World briefs: Rebel group yields in Congo

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KINSHASA, Congo -- The M23 rebel group blamed for killing scores of civilians in eastern Congo over the last year and a half announced Tuesday it was ending its rebellion as an emboldened Congolese military seized the last two hills that had remained under rebel control.

While the dramatic developments marked a significant success in the Congolese government's fight against armed groups in the embattled east, experts warned that the rebel retreat would not result in an immediate peace in a region ravaged by fighting for nearly two decades.

In the capital, Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende vowed that the military would now focus its efforts on pursuing Hutu fighters from the FDLR. The group is led by Rwandans who helped commit the 1994 genocide and later escaped to Congo, prompting a series of Tutsi rebellions including the latest one by M23.

Kerry prods Mideast talks

JERUSALEM -- With Middle East peace negotiations showing signs of lapsing into an all-too-familiar paralysis, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Tuesday night for a flurry of meetings aimed at jolting the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reinvigorate the three-month-old round of talks.

An absence of progress on the core issues, an ill-timed Israeli announcement of plans to build or advance 3,500 more housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and grousing by Israeli and Palestinian officials about each other's motives are contributing to a sense that the negotiations are sputtering.

Mutineers sentenced

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- In an apparently unprecedented ruling, 152 former members of the Bangladesh Rifles, a paramilitary border security force, were sentenced to death Tuesday in connection with a 2009 mutiny in which several thousand troops took control of their headquarters, demanding better working conditions, and killed scores of people.

Some of the border guards broke down in tears after hearing their sentence, pronounced by Judge Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman in a crowded Dhaka courtroom under heavy security, and others shouted at the judge, saying the verdict was unfair.

Climate change warning

PARIS -- Major polluters must immediately begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the rise in global temperatures is to be held in check without paying a higher price later, according to a report Tuesday from the U.N. Environment Program.

While a failure to act swiftly will not necessarily doom the effort to limit the rise in global temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheitabove preindustrial levels, it will make it much harder and more expensive to do so, the agency noted in its latest Emissions Gap Report.

Also in the world ...

A fragile recovery across the European Union is not expected to bear fruit until next year, while unemployment is likely to remain high in countries like Greece and Spain, and even rise in France, the head of economic policy for the bloc warned Tuesday. ... The Anonymous hacker group stepped up cyberattacks across Southeast Asia, targeting websites in the Philippines and Singapore before a global protest Tuesday against censorship and government corruption. ... Pakistan Petroleum Ltd., the nation's second-largest fuel explorer, expects profit to rise to a record this fiscal year as natural gas from new fields bolsters production.


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