Despite intense political opposition at home, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to make perhaps his boldest move so far in foreign policy Wednesday night: announcing plans to return his nation to full membership in NATO. Although a founding member, France ended participation in the bloc's integrated command 43 years ago under Charles de Gaulle, who also required that its headquarters be relocated from Paris. Sarkozy's declaration is expected to result in a vote of no confidence in his government next week in Parliament.Skip to next paragraph
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If there is to be a Palestinian unity government, Hamas will demand to choose its prime minister as well as a majority of cabinet posts, the militant organization said Wednesday. Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction are in negotiations moderated by Egypt to try to reconcile their differences. But analysts said Hamas's demand likely would dim the prospects for a deal acceptable to Western nations, which shun the ruler of the Gaza Strip. For his part, Abbas has called for a government of nonpartisan technocrats.
Doctors in Sri Lanka removed a critically wounded cabinet minister from life support Wednesday and said he's "on the path of recovery" after being caught in a terrorist bombing blamed on Tamil rebels. Telecommunications Minister Mahinda Wijesekara was the only one of six cabinet ministers attending a Muslim festival to be hurt in the attack Tuesday, which killed 14 other people. Elsewhere, officials said 378 more noncombatants made it to safety from the war zone where government forces and Tamil rebels are battling. The Red Cross claims that up to 150,000 civilians remain trapped, however.