Top News: After a two-day siege, Kenyan troops stormed a mall in Nairobi on Sunday evening where fighters from Somali militant group al-Shabab had taken hostages. The standoff began on Saturday, when 10 to 15 al-Shabab fighters seized the mall, armed with grenades and machine guns. Al-Shabab claimed the attack on Twitter and said that it was a reprisal for the intervention of Kenyan troops in Somalia. At least 68 people have died in the mall attack and another 175 are wounded. The Kenyan military says it has retaken most of the mall and freed many of the hostages, but gunfire continued to be heard in the mall on Monday morning.
Al-Shabab had previously threatened to attack the Westgate mall, popular with Westerners living in Nairobi. At least four Westerners and one former U.N. official are among the dead in the attack. The bold assault on the mall comes at a time when many analysts believed al-Shabab's power to be waning.
The International Criminal Court has granted Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto to return to Nairobi for one week to help deal with the crisis. Ruto is on trial at the Hague for inciting ethnic violence after Kenya's 2007 elections.
China: Chinese politician Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison on charges of corruption on Sunday. The conviction is seen by many as an effort by Xi Jinping's government to make an example of Xilai before a new round of economic reforms. Public reactions on the Chinese microblog site Weibo showed a mix of support for Bo and resignation to or support for the Chinese judicial process, FP reports.
- Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has canceled his trip to the U.N. General Assembly this week to focus on the crises resulting from a pair of hurricanes that hit the country last week.
- The United States revealed that in 1961 a nuclear bomb very nearly detonated when the plane on which it was being carried crashed near Goldsboro, NC.
- French law enforcement seized 1.3 metric tons of cocaine being smuggled into France from Caracas; three Venezuelan National Guardsmen have been arrested and the Venezuelan interior minister said more arrests will be made in the coming days.
- Typhoon Usagi made landfall in southern China, killing 25 people and affecting more than 3 million.
- Taliban suicide bombers struck a church in Pakistan, killing 80 people and wounding more than 130 in the deadliest recorded attack on the country's Christian minority.
- Fifty-five members of the Cambodian parliament refused to participate in the opening of the new legislative session in protest of suspected electoral fraud.
- The Russian embassy in Damascus was attacked with mortar fire, wounding three people, the same day that the Russian government volunteered troops to assist in decommissioning the Assad regime's chemical weapons stockpiles.
- The murder of two Israeli soldiers over the weekend is threatening to derail the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula clashed with tribes in Yemen's Mareb province, killing seven, after a three-pronged attack on the Yemeni military on Friday.
- Ivory Coast refused to hand over former first lady Laurent Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court, insisting that she stand trial in Ivory Coast.
- Swaziland held elections for the country's parliament -- all candidates wer selected by the country's leader, King Mswati III.
- The United Nations is soliciting $21 million to assist Congolese refugees in Uganda.
- Angela Merkel and the Christian Democrat party were re-elected in Germany; the Christian Democrats received 42 percent of the vote and will now form a coalition government.
- Switzerland voted to retain the country's compulsory military service requirement.
- Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the imprisoned members of the band Pussy Riot, began a hunger strike to protest harsh working conditions in the Russian prison in which she is incarcerated and threats to her life.
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