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October 28, 2013 | Times wire reports
Tadeusz Mazowiecki, 86, Eastern Europe's first democratic prime minister after communism, a key advisor to Poland's Solidarity freedom movement and U.N. human rights envoy to Bosnia in the 1990s, died Monday in Warsaw after being hospitalized for a high fever, said his personal secretary, Michal Prochwicz. In August 1980, Mazowiecki joined thousands of workers on strike at the Gdansk Shipyard. Within days, their action grew into a massive wave of strikes that gave birth to Solidarity - Eastern Europe's first free trade union and a nationwide freedom movement - led by a charismatic shipyard electrician, Lech Walesa, whose name quickly became known around the globe.
October 16, 2013 | By Laura King
CAIRO -- Egypt's foreign minister said in an interview published Wednesday that turmoil in U.S.-Egyptian relations could harm American interests throughout the Middle East and suggested that his country's military-backed government might begin distancing itself from the United States and seeking aid elsewhere, possibly from U.S. rivals. The sharp tone of Nabil Fahmy's remarks, made to the state-owned Al Ahram daily, appeared aimed at warning the Obama administration against trying to pressure Egyptian authorities into easing a harsh ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's biggest Islamist movement.
October 10, 2013 | By Laura King, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
CAIRO -- Libya slipped deeper into turmoil Thursday when gunmen staged a brief but brazen abduction of the country's prime minister, storming into a luxury hotel in the capital, Tripoli, and seizing him. He was freed hours later, Libya's state-run news agency reported. The circumstances of Prime Minister Ali Zidan's release were not immediately clear. [Updated, 7:53 a.m. PDT Oct. 10: At a Cabinet meeting following his release, Zidan thanked the "real revolutionaries " who helped to free him but provided no details, according to the BBC. ]
October 9, 2013 | By Times Staff
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan was seized by armed men and taken from a hotel in Tripoli, the capital, according to news reports early Thursday. The Reuters news agency cited two Arab-language television stations , Sky News Arabia and Al Arabiya, both based in the United Arab Emirates, that first reported the apparent kidnapping. Al Arabiya said on its English-language site that the Libyan government had confirmed the reports. The BBC also said the government had confirmed the reports and that Zidan had been taken to an undisclosed location by a group of men who were believed to be former rebels.
October 2, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME - In a shocking reversal that left his party in disarray and could seriously damage his political fortunes, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made a U-turn on plans to bring down the Italian government and force early elections. Berlusconi threw his support behind Premier Enrico Letta in a crucial confidence vote Wednesday after members of his own party threatened to desert him. Letta is trying to pass reforms intended to drag Italy out of its most serious recession since World War II. After last-ditch talks with rebels in his party, the 77-year-old media mogul made a brief speech to the Senate shortly before the vote, saying, "We have decided, not without some internal strife, to support the government.
October 1, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of waging a deceitful "charm offensive" to get sanctions lifted while secretly pushing ahead on a quest to build nuclear weapons. Netanyahu's address to the United Nations General Assembly sought to dispel a mood of cautious optimism created last week when Rouhani pledged to resolve the nuclear dispute and ease more than 30 years of hostility between Iran and the United States. The Israeli prime minister called Rouhani "a wolf in sheep's clothing, who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.
September 27, 2013 | By Tanvi Sharma and Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI - Although economics, trade, security and nuclear energy will figure prominently when President Obama meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington on Friday, the elephant in the room will be a growing disenchantment with a relationship once thought to have near-unlimited potential. After a hard-fought battle in both countries to finalize the 2008 U.S.-Indian civil nuclear agreement - essentially allowing India to regain full international standing after it was sanctioned for testing nuclear devices in 1974 and 1998 - many on both sides of the Pacific expected ties to strengthen.
September 25, 2013 | By Paul Richter
UNITED NATIONS - After Secretary of State John F. Kerry sits down Thursday with his Iranian counterpart to start the highest level talks between the two nations in 34 years, negotiators for the two sides are likely to grapple with a highly sensitive issue: Can the mullahs in Tehran be trusted to enrich uranium - potential nuclear bomb fuel - to even low levels on their own soil? President Obama and newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani both implicitly raised the question during their addresses Tuesday to world leaders at the annual United Nations General Assembly gathering.
September 24, 2013 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he welcomed President Obama's comments about Iran to the United Nations but remains wary of the Islamic Republic's intentions . Delivering a video statement that was issued between Obama's speech and that of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Netanyahu said he appreciates Obama's saying that Iran will have to back its conciliatory words with "action that isĀ  transparent and...
September 23, 2013 | By Paul Richter and Christi Parsons
UNITED NATIONS - In a sign of a potential thaw in relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will sit down Thursday with Secretary of State John F. Kerry and representatives of five other world powers in the highest-level formal meeting between U.S. and Iranian diplomats in more than three decades. Kerry and Zarif will come together at the United Nations in a session of the so-called P5-plus-1, a diplomatic group that has sought for seven years to try to negotiate curbs on Iran's nuclear development program.
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