Iraq – Saddam Trial: Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been ejected from a Baghdad courtroom for the second time in a week after raising objections to his trial on genocide charges.
The presiding judge (Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa) threw Saddam out of court today (Monday) after the former leader complained that he no longer wanted to be in a cage. Saddam was referring to a metal enclosure where defendants sit.
Saddam and his six co-defendants are charged with carrying out a campaign of genocide against Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s.
Before Saddam was ejected, the court heard testimony from an elderly Iraqi Kurdish man, who said he witnessed Iraqi warplanes bombing a village in the north of the country, in an apparent gas attack.
Somalia: Islamist militiamen
in Somalia have opened fire on demonstrators in the southern port of Kismayo, killing one person and wounding two others.
Witnesses say the Islamist gunmen fired at thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets today (Monday) to protest the militia's takeover of the city. The protesters burned tires and shouted anti-Islamist slogans.
The violence erupted less than one day after heavily armed Islamist militiamen peacefully moved into Kismayo overnight Sunday, following the departure of government-backed fighters.
Islamist leaders say they seized control of Kismayo to stop the planned arrival by African peacekeeping forces from neighboring Kenya.
China – Corruption: China's ruling Communist Party has removed its top leader in Shanghai in connection with a municipal corruption scandal.
The state news agency, Xinhua, announced today (Monday) the dismissal of Chen Liangyu from his post as Shanghai's Communist Party Secretary. Chen is under investigation for allegedly mishandling hundreds of millions of dollars in city pension funds, and other charges, including nepotism.
Chen's dismissal is part of a wider probe of corruption in Shanghai that was launched last July.
Xinhua says Chen's firing demonstrates the leadership's resolve to "build a clean party" and fight corruption.
Thailand Coup: A high-powered anti-graft committee in Thailand is investigating allegations of corruption under the government of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The nine-member committee met today (Monday) to look into accusations that Mr. Thaksin's administration abused power for personal gain.
It has one year to complete its tasks and will forward cases to the attorney general for prosecution.
The military rulers who overthrew Mr. Thaksin in a bloodless coup last week have empowered the committee to seize assets held by politicians and their relatives, if necessary. Unconfirmed reports that Mr. Thaksin sent more than 100 pieces of luggage out of the country (on chartered planes) before the coup, have prompted speculation that the billionaire prime minister already has managed to send some of his fortune out of the country.
Japan – Politics: The man expected
to become Japan's next prime minister has made some key appointments to the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Shinzo Abe's choices indicate he will stay on the same path as the current prime minister.
Abe appointed Hidenao Nakagawa as the party's secretary general today (Monday), one day before Japan's parliament is to elect Abe to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Nakagawa was instrumental in promoting Mr. Koizumi's spending cuts and other structural reforms. He resigned as chief cabinet secretary five years ago after he was linked to a top right-wing extremist, and an alleged extramarital affair with a bar hostess was made public.
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