Israeli negotiators have offered a plan to the Palestinian Authority that would cede 92.7 percent of the West Bank in exchange for peace, reports said Tuesday. But a spokesman for authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the offer showed "a lack of seriousness" and was rejected because it wouldn't allow a contiguous Palestinian state between the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians have said they won't yield more than 1.8 percent of the West Bank.
Security forces in disputed Kashmir fired on Muslim protesters again Tuesday, killing at least 11 more, reports said. Another 100 people were hurt in incidents of violence across the region as protesters defied a curfew. The growing demonstrations are some of the largest since a rebellion against Indian rule began 20 years ago.
Al Qaeda's third most senior commander, Abu Saeed al-Masri, was killed in a battle with Pakistani forces near the border with Afghanistan, a senior security official said Tuesday. But his death was overshadowed by a roadside bomb explosion that targeted a Pakistani Air Force vehicle elsewhere in the region, killing 14 people, some of them civilians. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Taliban, which said it was in "open war" with the military.
Assailants armed with knives attacked a checkpoint in China's restive Xinjiang Province Tuesday, killing three more police officers and critically wounding a fourth. The deaths bring to 31 the number of casualties in the Muslim-dominated region since the run-up began to the Olympic Summer Games. Activists in the ethnic Uighur community said at least 90 people have been arrested since the violence began and alleged that authorities were beating and torturing them.
Militant Muslim separatists in the southern Philippines "are withdrawing from the conflict areas" and expect fighting with government troops to be over by Wednesday, a spokesman said.The Moro Islamic Liberation Front lacks the resources to deliver a knockout punch in its bid to take over predominantly Roman Catholic villages, analysts said, but it appeared still to be in control of eight of them. Amid the fighting, the UN's World Food Program was airlifting 400 tons of rice to noncombatants who've fled the violence.
By a 100-to-5 margin, members of Lebanon's parliament voted their confidence in Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's new unity government. But Tuesday's action also endorsed the right of Hezbollah to use all means at its disposal to recover land claimed by Lebanon but controlled by Israel. Hezbollah, which has 11 cabinet positions in the unity government, will have veto power over Siniora's initiatives.
All powers of the presidency in Mauritania were transferred Tuesday to the Army general who led last week's overthrow of the government. The junta claimed that its coup was triggered by the "deteriorating condition of daily life" as well as by ousted President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi's attempt to fire four military commanders. Abdallahi remains in the junta's custody, although Prime Minister Yahya Ould Amed Waqef was freed Monday. The latter urged supporters to press for restoration of civilian rule.
Humpback whales, hunted to near-extinction in the 1960s, "have responded well under protection" and now belong in the category of "least concern," the world's leading marine mammal network said Tuesday. The International Union for Conservation of Nature also shifted common minke whales and southern right whales to that category. But it cautioned that their recoveries should be measured over additional decades to ensure that they are not "a short-term variation." Analysts said whaling nations may use the union's report to argue for lifting the 1968 moratorium on commercial harvesting.