LEBANON - CRASH: Lebanese aviation officials say an Ethiopian Airlines plane with 90 people on board has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after taking off from Beirut in stormy weather. Ethiopian Airlines said 82 passengers and eight crew members were on the Boeing 737 aircraft that disappeared from radar minutes after taking off from Beirut International Airport early Monday.
Witnesses on the coast reported seeing a ball of fire as the plane plunged into the sea. The aircraft was on its way to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from Beirut. Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman said there was no indication terrorism caused the crash. Officials say it was likely weather related.
The crash took place amid heavy rains and storms in Lebanon.
Lebanese officials have launched a search and rescue operation, but they say there are no signs of survivors. At least 21 bodies have been recovered.
HAITI: Haiti's Prime Minister Jean-Max Belerive is in Canada for an international meeting to plan Haiti's recovery, while aid workers continue to struggle to deliver badly needed food, water and medical supplies after a massive earthquake nearly two weeks ago. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hosting Monday's meeting in Montreal. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and foreign ministers from more than a dozen countries, as well as representatives from non-government organizations will also be in attendance.
The Haitian government said Sunday the official death toll from the earthquake that shattered the capital January 12 has risen to 150,000. Officials said that number does not include outlying areas.
CHINA - US INTERNET: China has denied any government involvement in online attacks against U.S. Internet giant Google, and Beijing says its regulation of the Internet is justified. The official Xinhua news agency Sunday released two interviews with Chinese state officials addressing the issue. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said U.S. accusations that the state participated in attacks on Google are groundless and aimed at denigrating China.
He said China is "firmly opposed" to cyber attacks, adding that the nation's policy on Internet safety is transparent and consistent.
CAMBODIA - THAILAND - SKIRMISH:
Cambodian and Thai troops clashed briefly on Sunday not far from a temple on their disputed border. Each side blamed the other for firing first in the skirmish, about 20 kilometers east of the Preah Vihear temple. Military spokesmen from both sides said there were no deaths, and that officials met shortly afterward to discuss the incident.
The Thai News Agency quoted participants in the meeting as saying the firefight was caused by a "misunderstanding." Thailand and Cambodia have a history of border violence near the 11th century Hindu temple. An international court ruled in 1962 that the Preah Vihear temple belongs to Cambodia. However, the court failed to determine the ownership of the surrounding land, which is claimed by both sides.
CAMBODIA - RIGHTS: An international human rights group has called on Cambodia to shut down its drug rehabilitation centers, alleging abuses such as torture and rape, as well as the detention of children and the mentally ill.
New York-based Human Rights Watch released a report Monday detailing examples of detainees being beaten with electric wire, raped by drug center staff, shocked with electric batons and coerced into giving blood.
The report said some Cambodian families pay to send their relatives to the detention centers, where detainees undergo military-style drills to sweat out the drugs in their systems and supposedly cure their addiction.
HRW official Joseph Amone says that children and the homeless are among the detainees.
AFGHANISTAN: The top NATO commander in Afghanistan, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, says he hopes the increased number of American troops in Afghanistan will lead to a negotiated peace deal with the Taliban.
In an interview published in The Financial Times Monday, General McChrystal acknowledged his skepticism about the war, but said NATO is poised to make positive progress this year as a result of the extra 30,000 U.S. troops being sent to Afghanistan. McChrystal said he aims to weaken the Taliban insurgency to the point where its leaders would be willing to accept a settlement with Afghanistan's government. The U.S. general said he personally feels there has been enough fighting.