Militant killed in Somalia, officials say
A U.S. drone attacked a vehicle in southern Somalia on Monday and killed a senior member of al-Shabab, the militant group that claimed responsibility for the deadly assault on a shopping mall in Kenya last month, Defense Department officials said. The drone attack is believed to have killed two men riding in the car, including Ibrahim Ali, a Somali the officials described as an explosives expert who had helped carry out suicide attacks and bombings against a U.N. facility, embassies and other targets in Somalia. Early this month, Navy SEALs raided a compound along the coast of Somalia in an attempt to kill or capture Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, a senior al-Shabab figure better known as Ikrima.
Putin says no gay bias at Olympics
President Vladimir Putin promised Monday that gay athletes and guests at the Winter Olympics in Sochi will feel at ease, seeking to assuage fears fueled by a Russian law banning gay "propaganda." At a meeting with heads of Russian winter sports federations, which was also attended by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, Putin said Sochi would be fully tolerant.
Peace deal to free 26 Palestinians
Israel said Monday that it would free another 26 Palestinian prisoners convicted of killing Israelis, saying it was fulfilling its commitment to U.S. diplomats as part of ongoing peace negotiations, despite intense opposition within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet. Netanyahu agreed months ago to free 104 Palestinian militants as part of a deal brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry to get the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table. The first group of 26 prisoners was released in August.
Syria's chemical equipment limited
International inspectors have destroyed in four weeks nearly all the equipment used by Syria to prepare munitions for chemical warfare, U.S. and European officials said Monday. The organization in charge of the inspections said its teams had visited all but two of the 23 chemical weapons sites declared by Syria, in some cases smashing with hammers the machines used to fill chemical warheads with sarin and other lethal toxins.
Obama reassures FBI employees
President Barack Obama on Monday assured FBI employees that he would fight to keep politics from interfering with their mission as the agency struggles to contend with budget shortfalls. Speaking at the agency's headquarters at a ceremony recognizing James Comey as the new FBI director, Obama said it was unfortunate that the broad spending cuts known as sequestration have affected the FBI's resources.
Canada: A man who was booked on a flight to Los Angeles faces charges after parts of a potential explosive device were found in his luggage at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport on Sunday, authorities said Monday. Antony Piazza, 71, said the carry-on bag didn't belong to him.
Britain: Jury selection began Monday in the phone hacking trial of two ex-editors of the now-closed News of the World tabloid and six other people.