PARAGUAY - ELECTION: Opposition candidate Fernando Lugo won Paraguay's presidential election on Sunday, ending 61 years of rule by the Colorado Party. Lugo defeated ruling party rival Blanca Ovelar, who conceded defeat Sunday night, ending her bid to become the South American nation's first woman president. Mr. Lugo told supporters that they have decided to be a free Paraguay, and pledged to help the nation's poor. Election officials declared Lugo the winner with 41 percent of the vote, compared to 31 percent for Ovelar . A third candidate, former army chief Lino Oviedo, had 22 percent. Lugo is a former Roman Catholic bishop who heads the center-left Patriotic Alliance for Change -- a coalition that includes the main opposition party, trade unions, farm groups and Indians.
NEPAL - TIBET: A human rights group says police in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, continue to arbitrarily arrest, detain and mistreat Tibetans protesting China's alleged abuses in Tibet. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement Sunday on the situation in Nepal, calling it a violation of Tibetans' rights to freedom of expression and assembly. Demonstrations in Kathmandu began on March 10th, when Tibetans worldwide commemorate the failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
CHINA - TIBET: China's Communist Party has launched a "patriotic education" drive in Tibet's capital, Lhasa following recent anti-Chinese protests in the region. The official "Tibet Daily" newspaper today (Monday) says the two-month campaign is aimed at attacking pro-independence sentiment and support for Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The campaign will include television programs and organized denunciation sessions of the Dalai Lama.
OLYMPIC TORCH: The Olympic torch relay in the Malyasian capital of Kuala Lumpur has ended. Heavy security was in place today (Monday) to prevent any disruptions. There were no reports of major protests during the relay. Cheers and a sea of red Chinese flags greeted the torch as it began the 16-kilometer relay from Malaysia's Independence Square. Shortly before the event began, Malaysian police ushered a Japanese family away from the starting point. Witnesses say Chinese bystanders heckled the family and hit them with inflated plastic batons after they unfurled a Tibetan flag.
MALAYSIA - BURMA - REFUGEES: Malaysian police say about sixty Burmese refugees have rioted at a detention center outside the capital, Kuala Lumpur, setting it ablaze after learning they had been denied asylum overseas. Police say the male Burmese refugees forced their way into an administrative block of the detention center before setting it on fire and threatening to attack immigration officials. Police say the refugees rioted after they were told the United Nations Human Rights Commission could not find placement for them in a third country.
BURMA - BLASTS: Two explosions have been heard in Burma's main city, Rangoon, but no casualties were immediately reported. Witnesses say the first blast occurred on a downtown street Sunday and appeared to come from under a car. As police were sealing off the area, another blast was heard near a luxury hotel in the Rangoon city center. It was not immediately clear what caused the blasts. There have been occasional small bomb explosions in Burma, which has been under military rule since 1962. Sunday's explosions come three weeks before a referendum on a new constitution that the military government says will lead to multi-party elections.
SOUTH KOREA - JAPAN: The leaders of Japan and South Korea promised "a new era" in bilateral relations, pledging to cooperate closely on trade and security issues. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met today (Monday) in Tokyo. They agreed to open working-level talks aimed at restarting stalled trade negotiations and to cooperate closely in efforts to end North Korea's nuclear arms program.
US - POPE: Pope Benedict returned to Rome today (Monday) after his six-day trip to the United States. The pope's U.S. visit included a meeting with President Bush, outdoor Masses, and a visit to one of the sites attacked on September 11, 2001. During his trip the pope repeatedly referred to the sexual abuse scandal that has wracked the U.S. church. He had an unprecedented meeting with victims of abusive priests. Benedict celebrated Mass Sunday at a New York City baseball stadium packed with 57-thousand worshippers.
ISRAEL - PALESTINIANS: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says the leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas have told him they will accept a peace agreement with Israel, if one is approved in a Palestinian referendum. Speaking in Jerusalem today (Monday), Mr. Carter said Hamas would not undermine the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate an agreement with Israel. Hamas is a rival of Mr. Abbas' Fatah group.
INDONESIA - MILITANTS: An Indonesian court has declared the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah a terrorist organization and sentenced its two top leaders to 15 years each in prison.
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