NIGERIA: Grim search in crash of jet
Emergency crews wearing masks against acrid smoke and the stench of the dead searched for bodies in a smoldering, shattered neighborhood near the Lagos airport Monday after an airliner crashed, killing all 153 people aboard and an unknown number on the ground. Apartment buildings, small businesses and roadside shops were smashed to bricks and rubble Sunday when the Dana Air MD-83 plowed into the area about five miles short of Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Pilots on the flight from the capital, Abuja, radioed the tower that they had engine trouble, but the cause remained unclear. The weather was clear at the time.
SYRIA: New rebel group formed
Syrian activists announced a new rebel coalition Monday that aims to overcome deep divisions within the opposition in its fight against the forces of President Bashar Assad. The Syrian Rebels Front declared its formation in a news conference in Istanbul. It was uncertain how the new organization would coordinate with other sectors of the opposition, whose failure to unite has hobbled its campaign to topple Assad despite a nationwide uprising that has lasted more than one year. Khaled al-Okla, one of the organizers, said the group will coordinate with the Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of rebel units whose nominal leaders are based on the Turkish side of the border.
JAPAN: New cabinet in tax rise bid
After a bid to heal a breach in his ruling party failed, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reshuffled his cabinet Monday in an effort to win opposition backing for his bill to double the consumption tax. Satoshi Morimoto was named defense minister, replacing Naoki Tanaka, and Yuichiro Hata as transportation minister in place of Takeshi Maeda. Tanaka and Maeda were censured by parliament in April and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party had insisted they be replaced as a condition for negotiating on the tax bill. Noda has staked his career on the bill to double the five percent tax.