Iraq: Iraqi police say at least 80 people were killed today (Monday) when two suicide car bombers struck in the northern city of Kirkuk.
In the first attack a car bomber struck the local office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
About 20 minutes later, a second attack nearby hit a crowded market frequented by Kurds. More than 100 people were wounded in the two attacks.
In the capital, U.S. forces say thousands of troops launched a new offensive in southern Baghdad today (Monday) with the aim of cutting off the flow of weapons and militants into the capital.
Japan Quake: Japanese officials say at least six people have died after a strong earthquake hit northwestern Japan.
About 700 people are suffering from cuts, broken bones and other injuries from the six-point-eight magnitude quake that struck today (Monday) just off the coast, in the Sea of Japan, southwest of Niigata City.
Hundreds of buildings collapsed in the morning quake and its aftershocks.
The earthquake caused a fire in a transformer at a nuclear power plant in central Japan. An official (secretary of state Yasuhisa Shiozaki) says the fire was put out, and there is no indication of a radiation leak.
A tsunami warning was issued, but later withdrawn after waves of about 50 centimeters hit the shore.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has interrupted a campaign stop to visit the disaster zones.
NoKor – Nuclear: United Nations inspectors have confirmed that North Korea has shut down its main nuclear reactor.
Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters in Bangkok today (Monday) it will take his inspectors about a month to install seals and monitoring equipment to make sure Pyongyang keeps the reactor closed.
An IAEA team visited the reactor at Yongbyon Sunday.
North Korea said it shut down the reactor Saturday after receiving fuel from South Korea - the first batch of fuel aid offered as part of a six-nation deal aimed at fully ending North Korea's nuclear program. Seoul says it sent more fuel to the North today (Monday).
Christopher Hill, the top U.S. envoy on North Korea, is expressing cautious optimism about the multi-national effort to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
China Slavery: Chinese authorities say 95 officials from the ruling Communist Party have been punished for their alleged involvement in a slave labor scandal.
Authorities in the northern province of Shanxi today (Monday) said most of the officials only received warnings, but some were fired, demoted or expelled from the Communist Party.
China's official Xinhua news agency says only six officials are facing criminal charges.
The officials have been linked to a scandal exposed last month involving brick kilns in Shanxi and neighboring Henan province. Police freed hundreds of adults and children from the kilns, where they were beaten, given little food or water and forced to work against their will.
Bangladesh Politics: A lawyer for former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says she has been arrested on charges of extortion and ordered held without bail pending trial.
Ms. Hasina, who served as prime minister from 1996 to 2001, was taken into custody today (Monday) in the capital of Dhaka after hundreds of police surrounded her home.
Her arrest prompted protests in Dhaka by dozens of her supporters but police broke up the demonstration.
Ms. Hasina already faces charges of extortion and corruption dating from her time as prime minister but she has denied the accusations as politically motivated and has not been tried.
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