SOUTH SUDAN

Troops battle rebels over key oil town

Government troops and rebel fighters engaged in a fierce battle over an important oil town in South Sudan on Monday after rebels launched a counteroffensive shortly after the government claimed control of the town.

Bentiu has seen fierce battles over the last 24 hours, said the aid group CARE, which added that its staff is taking shelter in bunkers. The rebels launched a counteroffensive Monday and the city may have changed hands yet again, according to a security expert who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

A government offensive on Sunday came just days after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that he was ready to hold peace talks with the rebel leader, former Vice President Riek Machar. - AP

SAUDI ARABIA

MERS death toll rises

Saudi Arabia's toll from a respiratory virus rose to 115 with three more deaths reported, the health ministry said Monday. A 45-year-old man and two women in their 50s have died after contracting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the western city of Jiddah, according to the latest update. MERS can cause symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, pneumonia, and kidney failure. - AP
MALAYSIA

Review of jet data

An international panel of experts will reexamine all data gathered in the nearly two-month hunt for the missing Malaysia jet to ensure search crews who have been scouring a desolate patch of ocean have been looking in the right place, officials said Monday. Senior officials from Malaysia, Australia, and China met to hash out the details of the next steps in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. - AP