World Briefs: Senior official meets Iranian leader

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The tough language from Benjamin Netanyahu reflects differences that have emerged between Israel and its allies, particularly the U.S., over how to deal with Iran.

Israel has warned that the Iranians are quickly approaching weapons capability and that the threat of force must be seriously considered. The U.S. says sanctions and international diplomacy must be given more time to work.

Mr. Netanyahu, speaking to his Cabinet, said that a new report issued by the U.N. nuclear agency showing progress in the Iranian nuclear program bolsters his claim that international pressure is not working.

MYANMAR

Daily newspapers to be permitted next year

YANGON — Myanmar’s new information minister on Sunday predicted that privately owned newspapers would be able to publish daily starting early next year, heralding fresh reform for a sector recently freed from decades of draconian censorship.

Aung Kyi told the Myanmar Times that state-owned newspapers — currently the only news publications allowed to be printed daily — also would be revamped with private-sector involvement in the coming months.

“It is my sincere belief that daily private-sector newspapers are essential for a democratic country,” said Aung Kyi, who replaced a prominent hard-liner last week when he was appointed as part of a Cabinet reshuffle seen as promoting reformists in Myanmar’s government.

The former labor minister, who acted as the liaison between Myanmar’s previous junta government and democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi while she was under house arrest, said a code of practice should be discussed before changes are made to publication rules for private weekly journals.

GAZA STRIP

Hamas announces Cabinet reshuffle

GAZA CITY — The leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, which governs Gaza, announced a Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, appointing seven new ministers including a new finance minister.

Ismail Haniyeh said the reshuffle was a “normal procedure after nearly six years of work by some ministers and in order to achieve specific goals for the current period.”

He also said the new Cabinet is partly a reaction to the changing landscape of the Middle East in the wake of uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and other Arab countries. “This shuffle will give us an opportunity to deal with these changes,” he said.

The Hamas-dominated parliament came into being in 2006 after the Islamist group won a crushing electoral victory, but it has been largely non-functional since then.

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