Top news: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy appears to have backed down somewhat from a decree issued last Thursday granting himself immunity from judicial review. In the absence of a parliament, Morsy already wields executive as well as legislative power, but after brokering a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel last week, the president seized the moment to complete the trifecta. Following four days of intense street protests, however, Morsy appeared to capitulate somewhat, meeting with the judges of Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council and backing off his earlier claim to be above the courts.
In an "explanation" read by his spokesman, Morsy clarified his earlier decree, saying that he intended only to assert pre-existing presidential powers, not establish new ones. Most importantly, he sought to prevent Mubarak-appointed judges from dissolving the constituent assembly that is tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution. Morsy did not rescind the original decree, however, and it's not clear whether or not his "explanation" will be enough to defuse the tension in Cairo, where demonstrations and clashes with the police are ongoing.
Syrian conflict: The Syrian government bombed rebel strongholds in the border towns of Atima and Bab al-Hawa, prompting hundreds to flee into Turkey. Meanwhile, France announced that it plans to give $1.5 million in emergency aid to the newly formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.
- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced on Monday that he plans to "leave political life."
- The body of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday in order to determine if his death in 2004 was caused by poisoning.
- Police in Bahrain dispersed thousands of protesters on Monday in the capital city, Manama.
- Gunmen attacked a police station in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, killing two officers and freeing five detainees.
- Provisional results indicate that Sierra Leone's ruling party won a majority in the country's Nov. 17 parliamentary election.
- Sudan has added new conditions for opening its oil pipeline to South Sudan, further delaying production in the cash-strapped country.
- Satellite images of a North Korean missile launch site suggest that Pyongyang may be planning a long-range ballistic missile test.
- Thousands of Bangladeshi textile workers protested in Dhaka on Monday after a factory fire killed more than 100 workers.
- At least 16 people died in Lahore, Pakistan after consuming tainted cough syrup.
- Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF reached an agreement Monday to reduce Greece's debt by 40 billion euros.
- The European Union urged Georgia not to selectively prosecute former officials from ousted President Mikheil Saakashvili's government.
- Fourteen people died in a fire at a workshop for disabled people in Titisee-Neustadt, south-western Germany.
- FARC rebels bombed two electricity pylons in Reposo, Colombia one day after their leaders declared a ceasefire from peace negotiations in Havana.
- Venezuelan judge María Lourdes Afiuni, who was imprisoned by President Hugo Chavez after she issued a controversial human rights decision, was raped in prison.
- Thousands rallied in Rio de Janeiro to protest a new bill that would share petroleum revenues across the country.