SYRIA: Aleppo car bomb killed 30
The death toll from a car bomb in Aleppo has risen to 30, state media said Monday, as the new international envoy said he will travel to Syria this week to meet with regime officials as well as civil society. The Sunday night blast ripped through Syria's largest city, now one of the main battlegrounds of the civil war. "I answer to no one except the Syrian people," the UN-Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, said in Cairo. In Paris, meanwhile, Syria's most prominent defector said he opposes any foreign military intervention and that he's confident of the opposition's ability to topple President Bashar Assad's regime on its own. Manaf Tlass, a general who was the first defector within Assad's inner circle, called on outside powers to give the opposition "all the aid and support" needed to topple Assad.
HONG KONG: Pro-China faction has edge
Election results released Monday gave an edge to the pro-China faction in Hong Kong's government, in which power is split between those aligned with Beijing and those who favor further democratic reforms. The pro-democratic parties will retain enough of a majority to veto any proposed changes to the former British colony's constitution. In Sunday's election, 40 of the 70 seats on the Hong Kong Legislative Council were decided by voters and were split fairly evenly between the two sides. Another 30 seats were chosen by "functional constituencies," business and special interest groups dominated by pro-Beijing figures. Pro-democracy candidates won only six of those seats.
INDIA: Police fire on nuke protest
Police fired at protesters Monday near a nuclear power plant being built in the south, killing one person, state officials say. The Tamil Nadu government said police fired to disperse about 2,000 people demonstrating against the loading of nuclear fuel in the Russian-built reactor. The protesters threw stones and sticks at police near the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project, 440 miles south of Chennai. Five officers were injured.