NEW ZEALAND: Huge oil spill feared
Forecasts of heavy ocean swells Monday thwarted marine crews trying to pull oil from a leaking ship stuck on a reef off North Island. The Liberia-flagged Rena ran aground last Wednesday on the Astrolabe Reef, about 14 miles from Tauranga Harbour, and the government has demanded to know why the ship crashed into the well-charted reef in calm weather. The 775-foot cargo ship has been leaking fuel, leading to fears it could cause an environmental disaster if it breaks apart. Clumps of the oil were found at Mount Maunganui beach, a favorite spot for surfers, according to Maritime New Zealand. The beach is on North Island, about 100 miles southeast of Auckland.
INDONESIA: Troops fire on gold miners
Security forces fired on striking workers at the world's biggest gold mine Monday, killing one and injuring a dozen other people, officials said. Two container trucks heading to the mining town from a nearby port were set ablaze by striking employees, angry that the mine operator, Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan, was bringing in replacement workers by the busload. Workers at the Grasberg mine in easternmost Papua province kicked off a strike on Sept. 15, demanding that their pay, which ranges from $2.10 to $3.50 an hour, be increased to between $17.50 and $43 an hour. About 90 percent of the mine's 12,000 employees are taking part in the work stoppage. The company has come under heavy criticism for paying millions to the military and police to handle security, and has been the target of angry demonstrations because of alleged pollution and unfair distribution of profits.
IRAQ: Baghdad bombings kill 10
Three explosions targeting security officials killed 10 people and wounded 19 in western Baghdad Monday evening, officials said. A roadside bomb went off in a Shia neighborhood, targeting an Iraqi army patrol. Minutes later, a bomb exploded nearby, targeting a police patrol. As firefighters arrived the third bomb went off, an official said.