World briefs: U.S. resumes drone strikes

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LONDON — A U.S. drone struck a militant LONDON — A U.S. drone struck a militant compound in Pakistan’s tribal belt for the second time in 12 hours Thursday, killing at least 10 suspected members of the Haqqani network in a suddenly intense resurgence of the controversial CIA offensive in Pakistan.

The U.S. drone strikes, after an almost six-month lull in the operations while Pakistani officials tried and failed to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban, come as Pakistan is mulling a new offensive of its own against militants in the northwestern tribal belt.

But early news reports Thursday offered conflicting comments about whether the Pakistani authorities might have approved the drone strikes or were working in tandem with the Americans — a politically caustic idea in a country where the CIA program is widely hated.

Palestinian schism

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority has had a new government for 10 days now, but the prime minister, Rami Hamdullah, acknowledged Thursday that he still lacked any authority in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip and that nothing has yet changed on the ground.

Though the new government was approved by both of the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, Mr. Hamdullah offered no plan for disarming militants, integrating the two sides’ security forces, or even for getting Gaza’s 1.7 million residents to start paying taxes and electricity bills.

Pipeline pushed

NEW YORK — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, which has failed to persuade President Barack Obama to approve TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, moved Thursday to turn up the heat on the U.S. administration.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird traveled to New York this week, arguing in media interviews and at an energy conference that Mr. Obama has unfairly entangled the $5.4 billion pipeline with U.S. politics.

Iran oil exports rise

WASHINGTON — Iran’s oil exports have risen this year, according to Bloomberg calculations, a trend that threatens to violate U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s main source of revenue.

Shipments of Iranian crude oil and condensate have increased about 28 percent on average this year, according to an analysis of customs data from importing nations and figures from the International Energy Agency in Paris.

If crude sales are up by the end of July, that would break an international accord to hold Iran’s oil exports at the same level in the first half of this year that they were at in the previous six months.

Also in the world ...

China’s Ministry of National Defense on Thursday accused Japan of airborne brinkmanship over the East China Sea, rejecting Tokyo’s account of the latest near encounters between military aircraft from the two increasingly estranged countries. ... A 19-year old woman was found hanging from a tree after allegedly being raped in an Indian village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh early Thursday, causing a fresh wave of outrage in a country still stunned over a fatal sexual assault recently of two teenage girls.

 


— Compiled from news services

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