AFGHANISTAN: Dunford sparring with Karzai
U.S. commander Gen. Joseph Dunford said Monday that his team is working as fast as possible to resolve issues that have infuriated President Hamid Karzai, including the delay in handing over a U.S.-run detention center and the withdrawal of American special forces from a troubled province neighboring Kabul. The efforts illustrate the growing tensions between Dunford and an Afghan ally struggling to break free of international influence and establish independence after more than a decade relying on a foreign military force for security. The two latest stumbling blocks have delayed a round of talks on a pivotal U.S.-Afghan security agreement to govern the American troops expected to stay past the end of 2014, when the NATO-led coalition ends its combat mission. "We're working issues with a sense of urgency," Dunford told The Associated Press in his first one-on-one interview since he took command. Speaking in his office in Kabul, Dunford would not say when the detention center would be handed over.
BRITAIN: Press regulation deal reached
The three major parties struck a last-minute deal on press regulation, unveiling a new code Monday that aims to curb the worst abuses of Britain's scandal-ridden media. The deal came the same day that a lawyer announced in court there could be potentially hundreds more hacking victims of Rupert Murdoch's media empire. There has been a heated debate over how to implement the recommendations of Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who was charged with cleaning up a newspaper industry plunged into crisis by revelations of widespread illegality.
Artist's young assistant dies
A young assistant to David Hockney, one of Britain's most famous artists, has died after being taken to a hospital from the artist's house. Dominic Elliott, 23, was taken Sunday morning to Scarborough General Hospital, near Hockney's home in northeastern England. Humberside police said Monday there were no signs of violence and that a post-mortem examination will be conducted. Hockney, 75, had a major exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts last year that included many paintings of the Yorkshire countryside.