Top news: Ending an unofficial freeze on the construction of new building in East Jerusalem, Israel's Housing Minsitry announced that it is approving the construction of 238 new homes in a Jewish neighborhood. EastJerusalem had not been included in the Israeli governments temporary slowdown in settlement construction -- announced last November -- but the government had unofficially halted building in the area, which it claims as part of Israel's capital.
The announcement is likely to deal a significant blow to the latest round of peace talks, which began in September. Palestinian negotiators have threatened to pull out of the U.S.-sponsored talks unless the settlement freeze is extended.
"This announcement is a very clear-cut indication that the choice of Mr. Netanyahu is settlements, not peace," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.The Israeli prime minister's office has not yet commented on the announcement.
On Friday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit said that if Israel does not halt construction, the Arab League will pursue other options, including asking the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian state. He said the request could come as early as next month.
The Karzai Family: U.S. federal prosecutors are considering indicting Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother on charges of tax evasion.
- Pakistani militants have attacked another truck convoy carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan.
- A suspected U.S. missile attack killed three in Pakistan's tribal areas.
- China's communist party opened its annual meeting amid calls for political and economic reform.
- In a speech given just a few miles from the Israeli border, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Hezbollah a model for the world.
- A roadside bomb hit a senior politician's convoy in Baghdad, killing four.
- Iran was elected to the presidency of OPEC.
- The Somali-American Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has been appointed prime minsiter of Somalia.
- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said that his power-sharing deal with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should not be renewed after next year.
- Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was arrested over alleged links to rebel activity.
- Engineers in Switzerland have completed the digging of the world's longest tunnel.
- Fuel supplies to Paris' main airports have been cut off by ongoing pension strieks.
- Hungary is due to reopen the aluminum plant that flooded part of the country with toxic sludge and resettle residents on contaminated land today.
- Russia has signed a deal to help Venezuela build a nuclear power plant.
- A Mexican radio station broadcast what it says is a conversation between one of the country's top drug lords and a federal lawmaker.
- Lawyers are working on a deal to settle charges against Canadian-born Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay.
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