World briefs: Attack copters headed to Iraq

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon formally notified Congress Monday that it intends to sell and lease attack helicopters to Iraq in a deal worth more than $6 billion that had been snarled by concerns U.S. lawmakers raised about potential misuse of the aircraft.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, notified the State Department late Friday that he had lifted his objection to the deal after administration officials convinced him that U.S. personnel would be able to ensure that the Apache helicopters are not used to target minority populations or political rivals of the government in Baghdad, a Senate aide said Monday.

Morsi put in glass cage

CAIRO -- Mohammed Morsi, the deposed Egyptian president, appeared in public Tuesday for the second time since his detention after the military takeover in July, this time locked in a soundproof glass cage as the defendant at a criminal trial.

The installation of the cage, a novelty in Egyptian courts, underscored the extent of the effort by the new government to silence Mr. Morsi and his fellow defendants, about 20 fellow leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr. Morsi, who was chosen as Egypt's first elected president in June 2012, was removed a year later in a military takeover after widespread street protests.

Limited presence sought

JERUSALEM -- Palestinians can accept a limited Israeli presence in the West Bank for up to three years after a peace deal, but reject demands for a transition period of more than 10 years, their leader said in comments broadcast Tuesday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated a long-standing position, suggesting that there's been little movement in U.S.-mediated talks toward narrowing the gaps between the two sides.

Cool reception for Putin

BRUSSELS -- President Vladimir Putin for years trumpeted Russia's grand ambitions for improved relations with the European Union. He not only pushed to break down visa barriers across a vast expanse of territory covering more than 6,000 miles, but also urged the creation of what he calls a "harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok."

On Tuesday, Mr. Putin arrived at the Brussels headquarters of the 28-nation bloc. But he will not even get dinner. That customary courtesy got yanked from the program -- a small sign of how escalating tensions over Ukraine have soured even the basic routines of diplomacy and chilled relations between Moscow and Brussels.

Female running in S. Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa -- A prominent black anti-apartheid activist joined forces with the main opposition party Tuesday and announced her candidacy in the next presidential election.

It is unclear whether Mamphela Ramphele, 66, a medical doctor, academic, business executive and former World Bank managing director has much of a chance of beating President Jacob Zuma, the African National Congress candidate, in the election, expected to be held this spring. Ms. Ramphele would be South Africa's first female president if she wins.

Election protests planned

BANGKOK -- Thai anti-government protesters said Tuesday they plan to disrupt elections this weekend as part of a three-month campaign to unseat Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and dismantle her brother's political network.

Suthep Thaugsuban, a former opposition Democrat party politician, urged supporters to block polling stations Sunday after Ms. Yingluck rejected a proposal from the Election Commission to delay the vote until political tensions ease.


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