World briefs: 8/14/10
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WASHINGTON -- A proposed U.S. weapons sale to Saudi Arabia of Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jets also includes as many as 132 Boeing Apache attack helicopters and United Technologies Corp. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that bring the total value of the package to around $60 billion, according to a government official familiar with the plan.
The Pentagon and State Department about two weeks ago informally notified congressional committees that handle arms sales of the planned transaction, the official said.
"I think it would be the largest ever," said William Hartung, director of the New York City-based New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative.
BEIRUT -- After Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006, President George W. Bush bolstered assistance to the Lebanese army to create a counterweight to the Shiite militia. Now, after a deadly clash last week between Israeli and Lebanese troops, some on Capitol Hill want to stop funding Lebanese forces entirely.
The State Department has so far said continuing to provide aid to the Lebanese army is in the interests of the United States.
However, a day before the Aug. 3 border fight between Israel and Lebanon, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had put a hold on $100 million in assistance to the Lebanese military because of his concern that Hezbollah's influence over the army had grown. Some lawmakers in both parties have also expressed frustration at the Lebanese military's lax patrolling of the border with Syria.
NEW DELHI -- Kashmiris demanding independence from India flooded the streets in protests across Kashmir on Friday, clashing repeatedly with police and Indian security forces, authorities said.
Four people were killed, bringing the number of dead to at least 55 since the unrest began in June.
The Kashmiris' protest marches have been growing as people have defied strictly enforced curfews in an effort to force India to withdraw its troops from the disputed region, which is claimed by India and Pakistan. It was the first Friday of the Ramadan fasting month, and many people in the mostly Muslim region tried to visit mosques to offer prayers.
YANGON, Myanmar -- Myanmar's ruling junta set Nov. 7 as the date for the country's first election in two decades, but made no concessions to critics who say the rules favor the army and its allies and bar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from taking part.
The announcement renewed international calls for urgent changes allowing a free-and-fair vote. Ms. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy already announced it was boycotting the polls and other parties are wary of participating.
An alleged Israeli spy wanted in connection with the slaying of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year was set free on bail Friday by a German judge, a spokesman for prosecutors said. ... A Peruvian prosecutor said he will appeal the release of Lori Berenson, a U.S. national who was paroled in May after serving 15 years in prison for aiding Marxist rebels. Ms. Berenson, 40, who was convicted of helping plan an attack on Peru's congress, is a New York native and former Massachusetts Institute of Technology student. She is living in Lima and has requested that she be allowed to return to the U.S.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published August 14, 2010 12:00 am