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Daily Archives: June 22, 2009

Hostages possibly still alive in Yemen

Yemen's interior minister said six foreigners kidnapped in the north of the impoverished country might still be alive after three others were found dead last week.
"The information we have is that no bodies of any one of the six hostages were found and there is a possibility that they are still alive," Motahar al-Masri said in Sanaa late on Saturday.
The bodies of at least three women – two Germans and a South Korean – were found in the volatile Saada province in northern Yemen, in killing the government has blamed on Shiite rebels, who deny the charges.

Israel plans 250 million dlrs for settlements

Israel plans to allocate 250 million dollars over the next two years for settlements in the occupied West Bank despite US pressure to halt settlement activity, army radio said yesterday.
The figure is contained in the 2009-2010 budget, which passed its first reading in the Knesset parliament last week, it said.
Some 125 million dollars (90 million euros) is to be used for various security expenses, with most of the rest destined for housing construction, it said.
The Peace Now anti-settlement watchdog said that the settlement spending in the two-year budget was likely to be higher and "spread over several sections of the budget."
"The official figures are nothing but the tip of the iceberg and the Israelis will pay not only a political price for the settlements, but also an economic one," the head of the group Yariv Oppenheimer said.
Israel's two-year 159-billion-dollar budget must pass two more readings in the Knesset.
The United States has been pressing Israel to stop all activity in West Bank settlements, which the international community considers illegal and which are among the main obstacles in the stalled Middle East peace process.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to bow to the US demands, vigorously opposed by most of his largely right-wing government, saying that construction for population increases would continue.
More than 280,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War.

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