SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea called off Cabinet-level talks with South Korea hours before they were to begin Tuesday, prompting speculation that the North was upset by tougher talk from the new U.S. administration.
The abrupt cancellation was a blow to warming relations on the divided Korean peninsula and a reminder that the North remains a highly unpredictable negotiating partner despite its overtures to the world since last year.
Israel eases West Bank blockade
JERUSALEM (AP) -- After international criticism, Israel's army on Tuesday eased its chokehold on the town of Ramallah, the Palestinians' political and commercial center, and loosened its blockade of four other West Bank towns.
In Ramallah, soldiers opened southern and northern access roads, but traffic was backed up for miles as troops searched each car. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said the tight closure on Ramallah was imposed because Israeli security forces were trying to catch would-be car bombers in the area.
New fighting erupts in Macedonia
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) -- Macedonian soldiers battled ethnic Albanian insurgents in fierce fighting near the Kosovo border Tuesday, though a cease-fire agreed to by the rebels in neighboring southern Serbia appeared to hold.
The new outbreak of violence in northern Macedonia set back hopes for a quick end to unrest around Kosovo.
Army panel clears soldier in shooting of Kosovo boy
GIESSEN, Germany (AP) -- A soldier on trial on charges of negligent homicide and dereliction of duty in the death of an ethnic Albanian boy in Kosovo was acquitted Tuesday by a U.S. Army panel.
Pfc. Nicholas Young, who was 19 and serving as a peacekeeper at the time of the accidental shooting of 6-year-old Gentrit Rexhepi, had faced up to 3 1/2 years in prison, dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to private and forfeiture of all pay and allowances if convicted.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.