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EU presses Israel, Palestinians ahead of UN vote

European foreign ministers pressed Israel and the Palestinians on Monday to return to the negotiating table before a UN vote on recognising a Palestinian state, which could reveal divisions within the EU. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sought to play down the risks involved in any UN resolution…

House to warn Palestinians on UN statehood bid

WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives closed ranks Wednesday to warn the Palestinians that they risk cuts in US aid if they pursue UN recognition of a future state not defined in direct talks with Israel. A resolution to that effect had 320 co-sponsors out of the often polarized…

Palestinians going ahead with UN statehood bid

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Sunday that with no renewal of peace talks on the horizon, the Palestinians would pursue their unilateral bid for recognition in September. “I say that if negotiations have failed we will go to the United Nations for membership,” Abbas told…

Facebook under fire for facial recognition software

WASHINGTON — Facebook is coming under fire for a feature that uses facial recognition software to allow members to tag pictures of their friends on the social network. The “Tag Suggestions” feature made its debut on Facebook in the United States six months ago but has drawn renewed attention this…

Illinois legalizes civil unions for same-sex couples

CHICAGO — Illinois became the 12th US state to extend legal recognition to same-sex couples Monday after its governor signed a law allowing for civil unions. The law stops short of allowing gays and lesbians to get married, but grants them the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. “Today is…

Palestinians seek more than a ‘Facebook state’: PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinians expect wider recognition of their statehood in the coming year and it will mean more than the mere “Facebook state” predicted by an Israeli minister, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday. Fayyad said recognition by many countries would “enshrine” the Palestinians’ right to…

House opposes declaration of Palestinian state

The US House of Representatives late Wednesday approved a measure condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and backing a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The House measure comes after Brazil, and later Argentina and Uruguay, in early December recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967…

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