Top News: Israel has transferred 26 Palestinian prisoners to a facility in central Israel in preparation for their release on Wednesday morning. The release will take place just hours before peace talks are to resume in Jerusalem. It is the first of several planned prisoner releases -- Israel has said that as many as 104 prisoners could be released in four stages spread out across the nine months of planned negotiations.
As the transfer took place, Israeli officials also announced plans to build 900 settler homes in East Jerusalem, in addition to the 1,200 settler homes announced on Monday. The New York Times wrote that the settlement announcements "appeared to be part of a political balancing act to satisfy many Israelis before it released 26 Palestinian prisoners."
Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been instrumental in restarting negotiations, said while talking to reporters Colombia that the settlement announcements were "to some degree expected." He noted that the U.S. government considers the settlements "illegitimate" and said that the move "underscores the importance of getting to the table quickly."
China: The Chinese government sentenced two men to death for their role in clashes in China's restive Xinjiang province that killed 21 people. Three others were sentenced to prison for terms ranging from nine years to life. Chinese reports accuse the individuals of organizing a terrorist plot, though locals say an altercation began after a long-standing dispute between a Uighur family and authorities who insisted the men shave their beards and women not wear veils.
- Boston gangster James ‘Whitey' Bulger has been convicted of racketeering and 11 murders after spending 16 years as a fugitive.
- Mexican President Enrique Nieto is discussing opening the country's energy sector to outside investment, breaking the monopoly of government-run oil company Pemex.
- Brazilian activists hacked the website of the governor of Rio de Janiero to demand answers about a man who disappeared while in police custody last month.
- Indonesian counterterrorism forces arrested a terrorist fundraiser in an effort to prevent a plot to bomb Myanmar embassy.
- A typhoon in the Philippines has killed two, and left 44 missing.
- India unveiled its first Indian-built aircraft carrier; the ship will now begin tests and is slated to join the Indian navy's fleet in 2018.
- The Sudanese government is selling weapons to Syrian rebels, despite arms embargoes and public support for the Assad regime, the New York Times reports.
- Four jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula were killed in an explosion on Friday that members of the jihadist group are now speculating was an Israeli drone strike.
- The Egyptian government has once again deferred breaking up a protest encampment in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsy.
- The United Nations is planning a 3,000-strong "rapid-reaction offensive combat force" to address continued violence in Congo.
- Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a former prime minister, has been elected Mali's first president since the country's coup in March 2012.
- Simultaneous attacks killed 56 people in Nigeria, 44 of whom were gunned down at a mosque; reports have speculated on the involvement of Boko Haram.
- Laszlo Csatary, a 98-year-old accused Nazi war criminal, has died in Budapest while awaiting trial.
- A German official announced that the United States and Germany will begin negotiations to halt spying operations against one another after revelations of the NSA's surveillance programs.
- Greece has arrested a Pakistani-British architect on international charges for a building collapse in an earthquake in Pakistan in 2005 that killed 78 people.
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