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March 26, 2009

Israel's government under Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu will be "a partner for peace" with the Palestinians, he told a conference in Jerusalem Wednesday. Netanyahu so far hasn't said he supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. But in the new coalition government with Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Labor Party, his Likud movement agreed to respect previous Israeli agreements, among them the goal of statehood.

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Two days after posting rewards for 37 most-wanted drug traffickers, authorities in Mexico announced their first arrest: Hector Huerta Rios, a lieutenant in the Beltran Leyva cartel. He was captured by soldiers in a suburb of the industrial city of Monterrey. The announcement came as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due to arrive in Mexico for a two-day visit that's expected to focus on drug-related violence.

The Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba vowed to inflict "costlier sacrifices" on Indian forces in Kashmir after the heaviest fighting in months resulted in at least 25 deaths. Indian commanders acknowledged losing eight soldiers; Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed it had killed three times that many. The group also is blamed for last November's terrorist attack on Mumbai (formerly Bombay).

A court in northern China became the first to accept a lawsuit against the dairy at the center of the tainted-milk scandal. Lawyers for families whose children were sickened by the melamine-laced formula said the court's decision shows "the government now is willing to use judicial means to solve the case." Until now, claims against the Sanlu Group, which has since collapsed, have been dealt with by government administrators. At least six children died after drinking the milk; almost 300,000 others became ill.