China's top food safety watchdog steps down

BEIJING - The head of China's product quality watchdog resigned Monday in the wake of the tainted baby formula scandal that has sickened nearly 53,000 infants, highlighting a breakdown in the country's food safety system only a year after a major overhaul.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Li Changjiang stepped down with the approval of China's Cabinet.

Li's agency is responsible for ensuring that China's food supply chain is safe. His resignation comes after the industrial chemical melamine was blamed for causing kidney stones and kidney failure in babies.

Europeans kidnapped in Egyptian desert

CAIRO, Egypt - Kidnappers seized 11 European tourists and eight Egyptians during a Sahara desert safari to Gilf al-Kebir, a plateau famed for its prehistoric cave paintings. Egypt's foreign minister said Monday the tourists had been freed unharmed.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in New York that the group was captured by 'gangsters.' He did not say how he knew of their release, or whether a ransom was paid.

Fighting in Somali capital kills thirty

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's warring sides pounded the capital with mortar rounds and gunfire Monday, killing 30 people - including a family of seven - as Islamic insurgents who want to topple the government gain significant power.

Monday's fighting pitted insurgents against government forces and their Ethiopian allies, who come under regular attack in Mogadishu, one of the most violent cities in the world. The violence left bodies in city streets. When the blasts calmed, young men ventured out to transport the gravely wounded to hospitals in rickety wheelbarrows.

Knut's keeper found dead

BERLIN - The zookeeper who gained fame for hand-rearing the beloved polar bear Knut was found dead in his Berlin apartment Monday.

A spokeswoman for Berlin police said Thomas Doerflein was dead when authorities arrived at the apartment and that they had no information on the cause of death.

Doerflein was 44 years old.