Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Article excerpt

Despite rebuke, Israel advances settlements

Israel on Wednesday pressed forward with the construction of thousands of new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, part of a series of new settlement plans that have drawn worldwide rebuke, including from its closest ally, the United States.

Separate planning committees on Wednesday gave approval to a new settlement in east Jerusalem, the first to be built in the contested area since 1997, and construction of 1,000 new homes in existing settlements across the West Bank.

The announcements drew harsh Palestinian condemnations and were likely to heighten the already rising tensions between Israel and its allies in the West. The Palestinians claim the West Bank and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as parts of a future state. The international community opposes all Israeli settlement in the two areas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at a gathering of foreign diplomats, refused to back down.

All Israeli governments have built in Jerusalem. Were not going to change that, he said. I want you to ask any of you to imagine that you would limit construction in your own capital. It doesnt make sense, Netanyahu said.

Many Christians in Egypt are fearful of voting A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in a southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last weeks referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution they deeply oppose, residents say. The disenfranchisement is hiking Christians worries over their future under empowered Muslim conservatives.

Around a week before the vote, some 50,000 Islamists marched through the provincial capital, Assiut, chanting that Egypt will be Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians. At their head rode several bearded men on horseback with swords in scabbards on their hips, evoking images of early Muslims conquering Christian Egypt in the seventh century.

Latin Americans most happy, poll finds A poll of nearly 150,000 people around the world says that 7 of the 10 countries with the most positive attitudes are in Latin America.

Many of the seven do poorly in traditional measures of well- being, like Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war. …

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