Top news: In his second inaugural address Monday, President Barack Obama vowed to take on climate change in the next four years, saying that America must lead the transition to sustainable energy sources. "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," he said. "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."
"The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries -- we must claim its promise. That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God," he said.
The White House has not yet rolled out the specifics of its second-term climate agenda, but analysts believe that a major legislative push to curb greenhouse emissions is unlikely. Instead, it is thought the president could take a series of executive actions to address climate change, including tightening emissions standards at existing power plants and nixing the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude oil from the tar sands in Alberta to multiple locations in the United States. The Pentagon is also expected to take additional steps toward reducing carbon emissions.
Mali intervention: French and Malian forces recaptured the central Malian towns of Diabaly and Douentza Monday, pushing the Islamist militants back into the north of the country. France has deployed 2,150 ground troops to Mali, as well has helicopters and fighter jets, while Chad and the West African bloc ECOWAS have sent roughly 1,000 troops. That number is expected to grow to 5,000 in the coming weeks.
- Benjamin Netanyahu looks poised to win his third term as prime minister in Tuesday's parliamentary election in Israel.
- Algeria's prime minister defended his country's aggressive response to the recent hostage crisis, even as the death toll rose to 37 foreigners.
- The first of six NATO Patriot missile batteries arrived in Turkey Monday. They are expected to be deployed along the Syrian border.
- Soldiers stormed Eritrea's Ministry of Information Monday in an apparent attempt to oust President Isaias Afwerki, but government forces quickly quashed the rebellion.
- Pirates seized a Nigerian-owned tanker off the coast of Abidjan, taking 16 crew members hostage.
- An Ivory Coast prosecutor charged former youth minister Charles Ble Goude with war crimes and murder for his role in the 2011 post-election violence.
- Five Taliban suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of the Kabul traffic police Monday, igniting a gun battle that left three officers dead.
- The trial of five men accused in the deadly New Delhi gang rape is scheduled to begin Thursday.
- A Bangladeshi tribunal sentenced Muslim cleric Abul Kalam Azad to death for war crimes committed during the country's 1971 independence war.
- Russia's Emergency Services Ministry announced Monday that it will send two airplanes to Beirut in order to evacuate roughly 100 Russians fleeing Syria.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that the United Kingdom will consider sending additional transport and surveillance assistance to French forces fighting in Mali.
- The new high-speed railway connecting Amsterdam and Brussels has suspended service because of a series of technical problems.
- FARC rebels ended their two-month long unilateral ceasefire amid ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government in Cuba.
- Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is expected to return from Cuba in the "coming days," according to his brother.
- A helicopter crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil left the pilot dead and three passengers injured.