1 | Zimbabwe If You Can't Beat 'Em ... After six months of political chaos in a nation facing an acute economic crisis, rivals Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai have reached an agreement to share power. While the terms of the deal are vague, it raises hope for stability in a country where inflation is estimated at more than 11 million percent, half the population is malnourished and 8 out of 10 people are unemployed and live on less than $2 a day. Western economic sanctions on the country remain in place.
Morgan Tsvangirai Prime Minister
• Chairs the Council of Ministers, which supervises the Cabinet
• Member of the National Security Council
• Controls the police
• Party's two factions hold 16 Cabinet seats
Robert Mugabe President
• Chairs the Cabinet, which now includes 31 ministers
• Chairs the National Security Council, which oversees the military
• Party holds 15 Cabinet seats
2 | Pakistan Border Dispute The Pakistani government warned the U.S. that it would use deadly force on American troops who crossed the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in search of Taliban and al-Qaeda members. The order came in response to a Sept. 3 raid carried out by American ground forces that killed more than a dozen civilians. Owais Ahmed Ghani, governor of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, also accused U.S. forces of launching a second raid on Sept. 15, an allegation that was denied by Pakistani and U.S. military officials, who said the attack was a mistake made by an errant helicopter.
3 | China Tainted Baby-Food Shock In a widening scandal, at least three babies have died and more than 6,200 have become sick after consuming milk contaminated with the nonfood substance melamine. Beijing is investigating at least 22 companies that packaged tainted milk and yogurt sold in mainland China and Hong Kong. Melamine, a plastic compound that shows up as protein in some food tests, has been used by certain manufacturers in China to make their products appear more nutritious. In 2007, thousands of pets in the U.S. died after eating pet food contaminated with Chinese melamine.
4 | Los Angeles A Case of Deadly Distraction? Investigators are seeking the cell-phone records of a Metrolink train operator to determine whether he was sending text messages just moments before a fatal crash outside L.A. on Sept. 12. The passenger train missed a signal before it collided with a freight train--leaving 25 people dead and at least 130 injured in the deadliest U.S. rail accident in 15 years.
5 | Washington Drill, Baby, Drill The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow offshore drilling as close as 50 miles (80 km) from land but would curb tax benefits for oil companies and mandate greater use of renewable energy. Democrats, who for more than two decades have opposed coastal drilling, lauded the effort as a logical compromise, but Republicans dismissed it as a political gimmick unlikely to pass the Senate before the upcoming recess.
6 | South Africa Legal Victory Ruling-party leader Jacob Zuma cleared a major hurdle in his quest to win the presidency in next year's election when a judge--citing a procedural error--dismissed corruption charges against him. Zuma, who wrested control of the African National Congress from President Thabo Mbeki last year, had faced 16 counts stemming from his alleged role in an arms deal.
7 | Texas COASTAL FURY Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston (above), and ensuing winds and rainfall drifted up through Texas and north into the Midwest, killing at least 51 people in 10 states and leaving millions without power. Heavy rains caused flooding along the banks of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. In Texas, thousands of residents crowded into shelters and hotel rooms paid for by fema, many expecting to stay for weeks. Throughout the region, evacuees waited in long lines for food, water and gas.
8 | Bolivia Three-Way Standoff South American leaders held an emergency summit in Chile to discuss the antigovernment protests that erupted in Bolivia in early September, leaving at least 18 people dead and 100 wounded. Present was Bolivian President Evo Morales, who earlier had called the rebellion a U.S.-backed coup d'état and expelled the U.S. ambassador. The U.S. called the claim baseless, throwing out its Bolivian ambassador in return. Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, claiming to have uncovered a U.S. plot against himself, removed his country's U.S. ambassador in solidarity with Bolivia--and prompted the U.S. to respond, again, in kind.
Philip Goldberg U.S. Ambassador
Gustavo Guzmán Bolivian Ambassador
Bernardo Alvarez Herrera Venezuelan Ambassador
Patrick Duddy U.S. Ambassador
9 | Miami A Suitcase Full of Cash Testimony in the trial of Venezuelan businessman Franklin Duran revealed how officials worked to conceal the source of a suitcase filled with $800,000 intended for Argentine presidential candidate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Duran allegedly attempted to silence Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, the man who was caught with the suitcase in an airport in 2007 and who has suggested that President Hugo Chávez was involved.
10 | Yemen U.S. Embassy Attacked A multipronged assault on the embassy in the capital, Sana'a, on Sept. 17 killed at least 16 people. No Americans were killed, security officials said, but Yemenis in line for visas, the assailants and Yemeni guards were among the dead. In addition to automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades being fired, a car bomb was detonated at the gates of the embassy. A State Department spokesman said the assault had "all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda attack," although a group called Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. The embassy has seen violence several times since 2002, including a mortar assault in March that accidentally hit a high school next door, wounding more than a dozen students.
* | What They're Taxing in France: Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister for the Environment, said France will begin taxing nonrecyclable cutlery and plates to entice consumers to buy more eco-friendly products. The so-called picnic tax of 58¢ per lb. ($1.29 per kg), part of an effort to curtail waste, may be extended to cover other household items like washing machines, refrigerators and televisions. The nation has a similar system in place for cars, whereby heavily polluting vehicles pay steeper taxes.