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WORLD
March 11, 2010 | By Paul Richter
Vice President Joe Biden told Palestinians on Wednesday that the United States intends to push ahead with its Mideast peacemaking effort, despite a diplomatic blow-up this week over Israel's plans to build 1,600 housing units in disputed East Jerusalem. Biden met in the West Bank with the Palestinian Authority president and prime minister, emphasizing U.S. determination to act as the intermediary in new talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The vice president reiterated his criticism of Israel's housing announcement, and declared that Palestinians deserve a "viable" state.
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WORLD
March 10, 2010 | By Tony Perry
Although pirates last year made many more attempts to board ships in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, the number of successful seizures was about the same as in 2008, according to the U.S.-organized multinational maritime force here. The figures suggest that new "defensive driving" tactics adopted by many commercial shipping companies are helping ward off attackers, naval officials said. There were 198 attempts at piracy in the vast region last year, a 62% increase from 2008, but only 44 attempts were successful.
WORLD
March 10, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders
Media Titan to Rivals: Drop Dead! edia Titan to Rivals: Drop Dead! That's tabloid shorthand for the Darwinian clash unfolding between Israel's three biggest newspaper barons. The story begins with a publicity-shy publisher who built a paper so popular and powerful it was deemed a monopoly. Nipping at his heels is a scrappy businessman who once wiretapped competitors and later destroyed an incriminating document by swallowing it. But it didn't become a battle royal until a Jewish-American billionaire, borrowing a page from Fox News, launched a "fair and balanced" newspaper to counter what he called liberal media.
WORLD
March 9, 2010 | By Paul Richter
After keeping a careful distance for the last year, the Obama administration has concluded that the Iranian opposition movement has staying power and has embraced it as a central element in the U.S.-led campaign to pressure the country's clerical government. Administration officials and some allied governments believe that a combination of domestic unrest and international sanctions targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guard offers the best hope for forcing Tehran to yield on its nuclear program, and could even lead to a change in the government.
WORLD
March 9, 2010 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
Iraq achieved a respectable turnout at the polls over the weekend as 62% of registered voters cast ballots, according to the country's electoral commission. The figure exceeded expectations. Some Western officials had predicted that 55% to 60% of the 19 million eligible Iraqis would go to the polls. Turnout in Baghdad was relatively disappointing: Only 53% of voters cast ballots in the capital, whereas the predominantly Sunni Arab province of Salahuddin saw a turnout of nearly 75%, according to the Independent High Electoral Commission.
WORLD
March 9, 2010 | By Paul Richter
In the midst of a high-profile trip by Vice President Joe Biden, Israel unveiled plans for new housing in disputed Jerusalem on Tuesday, a surprise step that embarrassed and angered the highest ranking Obama administration official yet to visit the country. Biden, who had come to try to smooth relations with a longtime ally and promote new peace talks, denounced Israel's plans to build 1,600 housing units in traditionally Arab East Jerusalem as a threat to the search for peace. "I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem," Biden said, calling it "precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now."
WORLD
March 8, 2010 | By Liz Sly and Caesar Ahmed
With an air of practiced efficiency, Iraqis strolled down the potholed, trash-strewn streets of this oil-rich city to vote Sunday. Far from the explosions that marred voting in Baghdad, the mood in Iraq's second largest city was much like the day's weather: bright and full of sunshine. In the country's fifth exercise in democracy since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, turnout here was pegged at a respectable 60%. "I've got a good feeling that the coming years are going to bring us prosperity and a good life," said Bushra Younes, 33, after casting her ballot and dipping her finger in the ink that has become a symbol of Iraq's fledgling democracy.
WORLD
March 8, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders
Vice President Joe Biden was due to arrive Monday in Israel on a mission to mend relations after a rocky first year for new administrations in both countries. During the three-day visit, Biden is expected to consult with Israeli leaders about Iran and kick off peace negotiations -- albeit indirect ones -- between Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestine Liberation Organization led by Fatah formally endorsed U.S.-brokered talks on Sunday. But analysts and officials say the primary objective for Biden, the highest-ranking administration official to visit Israel since President Obama's election, is to give Israel's government a diplomatic nod and boost Israelis' confidence in the U.S. president.
WORLD
March 7, 2010 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
Hassan Suneid remembers the time the cattle prod stopped working as his guards were torturing him. He kept screaming louder and louder, hoping to fool his tormentors, but they quickly realized he was overacting. Other times, he says, he tried to bore them by showing no reaction whatsoever. "Prison gives the human another personality, makes him tougher and patient in order to solve the problems and to not feel the pain from anything," said Suneid, who was sent to prison under Saddam Hussein and is now a senior leader of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party.
WORLD
March 7, 2010 | By Batsheva Sobelman
The gym is packed with dozens of children, all dressed up for the Jewish holiday of Purim: Spider-Men, Batmen, fairies, Aladdins and princesses. Mothers sit on the side in bubbly chatter, some wearing Muslim head scarves, others gold or silver crosses. The clown hosting the event invites the children on stage to show off their costumes and sing a song in Arabic that everybody knows. Even though most of them are Arabs, they can't think of one. They ask to sing a Hebrew Purim song instead.
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