NORTH KOREA: A North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson says his country is ready to talk to the U.S. about the nuclear issue.
INDIA: India is on high-alert as the one-year anniversary of the November 26th terrorist attacks in Mumbai approaches.
AUSTRALIA: Off the west coast of Australia, a boat with 39 people on board sank on Sunday night. At least one person has died and many others remain missing.
KENYA: Researchers at a malaria conference in Kenya on Monday said that almost 1 million people die of malaria around the world every year due to a lack of affordable medical treatment.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: The United Nations has suspended its support of Congolese army units accused of killing at least 62 civilians. According to the UN peacekeeping chief, the civilians were killed between May and September of this year.
SOUTH AFRICA: Robben Island, made famous after Nelson Mandela was jailed there, is under threat by rabbits and other animals that are eating the vegetation. Robben Island is a World Heritage site that attracts up to 1,800 tourists a day during peak season.
NETHERLANDS: Radovan Karadzic will not attend his trial in the Hague Monday but is expected to be present Tuesday, according to legal advisers.
UK: The number of unemployed 2008 graduates in the UK has jumped 44%, compared to those who graduated the year before.
FRANCE: France’s immigration minister announced a nationwide debate on “national identity,” supported by more than half of French voters. Critics allege that the plan is “pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment.”
KOSOVO: Former US President Bill Clinton was greeted by thousands of fans in Kosovo yesterday, where he was attending the unveiling of an 11-foot-statue of his likeness. Clinton reportedly said “I never expected that anywhere, someone would make such a big statue of me.”
RUSSIA AND CIS: Russia begins vaccinating children against swine flu today at medical research institutions in the cities of Perm, St. Petersburg and Smolensk. At least 3.5 million single doses of the swine flu vaccine are expected to be produced in Russia by the end of the year. Meanwhile, neighboring Ukraine received a shipment of flu vaccines yesterday. Some 22 people have died from H1N1 in Ukraine, prompting the government to close all educational establishments today.
Russian police have detained some 50 human rights activists who were protesting near the Kremlin in Moscow yesterday. Protesters chanted “Freedom!” and “Respect the constitution.”
St. Petersburg State University has retracted a demand that humanities and social science researchers submit their work for screening before publishing it abroad, explaining that the requirement would apply only to research that could have military applications.
Twenty-three Russia soldiers from Kaliningrad are stranded on a fishing trawler that was captured by Somali pirates last week. The ship reportedly is being sailed towards a pirate base of Somalia’s coast, and an EU warship is monitoring the voyage.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov met his British counterpart in Moscow today, in an attempt to ease relations between the two countries that have been strained since the 2006 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. The two leaders reportedly “agreed to disagree.”
NICARAGUA: This year, Mexico has extradited a total of 100 criminal suspects to the U.S. — a record number.
PERU: Researchers in Peru have attributed the demise of an ancient civilization to deforestation.
AFGHANISTAN: More than two months after Afghans went to the polls to choose a president, Afghanistan’s election commission proclaimed President Hamid Karzai the winner, in the wake of challenger Abdullah Abduallah’s withdrawal from the race.
PAKISTAN: A suicide bomber killed 30 people and injured more than 45 in a busy section of the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
ISRAEL: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Israeli actions on settlements fall short of U.S. expectations, although over the weekend she had praised Israel’s settlement concessions as “unprecedented.”
Israeli police arrested an American-born Jewish man, Ya’acov Teitel, for his role in a string of terrorist attacks that took place over the past twelve years in Israel.