Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

ISRAEL HALTS PEACE TALKS

JERUSALEM - The Israeli government today cut off Mideast peace talks and threatened to impose new sanctions against the Palestinians in response to a unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions, pushing an embattled U.S. peace initiative to the brink of collapse.

Israel's Security Cabinet made the decision during a marathon emergency meeting convened to discuss the new Palestinian deal. The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation plan meant to end a seven-year rift on Wednesday.

Israel objects to any participation in Palestinian politics by Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel's destruction. The group has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks over the past two decades.

In a statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, the government said it would not hold negotiations with a government that "leans on Hamas."

PAKISTAN KILLS 37 MILITANTS

KARACHI, Pakistan - Pakistani warplanes attacked insurgent hideouts in the tribal region near the Afghan border, killing 37 suspected militants and wounding 18, army officials said today, as authorities hold peace negotiations with the Taliban.

The airstrikes pounded two suspected hideouts in a remote area of Tirah Valley in the Khyber tribal region. The military acted on intelligence that militants responsible for some of the latest terror attacks in Islamabad and elsewhere hid there. Ground troops also took part in the operation, which was still underway.

An army officer said officials suspected the militants for being responsible for a bombing at an outdoor fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of Islamabad that killed 22 people.

OBAMA PUSHES PACIFIC TRADE DEAL

TOKYO - As trade negotiators struggled to overcome their differences, President Barack Obama today rejected suggestions that an Asia-Pacific trade deal is in danger and urged the U.S. and Japan to take bold steps to complete an agreement that is key to his agenda in the region.

Illustrating the difficulties at hand, the top Japanese negotiator said today that talks at his level had come to a stop, though lower-level negotiations were continuing late into the night. Both sides appeared eager to show some progress before Mr. Obama departs Tokyo Friday morning.

Speaking during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Obama also affirmed that the U.S. will defend its Asian ally in a potential confrontation with China over a set of disputed islands. At the same time, he called on both parties to peacefully resolve the long-running dispute that has heightened tensions between the two countries.

On the first full day of a four-nation visit to Asia, Mr. …

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