CHILE EARTHQUAKE: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet says the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that has shattered the central portion of the country and displaced some 2 million people is an emergency "unparalleled in the history of Chile." President Bachelet has announced she is deploying 10,000 soldiers to several regions to restore order and help with recovery efforts. She also says an agreement has been reached with supermarket chains to distribute food free-of-charge. Looters ransacked stores in Concepcion Sunday, stealing food and electrical appliances. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a crowd of looters at one supermarket. Officials declared a curfew to try to curb lawlessness in the Concepcion and Maule regions.
The president was reluctant to ask for international aid when the quake first hit, but has now appealed for assistance as the death toll climbs to more than 700 people. It is expected to climb. Rescuers are trying to reach people trapped in a toppled apartment building in Concepcion, the country's second-largest city. Searchers believe as many as 50 people may be trapped alive in the building.
US - LATIN AMERICA: U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has added Argentina to her now six-country Latin American tour, including stops to show support for Chilean earthquake victims and to seek support from Brazil for sanctions against Iran. Clinton is first going to Uruguay, where she will attend Monday's inauguration of President-elect Jose Mujica. Later Monday, Clinton will travel to Buenos Aires to meet with Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez. On Tuesday morning, Clinton is due to fly to Chile where she will meet with President Michele Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera at the Santiago airport. Clinton visits Brazil on Wednesday. She plans to lobby Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to support new sanctions against Iran.
TAIWAN - POLITICS: Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeo has apologized to his supporters for electoral losses by his ruling Kuomintang party in several by-elections Saturday. The pro-China KMT won only one of the four legislative seats at stake in the special elections, losing the other three to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. Mr. Ma said Sunday the losses show his government has not worked hard enough to win the people's support. Mr. Ma's party still holds two-thirds of the seats in the island's parliament. But Taiwan newspapers say several domestic blunders by his government have fueled public disappointment in his leadership. Mr. Ma's government drew strong domestic criticism for a perceived slow response to a deadly typhoon that hit Taiwan last August.
EUROPE WEATHER: A violent winter storm with fierce rains and hurricane-force winds battered western Europe early Sunday, killing at least 53 people and knocking out power to more than one million. The Atlantic storm, named Xynthia, smashed the western coasts of France, Portugal, and Spain with eight-meter-high waves and wind gusts of 160 kilometers an hour.
Most of the deaths were in France, which was hit hardest by the storm. Rivers overflowed their banks in Brilttany and forecasters issued avalanche warnings for the Pyrenees and the southern Alps.
GREECE - ECONOMY: European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn will meet with Greek officials in Athens Monday following Germany's rejection of a bailout for Greece. Rehn plans to meet with several senior Greek officials, including Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou. Greece is suffering from a major economic crisis, with a budget deficit nearly four times the EU ceiling.
OLYMPICS: The 2010 Winter Olympics ended Sunday with an often humorous closing ceremony gala in Vancouver, Canada.
Canadian celebrities William Shatner, Michael J. Fox and Catherine O'Hara said farewell to the Olympic Games with self-depreciating humor about the host country. A leader of the Vancouver Games organizingcommittee (John Furlong) called the Winter Games a "great moment in Canadian history." During the ceremony, the mayor of Vancouver passed the Olympic flag to Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Canada set an all-time record for gold medals won in the Winter Olympics. By defeating the U.S. hockey team Sunday, Canada won its 14th gold medal. The United States set a record for overall medals at a Winter Olympics with 37. That included nine gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze.
US-CANADA-WAGER: As a result of Canada's Olympic triumph Sunday over the U.S. hockey
team, U.S. President Barack Obama will be delivering a case of American
beer to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The two leaders bet a case of beer on the outcome of the gold medal match.
The White House said Mr. Obama wagered a case of Yuengling, a regional
brew from the northeastern U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Yuengling is the
oldest beer brewed in the United States. Mr. Harper bet a case of beer made by Molson, Canada's oldest brewery. There is no word yet on where the cross-border exchange will occur.