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Afghanistan's police, who are often paid less than the Taliban militants they are fighting, frequently force those in custody to buy their freedom, a "bribe and release" arrangement undermining the government's legitimacy, a U.S. report said Monday. Police, who earn about $70 a month, routinely are paid less, because senior officers skim from subordinates' salaries, the joint report by the inspector generals of the U.S. State and Defense departments found. The report calls the U.S.-funded program to train and equip the Afghan police "generally well conceived and well executed" but concludes that the police force's readiness to carry out law enforcement duties is "far from adequate."


Israeli army shoots 1 and arrests 17

The Israeli army killed a Palestinian and arrested 17 militants Monday in raids across the West Bank, despite a decision by the military to scale back such operations in order to bolster a shaky truce with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Although the cease-fire agreement does not cover the West Bank, militants in Gaza have repeatedly threatened to break the truce and launch a wave of reprisal attacks because of Israeli military operations there.


American, others face terror charges

Egyptian authorities said Monday they had arrested an American and nearly a dozen Europeans after breaking up an international terror cell that was recruiting operatives to go to Iraq. The official Egyptian news agency MENA reported that the suspects included nine French citizens and two Belgians, as well as two Syrians, a Tunisian woman and an undisclosed number of Egyptians. In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said U.S. officials knew the identity of the American and were "seeking consular access to this individual." He said the U.S. suspect was arrested Nov. 26 but declined to name the person, citing federal privacy laws.


Philippines: The death toll from Typhoon Durian rose to 450, officials said Monday. There are 507 injured and 599 missing.

Chile: Former dictator Augusto Pinochet was recovering Monday from a heart attack on Sunday, although doctors said his life was still in danger.

Ecuador: Leftist economist Rafael Correa on Monday was officially declared the winner of the Nov. 26 presidential election by the top electoral court.