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Mayor denies housing freeze in Jerusalem



Jerusalem's mayor is denying there has been any freeze in housing construction in the traditionally Arab eastern part of the city. His comments may complicate the Obama administration's attempts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.Mayor Nir Barkat told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that reports of a de facto halt to building Jewish homes in East Jerusalem were wrong. He said construction will continue after a short slowdown in approvals caused by Israeli shock at U.S. criticism of plans for new homes announced last month during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Jerusalem. Barkat's comments came a day after some local officials in Jerusalem said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had effectively frozen new Jewish construction in East Jerusalem.


Chechen leader cited in slaying

Austrian investigators have concluded that Chechnya's president, Ramzan Kadyrov, ordered the kidnapping of one of his critics and former bodyguards in Vienna and that the man was shot to death there when the abduction went awry, the Vienna public prosecutor's office said Tuesday. Umar Israilov, 27, was gunned down Jan. 13, 2009. Three Chechen men are being detained in Austria as suspects in the case.


New York: The only man ever to admit involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X, Thomas Hagan, was freed on parole Tuesday, 45 years after he helped gun down the civil rights leader.

Washington: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he is willing to bring up climate change legislation ahead of an immigration bill, the first step toward resolving a dispute with Republicans that threatened to derail a bipartisan effort on the climate measure.

Washington: The House voted 402-15 on Tuesday to deny its members an automatic cost-of-living raise in 2011, depriving them of an estimated $1,600 increase and keeping their salaries at $174,000 a year. The Senate took identical action five days earlier.

Kyrgyzstan: The nation's new authorities have charged former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev with mass murder for his role in the deaths of scores of antigovernment protesters this month, an official said Tuesday.

Norway: Norway and Russia agreed Tuesday to evenly divide a long-disputed area in the Barents Sea, an oil and gas region in the arctic made more accessible by global warming.

China: The government said today it has scrapped a 20-year travel ban that barred people with HIV and AIDS from entering the country, just days ahead of the opening of the Shanghai Expo.

Times wires

Mayor denies housing freeze in Jerusalem 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 11:28pm]
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  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates


    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears


    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'


    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]