Chinese officials say a powerful earthquake that struck Sichuan province in southwest China today (Monday) has killed at least 107 people. The official Xinhua news agency says the quake buried nearly 900 students when two primary schools collapsed but no details were provided and their fate is unknown.
A U.S. military cargo plane loaded with tons of aid for Burma has landed in Rangoon. The C-130, carrying water, mosquito nets and blankets from an air base in Thailand, is the first U.S. aid flight that Burma's military government has allowed to enter the country since Cyclone Nargis struck 10 days ago. On Sunday, a boat carrying Red Cross supplies sank after apparently hitting a submerged tree in the Irrawaddy Delta. All four aid workers on board escaped.
SERBIA ELECTION: Serbia's pro-European President Boris Tadic is declaring victory in the nation's crucial parliamentary elections, but nationalists say he may not be able to form a government. Mr. Tadic claimed a win for his pro-Western Democratic Party and its allies Sunday when independent election monitors said the parties had a "very convincing victory " over the nationalist Radical Party. Election monitors say the Democratic alliance earned nearly 39 percent of the vote, while the Radicals received about 29 percent.
A top Egyptian mediator has arrived in Israel to meet with that country's leaders in an attempt to broker a ceasefire deal between Israeli government and the Hamas leadership in Gaza. Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman is scheduled to hold talks today (Monday) with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. Hamas is demanding that Israel lift its embargo of Gaza as part of any truce deal. Israeli officials want armed Palestinian groups, including Hamas militants, to cease their attacks and arms smuggling.
PHILIPPINES-COUP: Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has pardoned nine military officers who had been convicted in connection with a failed coup against her in 2003. President Arroyo announced the decision today (Monday) during a swearing in ceremony for the country's new defense minister General Alexander Yano. The plotters she pardoned were among the leaders of a July 2003 coup attempt. During that attempt, officers and about 300 soldiers took over a luxury hotel in Manila's Makati financial district.