- - Thursday, December 13, 2012


JERUSALEM — Israel’s powerful foreign minister resisted calls to resign Thursday, after he was charged with breach of trust in a fraud and money-laundering case threatening to upend the Israeli political system just a month before parliamentary elections.

Avigdor Lieberman, who escaped more serious charges, said that the law does not require him to resign.

“According to my legal counsel, I do not have to resign, but at the end of the day, I will make a final decision together with my lawyers,” he said at a news conference.

Mr. Lieberman, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, gave no time frame for his decision and hinted it could come after parliamentary elections on Jan. 22. He also denied all accusations and alleged they were politically motivated.

The decision by Israel’s attorney general earlier Thursday capped an investigation that stretched back more than a decade and several politicians called on Mr. Lieberman to quit.


Sudan may face new war-crimes charges

Sudan may face more charges for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Thursday.

Fatou Bensouda told the U.N. Security Council that crimes continue to be committed under Sudan’s “government-avowed goal of stopping the rebellion in Darfur,” a western region of the African nation.

She said the incidents under investigation include bombings and bombardments, the blocking of distribution of humanitarian aid and “direct attacks on civilian populations.”

More than 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict since rebels took up arms against the central government nearly 10 years ago, accusing it of discrimination and neglect. Violence has tapered off, but clashes continue.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir and several other Sudanese leaders already face arrest warrants from the court.

The court indicted Mr. Bashir in 2009 and again in 2010 for crimes including genocide and extermination in Darfur.


Chavez recovering from cancer surgery

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba but is recovering from the complications, Venezuela’s government said Thursday.

Mr. Chavez suffered “bleeding that required the use of corrective measures” during Tuesday’s surgery, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said, reading a government statement. It said those measures allowed for the “opportune control” of the bleeding.

Mr. Villegas also said that Mr. Chavez is going through “a progressive and favorable recovery of the normal values of his vital signs.”

The autocratic socialist president underwent his fourth cancer-related operation in Havana, after announcing that tests had found the illness had come back despite previous operations, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Mr. Chavez has kept secret some details about the pelvic cancer, including the type and location of the tumors that have been removed.


New prime minister is interim leader

BAMAKO — The troubled nation of Mali swore in a new interim prime minister on Thursday, just days after soldiers behind this year’s military coup arrested his predecessor and forced his resignation.

Diango Cissoko officially took office in the Malian capital of Bamako, where he said the former prime minister would be available as needed during the political transition.

Earlier this week, Cheikh Modibo Diarra announced his resignation as prime minister on state television at 4 a.m., only hours after soldiers stormed his house.

Mali’s interim government was intended to return the West African nation to civilian rule after the March military coup.

However, the coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo has maintained his hold on the country, and the political instability has raised concerns about a proposed military intervention to retake Mali’s north from radical Islamic terrorists.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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