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Israel, Palestinians agree 11th-hour Gaza truce extension GAZA CITY: Egyptian mediators clinched an agreement from Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday to extend a Gaza truce by another 72 hours just minutes before it was to expire at midnight.Three days of frantic shuttle diplomacy had appeared in jeopardy only an hour earlier when a rocket struck Israel, striking an open area near Gaza's northern border shortly after sirens rang out across the south.It was the only violation of the ceasefire reported after the lull came into effect at midnight (2100 GMT) Sunday and an Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed there had been no retaliatory air strike on Gaza.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...

US sends 130 more military advisors to Iraq: Hagel SAN DIEGO: The United States has sent 130 more military advisors to northern Iraq to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis there, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said."I recommended to the president and the president has authorized me to go ahead and send about 130 new assessment team members up to northern Iraq in the Arbil area to take a closer look and give more in-depth assessment of where we can continue to help," ...
Truce holds as Cairo talks turn to Gaza blockade JERUSALEM: Negotiators in Cairo addressed the thorny issue of the Israeli Gaza blockade on Tuesday night, as the second day of a 72-hour truce neared its end.As Gaza's residents ventured out to try to piece together their battered lives, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held a second round of indirect talks aimed at finding a durable end to the five-week confrontation.A senior Israeli official told AFP there was still a long way to go to agree ...
UK drops more aid in Iraq, readies jets for surveillance LONDON: Britain made a second airdrop of aid to refugees in northern Iraq, officials said on Tuesday, as reports said that Tornado fighter jets had left Britain to provide surveillance support for the humanitarian effort.The Royal Air Force (RAF) was forced to abandon a drop on Monday because of fears of injuring people on the ground, but a repeat attempt overnight was successful, the Department for International Development said.Two aid drops have now been made, ...
Iran congratulates Iraq PM pick, snubs Maliki TEHRAN: Iran officially ended its long-time allegiance to Iraq's sidelined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday, swinging its support behind newly designated premier Haidar al-Abadi in a congratulatory message.The statement confirmed that Maliki has lost the crucial backing of fellow leaders and politicians in Tehran, making it much harder to credibly fight on and remain head of government.Ali Shamkhani, secretary and representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Iran's Supreme National Security Council, made ...
Israel apologizes for calling Brazil 'diplomatic dwarf' BRASïLIA: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin apologized Monday to his Brazilian counterpart for a remark by a foreign ministry spokesman calling the Latin American powerhouse a "diplomatic dwarf."The comment in July was made by spokesman Yigal Palmor after Brazil criticized Israel's military campaign in Gaza as excessive and recalled its envoy in Tel Aviv.In a phone call Monday, Rivlin assured Brazil President Dilma Rousseff that Palmor's comments "do not correspond to the sentiments of the population" ...
All quiet on day two of Gaza truce as Cairo talks continue GAZA CITY: A semblance of normal life returned to Gaza on Tuesday as a 72-hour truce entered its second day and negotiators sat down in Cairo to seek a permanent end to hostilities.The enclave was quiet following days of Egyptian-brokered mediation to stem violence which has killed 1,940 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side since July 8.Egyptian intelligence mediators in Cairo threw themselves back into shuttle diplomacy that unravelled after rocket attacks breached the ...


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