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MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2007
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Israel asks Pelosi to persuade Syria

JERUSALEM — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will tell Syrian leaders when she visits Damascus this week on a trip criticized by the Bush administration that Israel will only engage in peace talks if Syria stops supporting Palestinian militants, Israel said Sunday.

The message came during Pe-losi’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during her Mideast tour.

“Pelosi is conveying that Israel is willing to talk if they (Syria) would openly take steps to stop supporting terrorism,” Olmert’s spokeswoman Miri Eisin said.

Clinton sets record, raising $26 million

WASHINGTON — Shattering previous records, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton collected $26 million for her presidential campaign during the first three months of the year and transferred another $10 million from her Senate fundraising account, aides said Sunday.

The campaign did not specify how much of the $36 million was available only for the primary election and how much could be used just in the general election.

Still, the total raised outdistanced past presidential election records and set a high bar by which to measure the fundraising abilities of her chief rivals.

Mogadishu fighting goes on for 4th day

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Mogadishu’s dominant clan said Sunday it has brokered a truce with Ethiopian military officials who are supporting Somalia’s government, even as mortar shells continued slamming into the capital for a fourth day.

Ahmed Diriye, the Hawiye clan spokesman, said fighting in Mogadishu should end within hours.

Somali government troops and their Ethiopian allies have been waging a fierce offensive since Thursday to wipe out Islamic insurgents, sparking some of the heaviest fighting in 15 years in the capital.

Avalanches leave 29 dead in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Avalanches struck two villages in a remote part of northwest Pakistan, killing at least 29 people and leaving 14 others missing, police said Sunday.

Heavy rains and snow have been lashing Chitral, a district near Afghanistan, since late last week. In some areas, about six feet of snow has fallen over the past several days, Ijaz Ahmed, a senior police officer, said by telephone from the area.

Bad weather blocked helicopter flights and authorities planned to send food, medicines and blankets by air on Monday.

South Korea, U.S. try to salvage deal

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea and the United States were taking a hard look at a possible free-trade agreement Monday, a spokesman for the U.S. negotiators said, hoping to clinch the elusive deal after almost 10 months of talks.

“The deal’s on the table,” said Steve Norton, spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

If the deal succeeds, it would be the biggest for the U.S. since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, and the biggest ever for South Korea.

Zimbabwe police raid upscale club

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Heavily armed paramilitary police raided a popular nightclub in an affluent, predominantly white part of Zimbabwe’s capital, attacking teenagers with batons and detaining scores for hours, witnesses said Sunday.

The raid came after police shut down bars and beer halls in impoverished black townships as part of its latest crackdown on dissent. It was the first time an upscale establishment has been targeted.

Witness Keith Murray, 20, said about 20 paramilitary police stormed the Glow nightclub Saturday night and forced revelers to sit on the floor in silence.

Olmert hosts Arabs at peace conference

JERUSALEM — In response to an Arab peace initiative, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ol-mert on Sunday invited Arab leaders to a regional peace conference to discuss ideas for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The call came amid a flurry of international peace efforts. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has repeatedly visited Israel to try to spur negotiations.

At a news conference, Olmert said, “I would take advantage of this opportunity to invite to a meeting all Arab heads of state, including, of course, the king of Saudi Arabia.”

compiled from wire reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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