Thai protesters take aim at utilities, airline
BANGKOK, Thailand - State workers threatened Monday to cut off water, electricity and phone service at government offices and disrupt flights of the national airline in support of protesters trying to bring down the Thai prime minister.
A coalition of 43 unions representing workers at state companies including water, electric, phone and the national airline said they would cut off services to the government starting Wednesday. They already were disrupting rail service and planned to cut back public bus transportation.
'The government has beaten protesters, and that justifies our retaliating by stopping water, telephone service and electricity to some government agencies,' Sawit Kaewwan, secretary-general of the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation, or SERC, said at a news conference.
The labor federation said 200,000 members would stop work in support of an alliance of right-wing protesters that has occupied Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej's office for a week, trying to bring down the government.
Hanna becomes hurricane; Ike forms in Atlantic
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos - Hurricane Hanna lingered Monday over the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands on a path that could hit the southeastern U.S. coast by midweek, while Tropical Storm Ike and still another weather pattern behind it raised the possibility of more havoc to come.
Hanna slowed and intensified Monday afternoon, battering the island chains with top sustained winds near 80 mph and heavy surf.
'Right now, the uncertainty is such that it could hit anywhere from Miami to the outer banks of North Carolina,' said Jessica Schauer Clark, a meteorologist at the hurricane center. 'So people really need to keep an eye on it.'
Ike was hot on Hanna's tail - still about 1,400 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, but expected to become a hurricane in the next 36 hours as it too approaches the Bahamas.
Iraqis take control of once-bloody Anbar province
BAGHDAD - American forces on Monday handed over security responsibility to the Iraqis in a province that the U.S. once feared was lost - a sign of the stunning reversal of fortunes since local Sunnis turned against al-Qaida in Iraq.
But a Sunni Arab leader criticized the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for failing to embrace its newfound allies, underlining the threat that sectarian tensions still pose to a lasting peace.
Nevertheless, the transfer of Anbar province, the cradle of the Sunni insurgency and the birthplace of al-Qaida in Iraq, marked a dramatic milestone in America's plan to eventually hand over all 18 provinces to Iraqi control so U.S. troops can go home.
Five children accidentally killed in separate raids
KABUL, Afghanistan - Foreign and Afghan forces accidentally killed five children in two separate operations Monday, further undermining President Hamid Karzai after he demanded a halt to attacks in civilian areas.
NATO said it accidentally killed three children in an artillery strike in the east on Monday after insurgents attacked its troops in the area. One artillery round slammed into a house in the Gayan district of Paktika province.
In a separate raid, police officer Qubaidullah, who like many Afghans goes by one name, said U.S. troops backed by Afghan intelligence agents killed a man and his two children near the capital, Kabul.
India rushes doctors, medicine to flood victims
SAHARSA DISTRICT, India - Indian authorities rushed doctors and equipment to flood-devastated northern India on Monday to ward off outbreaks of disease among the hundreds of thousands of victims crowding relief camps, officials said.
Nearly half of the 1.2 million people who were left homeless when the Kosi River burst its banks two weeks ago, spilling over north India's vast plains, had been rescued by Monday, and officials said they hope to reach the rest in the next three days.
Japanese PM resigns to avoid 'political vacuum'
TOKYO - Japan's chronically unpopular prime minister abruptly resigned Monday after a yearlong struggle with a deadlocked parliament, leaving the weakened ruling party to grapple with a stalled economy and rising calls for snap elections.
The resignation of Yasuo Fukuda, 72, deepened a two-year stretch of political instability at the helm of the world's second-largest economy. It came only days after the government announced a stimulus package to counter flagging consumer spending.