ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israeli warplanes are pounding the homes of Hamas fighters in Gaza and
are bombing smuggling tunnels near the Egyptian border, while Israel's
troops move farther into populated areas of the Gaza Strip.
Israel's military says it launched around 15 air strikes overnight (Sunday-Monday), marking one of the lowest levels of night-time bombings since the Israeli offensive began 17 days ago.
IRAQ VIOLENCE: Police in Iraq say bombs targeting Iraqi security forces have killed at least eight people in Baghdad.
Officials say two bombs exploded nearly simultaneously (today/Monday) as a police patrol passed by in the New Baghdad district (in the east of the capital). The blasts killed three civilians and wounded 10 others.
Another roadside bomb struck an Iraqi military truck that was carrying
ammunition in the Yarmouk district. Three soldiers inside the truck
were killed and four civilians were wounded.
A fourth bomb went off today in Baghdad's central Karrada district,
killing at least one civilian and wounding several others. A fifth bomb
killed another civilian in northern Baghdad.
INDONESIA FERRY: Indonesia's transport minister says nearly 250 people are missing and
feared dead after a ferry packed with passengers and cargo capsized in
bad weather of Indonesia's Sulawesi island Sunday.
Jusman Syafii Djmal told reporters today (Monday) there is
little hope any of the missing passengers and crew will be found alive
in heavy seas more than 24 hours after the 700-ton ferry went down.
SOKOR-JAPAN: Leaders from Japan and South Korea have agreed to revive talks on a
free trade agreement and work together to combat the global financial
Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak held talks today (Monday) in Seoul.
Mr. Aso told business leaders Sunday that both countries should
immediately work toward a free trade agreement that he says will
benefit their businesses.
Japan and South Korea suspended free trade talks in 2004. South Korean
critics of the talks fear the country's trade deficit with Japan will
grow under a free trade deal.
VENEZUELA-CUBA: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday it is unlikely that former
Cuban President Fidel Castro will ever appear in public again.
Mr. Chavez said in a nationwide broadcast that the Castro who walked
the streets greeting citizens would not return, but that the former
Cuban leader would live on "beyond the physical life."
Mr. Chavez did not discuss the 82-year-old's medical condition or say
why he thought Mr. Castro would not return to the public stage.