Rape protests continue in India

New Delhi authorities shut down the heart of the capital for a second day, snarling traffic and disrupting the commute of thousands of workers a day before the Christmas holiday.

Monday's lockdown followed weekend clashes between the police and thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets to urge administrators to make the city safer for women, after the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student this month shocked the nation. Six of the suspects have been arrested.

The police said they sealed off major arteries of the city, including several metro stations, to prevent crowds from engaging in violent protests. Knots of police officers could be seen lurking on street corners on Monday, and parts of the city remained deserted.

- New York Times

Holidays bleak in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabweans say they are facing bleak holidays this year amid rising poverty, food and cash shortages and political uncertainty, with some describing it as the worst since the formation of the coalition government in this southern African nation.

President Robert Mugabe, in a four-year-old coalition with former opposition leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, announced an extra public holiday Monday that has created chaos for holiday shoppers and travelers. Banks have closed, ATMs have run out of cash, and transport services have been paralyzed.

With unemployment at 80 percent, many Zimbabweans have little to celebrate.

- AP

Mexican officials probe attack

GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemala's attorney general dispatched a special team Monday to investigate the slaying of a federal prosecutor and six other people in an attack near the Mexican border.

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz said she was sending prosecutors and investigators to the area of northern Guatemala where Irma Yolanda Olivares, who worked in one of the prosecutor's regional officers, was slain along with an official working for a government social service agency and five others on Sunday night.

President Otto Perez Molina blamed the attack on drug traffickers, who have taken over swathes of territory along the border with Mexico.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Aides to President Hugo Chavez, who is recuperating from cancer surgery in Cuba, are floating the idea of postponing Chavez's inauguration Jan. 10 if he is too ill to return to Venezuela to begin his new term. Opposition politicians and commentators have said that if Chavez is not in Venezuela to be sworn in on that date, a constitutional provision would kick in requiring that a new election to be held within 30 days.