Eritrea, a sliver of a nation in the Horn of Africa that is one of the most secretive and repressive countries in the world, was cast into confusion Monday after mutinous soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information and took over the state-run television service, apparently in a coup attempt. According to several people with close contacts inside Eritrea, the coup attempt failed, with government troops quelling the would-be rebellion and no one rising up in the streets. The U.S. State Department said that the situation remained fluid.
Japan's central bank has wrapped up a policy meeting by pledging more aggressive action to boost the economy, including setting a 2 percent inflation target. The Bank of Japan said it would conduct "open-ended" asset purchases to help achieve the goal of breaking out of a long spell of deflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been lobbying the central bank to ease monetary policy further to help the recession-struck economy escape from years of falling prices known as deflation.
Russia is sending two planes to take home scores of its citizens from Syria, in the latest signal that the Kremlin may be preparing for the collapse of President Bashar Assad's government. The planes will fly to neighboring Lebanon on Tuesday and transport more than 100 people, mostly women and children. Russia has already disclosed contingency plans for a naval evacuation of thousands of its nationals living in Syria. Also on Monday, Assad's opponents meeting in Istanbul, were once again unable to form a transitional government in exile, deciding instead to postpone the step while new proposals are drawn up.
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is to be transferred from a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., to a halfway house next week as he nears the end of his six-year prison sentence for corruption, according to people close to his family. It is typical for federal inmates to be moved to a work-release facility about six months before their scheduled release. Ryan is set to be freed by July 4, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. A federal jury convicted Ryan in 2006 of steering millions of dollars in state business to lobbyists and friends in return for vacations, gifts and other benefits.
A teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told police he had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts. According to a probable cause statement, a Bernalillo County sheriff's detective questioned 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego on Saturday about the killings at the family home southwest of Albuquerque. A sheriff's spokesman said he couldn't immediately comment on the document.