Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pakistan, Taliban open peace talks

Islamabad, Pakistan

Government, Taliban open peace talks

Pakistan officials and Taliban representatives made their first formal contact Thursday, each side handing the other a wish list as they began talks to end a debilitating conflict that has ravaged the country for years. The talks took place a week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he wanted to give peace negotiations another chance despite mounting pressure in the country to use force against Taliban insurgents.


Army denies leader to seek presidency

Egypt's army on Thursday denied that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sissi had told a Kuwaiti newspaper he was running for president, saying a declaration of his candidacy would be made directly and unequivocally to "the great Egyptian people." But the story appeared to fit with a drawn-out unveiling of el-Sissi's intentions, characterized by ever stronger hints. The field marshal, who led the coup that deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi more than seven months ago, would have to relinquish his post as defense minister before formally stating he would run, and a Cabinet reshuffle is thought to be imminent.


Ultra-Orthodox Jews protest draft

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews blocked highways across Israel Thursday to protest government plans to draft them into the army, clashing with club-wielding police who aimed water cannons and fired stun grenades at them. The violent protests came days after a Supreme Court ruling ordered funding halted to ultra-Orthodox seminaries whose students dodge the draft and laid bare a deep rift in Israeli society. Ultra-Orthodox Jews have for years been exempt from military service, which is compulsory for other Jewish Israelis.


EU wants stronger Cuba relationship

The European Union is to seek stronger relations with Cuba, a senior EU official said Thursday, with the bloc's foreign ministers due to approve the diplomatic shift at a meeting next week. The move is likely to open a new era in EU relations with Cuba, which has embarked on a gradual reform process since President Raul Castro took over from his brother Fidel in 2008. Under the new policy, the EU hopes to support Cuba's political reforms and encourage greater respect for human rights.


Group: Iraq holding women illegally

Iraq authorities are illegally detaining thousands of women, including many subjected to torture and the threat of sexual abuse despite promises of reform, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. The findings raise new concerns about Iraq's ability to handle those detained in massive security sweeps targeting militants.


Rules target safety of infant formula

After nearly two decades of study, the Food and Drug Administration announced rules Thursday designed to make sure infant formula is safe and nutritious. Most formula makers already abide by the practices, but the FDA now has rules on the books that ensure formula manufacturers test their products for salmonella and other pathogens before distribution. The rules also require companies to prove they are including specific nutrients in their formulas.

Times wires

Pakistan, Taliban open peace talks 02/06/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 6, 2014 11:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32 (left), was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with boss Larry McCabe when he saw three men …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company


    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.