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Israeli inquiry: Flotilla raid, blockade legal

An Israeli commission that examined the deadly raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza in May concluded Sunday that Israel acted in accordance with international law when its military enforced its naval blockade by intercepting the ships in international waters.

Nine Turks, including one Turkish-American teen, were killed in violent clashes with Israeli naval commandos as the commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, largest ship of the six-vessel convoy, in a predawn raid off Israel's coast May 31.

The commission alluded to "the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries." But it found Israeli soldiers acted "professionally and in a measured manner in the face of extensive and unanticipated violence."

The second part of the report, which will judge decisionmaking by Israel's leaders with regard to the raid, will be released in the coming weeks.


Gunman shoots four officers inside precinct

A gunman opened fire inside a police precinct, wounding four officers, including a commander, before he was shot and killed by police. Police Chief Ralph Godbee said that the gunman has been identified but that it was "too early to characterize" him. The chief said two sergeants and an officer were wounded, along with the commander, but none appeared to have life threatening injuries.


Green Party exit forces early election

Brian Cowen suffered another blow as the small but pivotal Green Party withdrew from his coalition government, forcing a national election to be held next month rather than March and raising pressure on the prime minister to quit. Cowen, whose Fianna Fail party has won the most seats in Parliament in every election since 1932, is widely blamed for Ireland's slide to the brink of bankruptcy. The Greens hold just six seats, but losing them cost the ruling coalition its parliamentary majority. Their withdrawal means Cowen will be forced to dissolve Parliament and call an election within days.


Walmart shooting leaves two dead

A shootout in front of a Walmart left two people dead and two sheriff's deputies wounded. One of the dead was a man who shot at deputies, said spokesman Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. The other was a young woman who died after she was taken to a Tacoma hospital, he said. Sheriff's officials said the deputies' wounds weren't expected to be life threatening. Port Orchard is about 15 miles west of Seattle across Puget Sound.


BRUSSELS: More than seven months after elections produced political deadlock, some 30,000 Belgians rallied to press their squabbling politicians into forming a government.

Egypt: Interior Minister Habib al-Adly said authorities had "conclusive evidence" linking the New Year's Day suicide bombing that killed 21 people outside a Coptic Christian church in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria to the Army of Islam, a militant group based in the Gaza Strip with links to al-Qaida.

NEW YORK: An arctic blast from Canada is responsible for some of the coldest air to hit the Northeast in two years and was linked to at least two deaths, including a woman whose frozen body was found in her North Haven, Conn., driveway.

Portugal: Conservative Anibal Cavaco Silva sailed to a landslide re-election in the presidential vote, delivering a harsh political setback to the minority Socialist government that is struggling to contain an acute economic crisis.

Sudan: Southern Sudan, which recently carried out a referendum on seceding from the north, will be named the Republic of South Sudan.

Yemen: Police arrested activist Tawakul Abdel-Salam Karman for leading antigovernment protests, setting off a second day of street demonstrations in the capital of Sana.

Times wires

Israeli inquiry: Flotilla raid, blockade legal 01/23/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 23, 2011 10:34pm]
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