Warrants issued against Iraqi government officials
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.
Those accused include four other ministers from Allawi's government, which was replaced by an elected Cabinet led by Shiite parties in April, said Ali al-Lami of Iraq's Integrity Commission. Many of the officials are believed to have left Iraq, including Hazem Shaalan, the former defense minister who moved to Jordan shortly after the new government was installed.
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a car full of mortars near an entrance to the fortified Green Zone on Monday, killing a U.S. soldier and six Iraqis in one of a string of insurgent attacks in which at least 13 other Iraqis also died. The violence comes five days ahead of Iraq's key vote on a new constitution, which Kurds and the majority Shiites largely support and the Sunni Arab minority rejects.
Indians refuse soldiers' help in dealing with floods
SANTIAGO ATITLAN, Guatemala - A Guatemalan Indian community, haunted by a government-sponsored massacre during the country's brutal civil war, refused soldiers' help Monday in recovering those killed in a week of flooding and mudslides and conducted its own searches instead.
Guatemalan officials were likely to give up searching for 384 missing throughout the region. They will likely be added to the 652 people already declared dead across Guatemala from torrential rains last week associated with Hurricane Stan, raising the total number killed to more than 1,000.
U.S. soldier among dead
in Afghanistan attacks
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A suspected Taliban militant detonated explosives strapped to himself, killing a former militia commander and two others Monday in a southern Afghan city, while a second suicide bomber was thwarted when he blew himself up as he fled police.
Firefights in the country's east, meanwhile, killed a U.S. soldier and wounded three others, while an American special forces chopper was destroyed by fire as it made a hard landing during an offensive. All aboard escaped unhurt.
Merkel set to lead Germany after power-sharing deal
BERLIN - Conservative Angela Merkel struck a power-sharing deal Monday that will make her the first woman and politician from the ex-communist east to serve as Germany's chancellor, forging a coalition with ousted leader Gerhard Schroeder's party to reform the faltering economy.
The country's two biggest political forces were forced into talks on forming a joint government after a Sept. 18 election gave Merkel a victory - but with a margin so slim Schroeder's party demanded equal treatment in a ''grand coalition.'' To resolve the impasse, the Social Democrats gave up Germany's leadership, but the party secured the bulk of the ministries, including the prestigious Foreign Ministry.
Abbas-Sharon meeting postponed a second time
JERUSALEM - An Israeli-Palestinian summit was called off Monday at the last minute, a sign that Israel's Gaza pullout last month has failed for now to create the peace momentum the international community had hoped for.
The meeting, set tentatively for today, stumbled over day-to-day issues such as Israel's release of Palestinian prisoners, and not over fundamental disputes that have kept the sides from reaching a peace deal for more than a decade.
The summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was postponed after the two sides deadlocked over the turnover of West Bank towns to Palestinians control.
Cell had links to al-Qaida
PARIS - A French terror cell suspected of plotting attacks on the subway and other targets in Paris had indirect contacts with Iraq's al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leading French counterterrorism official said Monday.
Christophe Chaboud, head of the counterterrorism unit of the national police, also told The Associated Press that a member of the cell returned to France from Lebanon with a substance that some experts say can be used in bomb-making.
Darfur rebels release 36 African Union personnel
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Dissident rebels have freed 36 members of an African Union team, including an American monitor, who were kidnapped in Sudan's western Darfur region, an AU spokesman said Monday.
The abductions occurred a day after two AU troops were killed by another group.
- From wire reports