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The rebels have agreed to talks with the new government of President Benigno Aquino III, but are worried that it wants to remove Malaysia as a broker and review all previous deals. Distrust between the parties would undermine hopes for a lasting peace.


Israelis threaten to quit U.N. probe

JERUSALEM | Israel threatened Monday to pull out of a U.N. inquiry into a deadly raid on a Turkish flotilla heading for Gaza, after the U.N. chief said there is no agreement that the panel would refrain from calling Israeli soldiers to testify.

Last week, Israel agreed to participate in the U.N. probe into the May 31 raid, when nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed after Israeli naval commandos boarded a Turkish vessel aiming to break Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza.

The surprise development was announced just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu testified before his country’s own inquiry into the raid. He charged that Turkey had an interest in the violent confrontation and refused to exert its influence to stop the flotilla. A Turkish official rejected that as “ridiculous.”


High court in limbo amid political spats

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka | Political turmoil paralyzing the Maldives deepened Monday after the attorney-general resigned in frustration over parliament’s refusal to appoint a new Supreme Court.

In an attempt to prevent the country from spiraling into judicial chaos, President Mohammed Nasheed issued a decree Sunday — the day an interim court was to have been disbanded — allowing the Supreme Court to continue administrative functions until the crisis is resolved.

Political disorder engulfed the nation of 1,192 low-lying coral islands after the 13-member Cabinet resigned en masse in June, accusing the opposition of undermining Mr. Nasheed’s powers by defeating all motions put before it. The Cabinet was reappointed last month.

Mr. Nasheed took power in the country’s first democratic elections two years ago, after repeatedly being imprisoned under the 30-year rule of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, whom he defeated in the 2008 elections.

From wire dispatches and staff reports