IRAQ: Bomb blasts in Baghdad have killed at least nine people as Iraqi Muslims prepared to celebrate the feast marking the end of Ramadan fasting. The deadly explosions occurred in crowded markets as people bought provisions for the Eid al-Fitr holiday. In Baquba, north of Baghdad, gunmen ambushed a convoy of police recruits, killing 15. And the U.S. military announced that five more U.S. troops were killed in combat, bringing the death toll of American forces in Iraq this month to 83, the highest monthly toll this year.
HUNGARY ANNIVERSARY: Hungary's president is appealing for national unity as his country marks the 1956 uprising against Soviet rule a half-century ago. The Hungarian revolution 50 years ago failed, but the bloody effort to throw off Soviet rule is nevertheless widely credited as one of the key events in eastern Europe's path toward democracy (more than 30 years later). More than a score of European leaders ( -- heads of state or government, as well as monarchs -- ) are in Budapest to join Hungary's celebration. President Laszlo Solyom delivered his call for national unity (Sunday) at a ceremony welcoming the European visitors.
AUSTRALIA-NORTH KOREA: Australian officials say they are prepared to help enforce recently approved U.N. sanctions against North Korea for its underground nuclear test. Australia's Defense Minister Brendan Nelson told Australian media today (Monday) that it is possible Canberra will have one of its navy ships help with the international effort to inspect cargo vessels traveling to and from North Korea.
SUDAN-UN: The U.N. chief envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, is leaving the country today (Monday) after getting an expulsion order from the government. A U.N. spokesman says Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called Pronk to New York for consultations. A Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman says the U.N. envoy is being expelled because of his ill will toward the Sudanese government and its armed forces. On Sunday, the ministry gave Pronk 72 hours to leave the country.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Palestinian officials say Israeli troops have killed at least four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Security officials say the violence erupted early today (Monday) in the town of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza. Witnesses say the Israelis appeared to be looking for a member of the militant Popular Resistance Committee. The Israeli army said troops opened fire on Palestinian militants in the area attempting to launch rockets at southern Israel.
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