- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2007


Israelis seal Nablus, search for militants

NABLUS — Israeli soldiers sealed off this city yesterday, placed its densely populated center under curfew and conducted house-to-house searches for Palestinian militants in the largest military operation in the West Bank in months.

The raid began early yesterday morning, when about 80 jeeps, armored vehicles and bulldozers poured into the city, which is known as a hotbed of militancy, witnesses said.

Israeli officials said the wide-scale raid was crucial to stopping future militant attacks against Israel, but Palestinian officials said the offensive threatened nascent efforts to restart the peace process.


Talabani in Jordan for medical tests

SULAIMANIYAH — Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has fallen ill from “continuing hard work” and has flown to neighboring Jordan for medical treatment, his office said yesterday.

The 73-year-old president was unconscious when an ambulance rushed him to the hospital in his hometown of Sulaimaniyah, a doctor said.

“After his condition stabilized, the doctors advised him to go to Jordan for a complete checkup.”

Aviation sources said Mr. Talabani flew into Amman on a U.S. plane and walked unassisted to a car that drove him to the hospital. His office said there was “no cause for worry.”


Prodi seeks backers for a new coalition

ROME — Romano Prodi, given a second chance to prove that he can govern Italy, scrambled for support yesterday ahead of a vote of confidence this week that he must win to stay on as prime minister.

Mr. Prodi resigned last week after suffering an embarrassing defeat over foreign policy in the upper house. But Italy’s president asked him on Saturday to stay on as prime minister and put his majority to the test in parliament.

Mr. Prodi needs to prove he has enough support in both chambers of parliament to keep his government afloat. The votes are expected to take place on Thursday and Friday.


Deal with unions could end strike

CONAKRY — President Lansana Conte has agreed to appoint a new prime minister amenable to the West African country’s powerful union chiefs in an attempt to end a crippling strike and simmering unrest that has killed scores of people this year.

One of the country’s two main union chiefs, Rabiatou Serah Diallo, said yesterday that union officials proposed five names for the post, and Gen. Conte was expected to choose one of them.

The deal could end protests that have roiled a country that has half the world’s supply of bauxite — the raw material of aluminum — as well as iron ore, gold and diamonds.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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