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Israeli police and Palestinians clash in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Israeli police used tear gas and rubber bullets against stone-throwing Palestinians in the Issawiya district of annexed east Jerusalem on Sunday, police and an AFP journalist said. “Five Palestinians were arrested after attacking a police and border guard patrol with stones,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. An AFP…

Salvage workers begin pumping fuel from Italian shipwreck

ROME — Salvage workers Sunday began pumping fuel from the shipwrecked Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, a day ahead of schedule, officials said. Operations began at around 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) on the wreck off the Tuscan island of Giglio to remove fuel from seven of the massive ship’s tanks,…

China vows to pursue balanced trade with U.S.

SHANGHAI — A top Chinese official on Sunday vowed Beijing would pursue more balanced trade with the United States, as the country’s Vice President Xi Jinping prepares for an official US visit. Xi, the country’s leader-in-waiting, is likely to face a barrage of complaints over China’s allegedly discriminatory trade policies…

Chinese village experiments with democracy

SHANGHAI — A Chinese village which staged an extraordinary rebellion against authorities last year has taken a key step in a process to freely elect its own governing committee, according to residents. Thousands of residents of Wukan in the southern province of Guangdong voted Saturday for more than 100 representatives…

Turkish jets bomb Kurdish rebel bases in north Iraq

ISTANBUL — Turkish jets have bombed Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq, home to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the army said on Sunday. “Two groups of targets belonging to the separatist terrorists in the regions of Zap and Kahurk were hit with efficiency in the evening…

Israel general strike ends after four days

JERUSALEM — Israeli unions announced on Sunday they were ending a general strike on its fifth day, after reaching an agreement with treasury officials that will boost salaries and benefits for contract workers. At a joint news conference, the head of the Histadrut trade union confederation and Finance Minister Yuval…

Palestinian unity deal a mistake: Gaza Hamas leader

Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar slammed a Palestinian unity deal as a “mistake” that has thrown the Islamist movement into crisis, in an interview with Egypt’s official MENA agency published on Sunday. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal signed an agreement with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas earlier this month placing Abbas at…

Venezuela’s Chavez faces challenge as opposition votes

Venezuelan opposition parties are holding their first primary on Sunday to pick a unity candidate to battle ailing President Hugo Chavez, in power for more than a decade, in an October vote. Five candidates are running in the opposition contest with the favorite Henrique Capriles, 39, the energetic governor of…

Castro meets with Cuban intellectuals in 9-hour meeting

AVANA (Reuters) – Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro held his second lengthy public event in a week, this time a nine-hour session with writers and intellectuals, Cuban state media said on Saturday, in another showing he is doing well after serious health problems. “Fidel with intellectuals: More than nine hours…

Arab ministers to meet over escalating Syria crisis

Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Sunday in Cairo to discuss their next move over the Syrian crisis with the bloodshed showing no signs of abating, even spilling over into Lebanon. The Syrian National Council (SNC) said Arab recognition of the opposition umbrella group was imminent after Syrian authorities…

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