John Kerry in Pak
ISLAMABAD: Prominent US Senator John Kerry held talks with Pakistani leaders on Monday on efforts to fight extremists and provide aid to the cash-strapped frontline state in the "war on terror", officials said. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and would also meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Pakistani officials said. The Democrat has introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives that would triple economic aid for Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year. — AFP


Unsafe Somalia
MOGADISHU: Mortar shells were fired Monday towards Mogadishu's airport as US congressman Donald Payne was leaving Somalia, but there were no casualties, an African Union official told AFP. — AFP

Journalists thrown out
SUVA: Foreign journalists said on Monday they had been ordered to leave Fiji, leading a regional body to voice "deep concern" as the military-led regime tightens its grip after the latest political upheaval. Journalists sent to cover the "new order" said they were being thrown out after the government expressed disapproval at their reporting on the reinstatement of coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama as prime minister. He was reappointed on Saturday after president Josefa Iloilo scrapped the constitution and sacked the Appeal Court judges who two days earlier had declared the military government to be illegal. — AFP

21 killed in blaze
WARSAW: A fire swept through a shelter for homeless and poor families in northwest Poland on Monday, killing 21 and forcing parents to toss children from windows into the arms of rescuers. Another 21 people have been hospitalised, including one with serious injuries. — AFP