Pope – Islam: The Vatican is taking steps to ease anger among Muslims one day after the pope said he is sorry Muslims were offended by his remarks about Islam last week, and that they did not reflect his personal opinion.
Pope Benedict said that he deeply regrets the outrage and anger sparked by his quoting of a medieval-era Byzantine emperor in a speech to academics in Germany. The Roman Catholic Church leader's statement Sunday followed an official apology made by the Vatican on Saturday.
Some Muslim religious and political leaders have said the pope's apology Sunday did not go far enough.
Bush – UN: President Bush heads to New York
today to attend the United Nations General Assembly where he will focus on helping to strengthen emerging democracies in the Middle East. Aides say Mr. Bush's address to the assembly on Tuesday will focus on the need to advance democracy in the Middle East and strengthen existing democracies in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority.
In keeping with his theme of supporting democracies, President Bush will meet today (Monday) with the leaders from Malaysia, El Salvador, Honduras and Tanzania.
Iran Nuclear: French President Jacques Chirac says the international community should not refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program if Tehran agrees to suspend uranium enrichment during negotiations.
Mr. Chirac made the comment today (Monday) in a European radio interview. He proposed that five other world powers (the United States, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) meet with France to set an agenda for negotiations with Iran to resolve the nuclear dispute.
Mr. Chirac says the six world powers could agree to keep the nuclear dispute out of the U.N., if Iran agrees to renounce uranium enrichment during talks.
China – Italy: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi is calling for the end of a 17-year old European Union ban on arm sales to China.
During a visit to Beijing today (Monday), Mr. Prodi said his government is leaning toward lifting the arms embargo -- and that the issue should be resolved as soon as possible.
The EU slapped the arms embargo on China shortly after Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on democracy protesters.
China – Lebanon: China says it will send
more peacekeepers to Lebanon to help maintain the truce that ended the Israel - Hezbollah conflict. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says the government will raise its force to one-thousand peacekeepers, from about 200 now in Lebanon. He made the announcement today (Monday) at a briefing in Beijing with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
About 200 Chinese engineers are already in Lebanon to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Somalia Blasts: Witnesses report two powerful explosions just outside the building that houses Somalia's government in Baidoa. Initial reports say four people were killed.
The blasts happened shortly after President Abdullahi Yusuf delivered a speech to lawmakers (today/Monday). It is unclear how many people were wounded.
Afghanistan: Officials in Afghanistan say a suicide bomber has killed four NATO troops in Kandahar province.
NATO officials say the bomber attacked today (Monday) while troops were handing out items to children. Afghan officials say at least 24 civilians were wounded, some seriously. Many of the victims are children.
Listen to our World News for details.