JERUSALEM — Under pressure from the Obama administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began nudging his Cabinet on Sunday toward accepting a multibillion-dollar package of U.S. incentives to restart peace talks with Palestinians.
He immediately faced strong opposition from conservative politicians and Jewish settler groups, who vowed to block the American proposal because it would reimpose building restrictions in the West Bank for three months.
U.S. officials hope to use the three-month window to focus talks on setting final borders for a proposed Palestinian state. Once both sides agree to borders, Israel could resume building in areas that will become part of Israel and halt construction in areas that will become part of the new Palestinian state.
Explosion kills 7 at Mexican resort hotel
PLAYA DE CARMEN, Mexico — A powerful explosion likely caused by an accumulation of gas killed 7 people, including five Canadian tourists, on Sunday at a large resort hotel on Mexico's Caribbean coast, authorities said.
Two Mexican employees of the sprawling, 676-room Grand Riviera Princess hotel in Playa del Carmen, south of Cancun, were also killed in the blast.
Two other Canadians suffered severe injuries and were listed in critical condition. Ten others, including two U.S. citizens and eight Mexican employees of the hotel, suffered less serious wounds and were listed as stable.
After 388 days, Somali pirates free couple
NAIROBI, Kenya — The retired British couple were sailing the world on a 38-foot-yacht that represented most of their life savings when Somali pirates captured them last year, demanding the sort of huge ransom a multimillionaire or a multinational company might cough up.
The fact that Paul and Rachel Chandler couldn't pay a big ransom helped stretch out their ordeal 388 agonizing days — until Sunday, when they were released thin and exhausted, but smiling. It was one of the longest and most dramatic hostage situations since the Somali piracy boom began several years ago.
"We are happy to be alive, happy to be here, desperate to see our family, and so happy to be amongst decent, everyday people, Somalis, people from anywhere in the world who are not criminals, because we've been a year with criminals and that's not a very nice thing to be doing," Rachel Chandler said at a news conference in Mogadishu.