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UNITED NATIONS

U.N. chief: Palestinians should defer agency bids

CANNES, FRANCE | Palestinian efforts to join U.N. agencies beyond its cultural arm are “not beneficial for anybody” and will lead to cuts in funding sure to affect millions of people, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday.

In an Associated Press interview, the U.N. chief reiterated the world body’s support for a viable, independent Palestinian state - but lamented the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to join U.N. affiliates before the U.N. itself.

The Palestinians have asked the Security Council to grant them full membership in the United Nations, and a vote is tentatively set for Nov. 11. The United States, a stalwart Israeli ally, has vowed to veto the request.

Since their application in September, the Palestinians have sought to join other U.N. agencies in which the U.S. doesn’t have veto power on membership issues. A culmination of that effort came Monday, when the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization voted to welcome the Palestinians.

SYRIA

Tanks fire on Homs, defy Arab-brokered deal

BEIRUT | Syrian tanks mounted with machine guns fired on a city at the center of the country’s uprising Thursday, defying a day-old agreement between the Syrian government and the Arab League to end nearly eight months of bloodshed, activists said.

At least 12 people were killed in the tank fire and other violence in Homs, according to two main Syrian activist groups.

A crackdown on dissent and what appears to be growing sectarian bloodshed has turned Homs, Syria’s third-largest city and home to some 800,000 people, into one of the country’s deadliest areas.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Uganda fighters attack military base in Congo

KINSHASA | A Congolese army official said Ugandan militiamen launched an overnight attack on a military base in eastern Congo in an attempt to free detained leaders.

Col. Eric Ruhorimbere said the fighters descended on a Congolese military base in Mukakira around 4 a.m. Thursday. Nine of the attackers were killed, along with two Congolese soldiers.

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