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WORLD
March 16, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders and Paul Richter
A day after trying to ease tensions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday rejected U.S. demands to end the construction of new housing units in disputed East Jerusalem, leaving the two allies in the middle of an increasingly uncomfortable diplomatic feud. The United States wants Netanyahu to order a halt to the construction and make a gesture to Palestinians that could help lead to peace negotiations. But Netanyahu, arguing that construction of housing units on land occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East War poses no harm to Palestinians, showed no signs of acquiescing to U.S. demands.
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WORLD
March 15, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried Sunday to move beyond a diplomatic rift with the U.S. even as Obama administration officials reiterated their displeasure with a controversial housing project in East Jerusalem. In his first public comments about last week's tense visit by Vice President Joe Biden, Netanyahu expressed regret for Israel's surprise announcement of 1,600 new housing units to be built on land occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East War. U.S. officials say the move embarrassed Biden and jeopardized efforts to restart peace talks with Palestinians, which was a purpose of his visit to the Mideast.
WORLD
March 14, 2010 | By Paul Richter
Beginning as a spat over a single housing project, a dispute this week between the Obama administration and Israel has ballooned into the biggest U.S.-Israeli clash in 20 years, adding to months of strain between Washington and one of its closest allies. Israel's decision to move ahead with 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, announced during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden, drew criticism from Washington in language rarely directed at even Iran or North Korea. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Israel's announcement "was an insult to the United States."
WORLD
March 14, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi
Lacking witnesses but blessed with hundreds of hours of video, the cops and spooks worked the case of the slain weapons smuggler like a movie in reverse. Dubai's cameras never blink. The security system allows law enforcement to track anyone, from the moment they get off an airplane, to the immigration counter where their passport is scanned, through the baggage claim area to the taxi stand where cameras record who gets into what cars, which log their locations through the city's automated highway toll system, all the way to their hotels, which also have cameras.
WORLD
March 12, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders
Two Israeli soldiers involved in the Gaza Strip offensive a year ago used a 9-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield to open packages they believed were booby-trapped with explosives, the Israeli army charged Thursday. The soldiers, whose names were not released, have been indicted in military court for "unauthorized conduct" and "exceeding their authority in a manner that endangered life or health," the army said. The boy, whose case was forwarded to the Israel Defense Forces by the United Nations, was unharmed.
WORLD
March 12, 2010 | By Liz Sly
As the first, incomplete results from Iraq's weekend elections trickled in Thursday, a prominent opposition group supported mostly by Sunni Arabs made fraud allegations that could taint the legitimacy of the outcome. The partial tally from five of Iraq's 18 provinces showed the coalition headed by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki taking the lead in two mostly Shiite Muslim southern provinces, Najaf and Babil, while the secular Iraqiya bloc led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was ahead in two mostly Sunni provinces, Diyala and Salahuddin.
WORLD
March 12, 2010 | By Edmund Sanders
Reporting from Jerusalem — You come for a hug. You leave with a slap. It happens in the Middle East. Vice President Joe Biden's trip this week was supposed to highlight U.S.-Israeli cooperation to counter a perceived nuclear threat from Iran and kick off U.S.-brokered indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, talk about Iran was sidetracked and the outlook for peace may be murkier than it was before. Even here, people are not quite sure how that happened.
WORLD
March 11, 2010 | By Paul Richter
Vice President Joe Biden, winding up a disconcerting trip to the Middle East, struggled Thursday to keep hopes alive for new peace talks amid Palestinian anger over Israeli plans for new housing construction in a disputed Jerusalem neighborhood. Despite earlier pledges to take part in talks scheduled to begin next week, Palestinian officials threatened to stay away unless Israel abandons announced plans for a 1,600-unit project in East Jerusalem. Palestinians pressed for the United States to persuade Israel to change its stance on the project.
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.
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.
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