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It gave $936,240 to schools, a mosque, hospital and other health facilities built on a campus just north of Lahore at Murike, said a budget document presented in the Punjab assembly this week.

Another $35,207 was given to schools run by Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which was put on the U.N. terrorist blacklist in December 2008 and is considered a front for the militant group blamed over the Mumbai attacks.

The Punjab government denied giving any money to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, saying it had taken control of the institutions after the charity was banned in 2008.


EU leaders seek long-term debt fix

BRUSSELS | European Union leaders were using a Thursday summit to try to fix deep, long-standing problems with their economies by forging tougher rules to rein in government overspending - and prevent another debt crisis.

Though the summit’s formal focus is on long-term solutions, the 27 EU leaders also face more immediate worries about potential losses hitting European banks and continuing speculation about market pressure possibly pushing Spain to seek outside financial help.

Spain has said it will soon publish results of a review of how much its banks could lose if the economy worsens and house prices tumble further, in an effort to calm market worries that the government may ultimately have to rescue local banks.


Officials to ease Gaza land blockade

JERUSALEM | Israel agreed Thursday to ease its 3-year-old land blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, hoping to quell international outrage over its deadly raid on a flotilla bound for the Palestinian territory.

In one of the major changes, Israel will allow in more desperately needed construction materials for civilian projects, provided those projects are carried out under international supervision, government and military officials said. Israel has barely allowed in goods such as cement and steel, fearing Hamas militants could use them to build weapons and fortifications. The policy has prevented rebuilding thousands of homes and other buildings damaged in Israel’s war with Hamas last year.

An Israeli military official said all foods would be allowed in to the impoverished territory, effective immediately.

Authorities had previously allowed a short and constantly changing list of foods in, but the list has been growing incrementally in recent months.


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