Gaza Strip: Hamas emboldened
GAZA CITY Hamas militants holding an Israeli soldier said Monday they would stick to their tough demands in negotiations over his release, emboldened by the high price Israel is paying in a planned prisoner swap with Hezbollah.
The declaration could complicate Israel's efforts to bring Sgt. Gilad Schalit home after two years in captivity. Israel agreed Sunday to free Samir Kantar, a Lebanese convicted in a grisly 1979 attack, along with other prisoners and bodies of Lebanese fighters, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.
In a radio interview, Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar said the militants would work "to release people Israel accused of having blood on their hands like Samir Kantar. We have to take advantage of this to release our prisoners."
Afghanistan: Violent June
KABUL More U.S. and NATO troops have been killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq for the second straight month.
An Associated Press count finds that attacks in Afghanistan killed at least 44 international troops in June.
About 30 international troops have died in Iraq this month.
A record number of U.S. and NATO troops now patrol Afghanistan's dangerous countryside, exposing more soldiers than ever to danger. But Taliban attacks are becoming increasingly complex, and in June, increasingly deadly.
Four attacks in June killed four soldiers each.
Chile: Ex-official sentenced
SANTIAGO A Chilean judge sentenced the country's former intelligence chief, retired Gen. Manuel Contreras, to two life prison sentences Monday for masterminding the 1974 assassinations of former army chief Gen. Carlos Prats and his wife.
The historic decision, which can be appealed, helps to close one of the most notorious chapters of the 1973-1990 regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet, which ordered the politically motivated deaths and disappearances of some 3,000 people.
France: Shooting fallout
PARIS French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Monday for "consequences" after 17 people were shot and wounded during a weekend military demonstration in which real bullets were used instead of blanks.
Sarkozy says he noted that a state prosecutor said the incident was not a criminal act. But he said that "at a minimum, there were errors in supervision."
The French leader told France-3 television Monday that he was "devastated" by the shooting.
Investigators were looking into what went awry during the display of hostage-freeing techniques at the Laperrine military barracks in southeast France on Sunday.
North Korea: U.S. aid arrives
A U.S. freighter began unloading tons of American wheat in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Monday, as the government agreed to give international aid workers unprecedented access to its isolated, hunger-stricken territory, the U.N. World Food Program said.
The shipment is the first installment of 500,000 tons in promised American aid to be distributed by the World Food Program and American groups like Mercy Corps. The aid, and the North Korean agreement to invite 50 more food program experts and a consortium of American relief agencies, followed recent progress in efforts to end the North's nuclear weapons program.