BRAZIL-FRANCE-PLANE: An Air France passenger jet with more than 200 people on board is missing off the coast of Brazil.
A Brazilian Air Force spokesman says a search and rescue mission was
launched early Monday about 300 kilometers off Brazil's northeast coast
(near the island of Fernando de Noronha) after the jet failed to make regular radio contact.
Authorities say the Airbus A-330 with 216 passengers and 12 crew members was traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
First reports of the missing plane came from Paris about an hour after Flight 447 was due to land at Charles de Gaulle airport.
AUTOS: A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Sunday approved the sale of substantially
all of U.S. automaker Chrysler's assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat,
hours before an expected bankruptcy filing by General Motors.
The move clears the way for Chrysler to exit bankruptcy protection soon.
Meanwhile, news reports in the United States say General Motors will
file for bankruptcy Monday morning before U.S. financial markets open
in New York.
GM officials and President Barack Obama have scheduled separate news
conferences Monday to discuss the company's future and the government
effort to keep GM in business.
NOKOR NUCLEAR: South Korean news reports say North Korea appears to be preparing to test-fire a long-range missile.
The reports Monday cite unidentified South Korean officials as saying
the North has moved its most advanced long-range missile -- capable of
reaching the U.S. state of Alaska -- to a west coast launch site, and
could conduct a launch this month.
The reports also said Pyongyang has banned ships from the waters off its west coast through the end of July.
The news comes as a U.S. government delegation is in Tokyo to begin a
series of talks throughout Asia on how to respond to North Korea's
latest nuclear test.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg is leading the group.
SOKOR-ASEAN: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and leaders of 10 countries that
form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations open a special two-day
summit Monday to mark 20 years of partnership.
The summit is taking place amid heightened tensions with North Korea.
About 5,000 police officers are guarding the summit venue on the South
Korean resort island of Jeju.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said destroyers and patrol boats have
been stationed around the island, and a surface-to-air missile launcher
and equipment to detect a chemical weapon attack are positioned near
INDIA-KASHMIR: Kashmiris angry over the deaths of two women allegedly at the hands of
Indian soldiers have shut down major cities across Indian-controlled
Monday's separatist-backed general strike comes as Indian security forces prepare for more angry protests.
At least 50 people have been wounded in two days of clashes between protesters and police in the town of Shopian.
The town 60 kilometers south of Kashmir's main city of Srinagar was
home to the two young women whose bodies were found in a local stream
Police said they are investigating the deaths, which protesters blame
on Indian soldiers the protesters claim sexually assaulted the women
before killing them.