacekeeping bases in Somalia's capital Monday, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens of others. Suspicion fell on resurgent Islamist militants with ties to Al Qaeda who appear to be gaining in their quest to regain control of the troubled nation since being driven out of the capital in December 2006.

A car bomb explosion killed a vacationing Army general in northern Spain early Monday, the third attack blamed on Basque militants in 24 hours. Six other people were hurt, one of them critically, in what appeared to be a stepped-up offensive by the ETA separatist movement. The victims had been lured into evacuating a military academy at the time of the explosion because of a warning telephoned by a caller claiming to represent ETA.

Preliminary findings were to be released Monday after an investigation into the deaths of 13 newborn babies on the same night in a single hospital in Izmir, Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan suggested that "neglect" may have been a contributing factor. All of the infants were born prematurely. In an almost identical incident, 27 newborns died at a state-run hospital in Ankara, the capital, over a two-week period in late July and early August.

Eleven foreign tourists and their guides have been abducted in southern Egypt and taken across the border to an unknown destination in Sudan, reports said Monday. There was no word on the identities of the kidnappers, although speculation centered on tribesmen who may demand a ransom for release of the hostages. Five of the tourists are Italians, five are Germans, and one is a Romanian national, the reports said.

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