Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

lebanonfactions agree to resume talks

Lebanese factions took another major step toward calming a flare-up of sectarian and political violence Thursday by agreeing to immediately resume long-stalled talks over a new government.

The deal, brokered by a visiting delegation of Arab diplomats, appeared to be a victory for the Shiite militia Hezbollah, which leads the opposition to the U.S.-backed government and the so-called March 14 movement behind it. Hezbollah fighters occupied parts of Beirut last week, forcing concessions from the administration of Prime Minister Fauod Siniora.

"Politically, it's obvious that the opposition won the first round," said Karim Makdisi, a professor of international relations at the American University of Beirut. "March 14 is in a state of strategic retreat. They will come back, but they recognize that they lost for now."


Aiming at foreigners, Italy arrests 400

Italian police have arrested nearly 400 people — mostly foreigners from Romania and North Africa — in a weeklong crackdown on street crime and illegal immigration, authorities said Thursday. The sweep was one of the first actions taken by conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's new government, which has pledged to improve safety after a spate of crimes in recent months blamed on foreigners.

dominican republic

President expected to be re-elected

Dominican President Leonel Fernandez, who has led the nation out of economic crisis and turned the capital into a huge construction zone, is expected to win a third term in today's elections.

Despite widespread concern about long-serving politicians in a country with a history of strongman rule, polls show Fernandez is likely to win at least 50 percent of the vote against six challengers and avoid a runoff.

Fernandez, a lawyer who grew up in New York and has warm ties to the U.S. government, has overseen a flurry of spending on roads, universities and the Caribbean's first true subway, even though a quarter of the country still lives below the official poverty line.


U.N. official alleges secret Afghan killings

Foreign intelligence agents are leading secret, deadly raids on suspected insurgents in Afghanistan and shirking responsibility when innocent civilians are killed, a U.N. official alleged Thursday.

Philip Alston, a special investigator for the U.N. Human Rights Council, referred to three such recent raids in the country's south and east. While he didn't specifically mention any intelligence agencies, he appeared to imply U.S. involvement. U.S. military officials declined to comment.


Canada moves to OTC sales of Plan B pill

Canada's National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities is recommending that "morning-after" contraceptive pills be sold over the counter. The agency decided Wednesday to support sales of the drug known as Plan B from drugstore shelves instead of from behind the counter.

The agency advises Canada's provincial authorities, which will have final say in their own regions. Under current rules, women who want to buy Plan B have to ask pharmacy staff for it, the same system as in the United States.

Times wires

lebanonfactions agree to resume talks 05/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Four Brandon middle school students face child porn charges related to sex video


    BRANDON — Four Burns Middle School students, ages 12 to 14, have been arrested on child pornography charges after one secretly recorded a girl in a sex act and the others posted it online, authorities said Friday.

  2. Editorial: City grant reforms welcome


    The St. Petersburg City Council made sensible changes to how tax-funded grants will be awarded in the city's high-poverty neighborhoods, a needed improvement after last year's process drew charges of unfairness and political favoritism.

  3. Editorial: Fun display of civic pride


    The Vinik family's sponsorship of a free Lego exhibit in Tampa this summer is welcome news for two particular reasons.

  4. Editorial: Lawmakers ignore insurance mess


    Florida's badly broken system for filing and settling insurance claims, which is wreaking havoc in the property insurance market, is creeping into auto policies with Tampa Bay at ground zero. Assignment of benefits, which can lead to costly court battles, is driving up rates for thousands of homeowners across Florida, …

    Assignment of benefits, which can lead to costly court battles, is driving up rates for thousands of homeowners across Florida, and drivers are starting to feel the pinch too.
  5. Amy Foster is running for reelection to St. Pete City Council


    Four weeks remain before the qualifying period ends for St. Petersburg’s mayoral and City Council races, but one question has been formally answered.

    Amy Foster is running for reelection.

    Amy Foster is officially running for reelection