BERLIN --German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have won an impressive third general election but she faces a delicate and lengthy task in forming a new government as party leaders met Monday to map out their next steps. By Kirsten Grieshaber. 700 words by 1400 GMT.
GROSSETO, Italy -- The captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia blames his helmsman for botching a crucial maneuver that he contended would have avoided the cruise ship's deadly collision with a reef off an Italian island. By Frances D'Emilio. 800 words by 1400 GMT.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- In an unprecedented decision, judges at the International Criminal Court excused Kenya's deputy president from his crimes against humanity trial for a week Monday so he could return home to help deal with the mall hostage crisis. By Mike Corder. Moved. 500 words.
ROME -- Integration ministers from 15 European countries come to Rome in a show of support for Cecile Kyenge, Italy's first black cabinet minister who has been targeted by racist taunts ever since she was appointed. By Nicole Winfield. 130 words estimated by 1630GMT; another 300 words by 1800 GMT.
GENEVA -- The number of children doing hazardous work dropped by half to 85 million from 2000 to 2012, but the rate of progress isn't fast enough to meet the goal of having no child laborers by 2016, the U.N. labor agency reported Monday. 250 words.
BERLIN -- A Senegal-born chemist has become the first black lawmaker to be elected to Germany's Parliament. Election authorities in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt said Monday that Karamba Diaby won a seat in the lower house for the Social Democrats, Germany's main center-left party. 130 words.
MOSCOW -- Russia's top Islamic cleric has protested a provincial court order to declare a translation of the Quran as extremist and to destroy it. Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, said in an open letter to President Vladimir Putin released Monday that the ruling was "illiterate" and "provocative." 130 words.
MOSCOW -- One of the imprisoned members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot says she is beginning a hunger strike to protest harsh working conditions and threats to her life. 130 words.
BUSINESS & FINANCIAL:
FRANKFURT, Germany-- The big win for Angela Merkel's conservative party in Germany was in large part an endorsement of her tough policies tackling the euro currency union's troubles over too much government debt in Greece and several other of its members. So don't expect big changes from her. By David McHugh. 400 words expected 1300 GMT.
LONDON -- Markets started the new week leaden-footed Monday despite solid economic indicators out of China and Europe and an unexpectedly strong showing by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany's national elections. By Pan Pylas. 650 words. Will be updated 1350 GMT.
LONDON -- Further evidence emerges that the economic recovery across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro is picking up and that unemployment may be peaking. By Pan Pylas. 670 words.