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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - The Palestinians are considering "all options" in response to Israel's decision to halt peace talks and punish the Palestinian Authority over its unity deal with Hamas, an official said Thursday. “The Palestinian leadership will look into all options to respond to Israeli government decisions against the PA,” senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat told AFP. “The priority now for the Palestinians is reconciliation and national unity,” he added. On Wednesday, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) -- internationally recognised as the sole representative of the Palestinian people -- and Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement.
Ukrainian government troops moved against pro-Russia forces in the east of the country on Thursday and killed at least two of them in clashes at checkpoints manned by the insurgents, the government and insurgents said. Russian President Vladimir Putin decried what he described as a "punitive operation."
ANSAN, South Korea (AP) — Students in the city hit hardest by the South Korean ferry disaster returned to classes Thursday, their school campus a tragic landscape of yellow ribbons, chrysanthemums and photos of classmates and teachers who make up the vast majority of the more than 300 people feared dead.
By Keith Weir MUNICH (Reuters) - Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone goes on trial for bribery in Germany on Thursday in a case that could see the Briton's long dominance of the motor sport ended by a jail sentence. Prosecutors in Munich have charged Ecclestone, 83, with bribing jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to smooth the sale eight years ago of a stake in Formula One to private equity firm CVC. Ecclestone, a former used car salesman who became a billionaire by building the sport into a global money spinner over the past four decades, denies wrongdoing and says he will fight to clear his name. CVC remains the largest shareholder in Formula One, a business that generates annual revenues of over $1.5 billion from its series of grand prix races held around the world.
Part bumbling, part dead serious, the sprawling jailhouse plot to kidnap a North Carolina prosecutor who put a seasoned gang member in prison for life has shaken a US justice system already enduring a slew of deadly attacks. A federal indictment released Tuesday details a complex plot said to be orchestrated by Kelvin “Dizzy” Melton, a North Carolina prison inmate and alleged higher-up in the Bloods street gang, to pay $10,000 to a group of henchmen on the outside to kidnap and kill his defense attorney and the prosecutor who put him in prison for a 2011 murder. The plot led the group of nine accomplices first on a goose chase in March from Atlanta to New Orleans, and then to the small town of Wake Forest, N.C., where the group on April 5 grabbed Frank Janssen, the father of Wake County prosecutor Colleen Janssen, after stun-gunning him on the threshold of his home. Ms. Janssen, the actual target, was part of the team that put Mr. Melton away last year.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday confirmed they are detaining a U.S. journalist working with Vice News. The self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk told reporters the journalist, Simon Ostrovsky, had been detained for reporting what he said was false information that was "destabilizing for us" but that he was being treated well. Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov attempted to joke about the situation. Vice News has said on its website that it is in contact with the U.S. State Department and other government authorities to work toward securing the safety of its journalist.
The annual MTV Video Music Awards, one of the music industry's top televised showcases, will return to Los Angeles this summer from New York City, the U.S. cable channel said on Wednesday. The show, popular among MTV's young viewers prized by advertisers, will take place on August 24, the day before TV's Emmy Awards, at the Forum in Inglewood, California, about eight miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The Video Music Awards, which hand out "Moonman" statuettes of an astronaut planting an MTV flag, can be crucial exposure for singers and bands and is best known for its unscripted and often provocative moments. And just as last year's show helped unveil the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, this year's show will also help relaunch Madison Square Garden Co's recently renovated Forum, an arena which had been bypassed by major events since the Staples Center opened in downtown Los Angeles in 1998.
But for two special guests at Sukiyabashi Jiro on Wednesday evening, mouthfuls of melt-in-the-mouth tuna, squid, and octopus were the culinary backdrop to discussing urgent matters of regional security. Soon after Air Force One touched down here, Barack Obama found himself in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district, tucked behind the counter of arguably the world’s best sushi restaurant with his Japanese host, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Sukiyabashi Jiro’s modest size – it has just 10 seats – is inversely proportionate to its reputation. The 19-piece special course, featuring a selection chosen by owner Jiro Ono, costs around $300, not including drinks.