- - Thursday, July 21, 2011


Netanyahu uses Arab TV in call for peace

JERUSALEM | Israel’s prime minister turned to the Arabic media Thursday in an attempt to lure the Palestinians back to peace talks.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s interview with Al-Arabiya TV, set to be broadcast Thursday night, reflects Israeli jitters ahead of a Palestinian plan to seek U.N. recognition of independence this fall.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office said it also reflects the significance he attributes to Arab public opinion and the sincerity of his peace overtures.

The interview marks the first time Mr. Netanyahu has sat down with an Arabic media outlet since he took office two years ago, though he has fielded questions from Arabs before on YouTube.

In the interview, Mr. Netanyahu says he is willing to negotiate anywhere and with anyone who accepts Israel’s right to exist.


Leftist leader picks moderates for Cabinet

LIMA | President-elect Ollanta Humala picked more moderates for his Cabinet on Thursday as he tries to reassure investors he will govern as a centrist in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

The appointments burnish the pragmatic image Mr. Humala sought to project during the campaign, in which he convinced many voters he had shed his radical past and strident opposition to foreign investment, private capital and free trade.

“We are building a government of national unity,” Mr. Humala said.

The former army officer, who takes office July 28, has vowed to do more to quell vexing social conflicts over natural resources that pit big mining and oil firms against poor rural towns left behind by a decade-long economic boom.

Mr. Humala, whose core base of support is in remote provinces, says a weak state, which only takes in tax revenues of about 15 percent of gross domestic product, must become more muscular and focus more funding on social programs to lift up the one-third of Peruvians mired in poverty.


Lawyer fights deportation of Chinese fugitive

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA | The attorney for one of China’s most-wanted fugitives asked Canada’s Federal Court on Thursday to stay his client’s deportation, arguing he would not get a fair trial in his native country.

Lawyer David Matas told the court that communist officials are using his client, Lai Changxing, to deflect allegations of corruption against themselves.

“He’s become the poster boy for the fight against corruption,” Mr. Matas told the court via telephone from Berlin.

For 12 years, Mr. Lai has been fighting his deportation to China, where he faces allegations he masterminded a massive smuggling operation that robbed the government of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Mr. Lai has long maintained he could be tortured or killed if returned to his home country.

Chinese officials have assured Canada that Mr. Lai won’t be executed or tortured and will get a fair trial with access to an attorney if he’s returned to face charges.


Prince Andrew to step down as UK trade envoy

LONDON | Buckingham Palace says Prince Andrew has decided to relinquish his post as U.K. trade envoy.

Andrew, the queen’s second son, has faced considerable pressure to step down as a British trade envoy because of a string of unfortunate relationships.

He hosted the son of Tunisia’s dictator shortly before a popular uprising overthrew the leader, has ties to Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime and is friends with billionaire U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Since becoming a special trade representative in 2001, Andrew also has drawn criticism for reportedly taking lavish trips in his role as an unpaid trade ambassador.

The palace said Thursday that Andrew will continue to support U.K. interests and travel overseas as a senior working member of the royal family.

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