- - Monday, August 1, 2011


TV: Israel to negotiate over pre-1967 lines

JERUSALEM — An Israeli TV station has disclosed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to negotiate a border with a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 cease-fire lines that mark off the West Bank.

A senior Israeli official said he would not deny the report.

Up to now Mr. Netanyahu had refused to accept the formula, insisting that Israel would not withdraw from all of the West Bank.

The report said Mr. Netanyahu agrees to use the cease-fire line as a basis, while trading territory with the Palestinians to allow Israel to keep its main West Bank settlements, in line with a proposal by President Obama.

The official spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because contacts are ongoing.

The official said Mr. Netanyahu insists the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.


25 migrants found dead on Italy-bound boat

ROME — Twenty-five African migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya died in the hold of a rickety boat so packed with people that the migrants could not get out as they struggled to breathe, officials said Monday after the bodies were found below decks.

Hundreds of migrants fleeing unrest and conflict in Libya and across North Africa are believed to have died since the beginning of the year in desperate journeys across the Mediterranean.

The 50-foot boat was carrying 296 people, including women and children, said Coast Guard Capt. Antonio Morana.


Hundreds of cab drivers protest fares

BEIJING — Nearly 1,000 cab drivers in eastern China blocked traffic and protested Monday over a lack of government intervention into rising fuel costs.

It was the latest sign of discontent over the country’s surging inflation.

The cab drivers in the tourist city of Hangzhou were urging the local government to raise cab fares, which have had a starting rate of $1.50 for eight years. The drivers noted that during that time gas, food and housing prices have skyrocketed.

The protest follows an unexpected 14.4 percent rise in food costs in June, highlighted by a whopping 57.1 percent jump in the price of pork, the country’s staple meat. Poor families in China already spend up to half their income on food.


2 AU troops die in suicide bomb raid

MOGADISHU — A military official said two African Union soldiers were killed after troops shot two suicide bombers in Mogadishu, who then detonated their explosives.

Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, the spokesman for the AU’s military operation in Somalia, said two suicide bombers disguised as Somali soldiers entered an AU base on Monday.

AU soldiers shot and killed them, but two AU troops also were killed during the incident. The attack came at a base on the east side of Mogadishu’s largest market, Bakara, an area that AU troops seized during offensive action last week.

The AU troops and Somali government control a little more than 60 percent of Mogadishu. Al Qaeda-linked militants control the rest.


S. Korea wants progress before N. Korea talks

SEOUL — North Korea must show it is serious about abandoning its atomic weapons programs before long-stalled disarmament negotiations can resume, South Korea’s lead negotiator said Monday.

The comments by Wi Sung-lac came as North Korea’s foreign ministry reiterated its call for the aid-for-disarmament talks to start soon and without preconditions.

The diplomatic maneuvering by the rival Koreas follows recent discussions between North Korean officials and their counterparts in Seoul and Washington that have led to hope that negotiations to end North Korea’s nuclear aspirations could begin again.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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