PRAGUE -- The Czech Civic Democrats and their coalition partners are working quickly to replace Petr Necas as premier to keep the conservative government in power through 2014 and fend off Socialist attempts to force early elections.
Leaders of the ruling parties are trying to narrow the field of candidates for prime minister after a scandal over spying and bribery charges forced Mr. Necas to quit. He submitted his resignation to President Milos Zeman at Prague Castle on Monday, rather than face an opposition-led no-confidence vote today.
Mr. Necas leaves a $217 billion economy mired in the longest recession since current records started in 1996. He focused on austerity, which hurt household consumption while businesses curbed spending amid the euro-area debt crisis.
Mr. Zeman will meet the leaders of political parties starting Friday to hash out the options, he told reporters Monday after receiving Mr. Necas's resignation.
Montreal mayor arrested
MONTREAL -- Mayor Michael Applebaum faces 14 criminal charges, including fraud and breach of trust, after being arrested Monday by Quebec's anti-corruption task force as part of a bribery case.
The charges are linked to two real-estate transactions that involved "tens of thousands of dollars" in illegal payments between 2006 and 2011, Robert Lafreniere, head of Quebec's anti- corruption unit, told reporters at a televised press conference in Montreal. Mr. Applebaum was arrested at his home, police said in a statement posted on the provincial government's website.
The arrests come as a government-appointed commission investigates the granting and management of public construction contracts in Quebec. The hearings, which began in May 2012, are televised daily in Quebec.
N. Korea envoy on road
SEOUL, South Korea -- A senior nuclear negotiator from North Korea will visit Beijing for a strategic dialogue this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The planned trip by the first vice foreign minister of North Korea, Kim Kye Gwan, follows his country's proposal Sunday to hold senior-level talks with Washington to discuss easing tensions and eventually removing nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.
Turkish strikers march
ISTANBUL -- Thousands of Turkish workers Monday went on strike and marched in Ankara in support of Istanbul protesters, as political turmoil in Turkey entered its third week after a night of violence in Istanbul.
Police blocked the strikers' march toward the central Kizilay Square in the capital after Interior Minister Muammer Guler said no "illegal" demonstration will be allowed. Labor groups called the action to protest the government's "aggressive" policies.
Morsi shores up power base
CAIRO -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi swore in as governors seven members of the Muslim Brotherhood and one from a group blamed for a deadly attack on foreigners, shoring up his Islamist power base amid rising secularist concerns about the nation's direction.
The appointments, announced Sunday, comes amid a growing polarization between secularists and Islamists that's stunted Egypt's political transition after the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak and undermined economic recovery efforts.