tampabay.com

Palestinian seek new truce

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 24, 2007


GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP

Moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas made a new push Wednesday to restore a cease-fire with Israel that had collapsed under a barrage of Hamas rocket fire. The two leaders met for the first time since Hamas-Fatah fighting broke out two weeks ago, killing more than 50 Palestinians. The two sides reached a truce over the weekend, but tensions remain high because the key dispute over the security forces remains unresolved. A Haniyeh aide said a cease-fire with Israel would have to include the West Bank. The previous truce, brokered in November, applied only to the Gaza-Israel border, and Israel rejected repeated Palestinian demands that it also halt arrest raids in the West Bank.

IRAN

U.N. nuke agency: Program advancing

The U.N. nuclear monitor reported notable advances in Iran's uranium enrichment program Wednesday while warning for the first time that its knowledge of the country's nuclear activities was shrinking. The International Atomic Energy Agency's findings set the stage for possible new U.N. sanctions - the third set of penalties since December.

Another American citizen detained

Iran has detained an Iranian-American consultant working for George Soros' Open Society Institute, the latest U.S. citizen connected to a nongovernmental organization to be seized in the country, the institute said Wednesday. Kian Tajbakhsh , an urban planning consultant who has also worked for the World Bank, was detained on or around May 11, the New York-based Open Society Institute said in a statement.

HAVANA

Castro statement says weight stable

A statement signed by Fidel Castro on Wednesday said his weight was stable and he was eating solid foods after months of intravenous feeding that followed several operations, including an initial surgery that did not go well. The statement from the 80-year-old Cuban leader said he was taking all medicines orally and his weight had stabilized around 176 pounds. Castro announced in July he had undergone intestinal surgery and was ceding power to his 75-year-old brother, Raul, the defense minister.

Elsewhere

Toronto: A 14-year-old student was shot and killed at a Toronto high school Wednesday, forcing frightened teens to stay in their locked-down classrooms for hours as police searched the building into the evening. Police said there were no arrests and no weapon had been found.

New Delhi: A wall collapsed Wednesday at a bar in southern India after being lashed by heavy rains, and at least 27 people were killed, a news agency reported. The report said an undetermined number of injured were being treated at nearby hospitals.