Israel seizes more land in West Bank
JERUSALEM • Israel has appropriated large tracts of land in the occupied West Bank near the Dead Sea and the Palestinian city of Jericho, Israeli Army Radio has said.
Israel's Peace Now movement, which tracks and opposes Israeli settlement in territory captured in the 1967 war, said the reported seizure of 234ha was the largest land confiscation in the West Bank in recent years.
Palestinians, who seek to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, say they fear Israeli settlement expansion will deny them a viable country.
US eases restrictions on Cuban trade and travel
WASHINGTON • The United States has unveiled sweeping measures to make it easier for Americans to visit Cuba and for the island's communist government to conduct long-restricted international trade, as President Barack Obama prepared for a historic trip to Havana next week.
His administration has loosened limits on the use of US dollars in Cuba trade, removing a huge obstacle to Havana's access to the global banking system.
Washington subway shut down after fire
WASHINGTON • Washington's subway system was shut all day yesterday for emergency inspections after an electrical fire in a tunnel, transport chiefs said.
It was the subway's first system-wide closure for non-weather-related conditions in 40 years of operations, Metro chairman Jack Evans said, admitting that it would cause transport misery for hundreds of thousands of commuters and tourists.
The subway system - the second busiest in the US after New York's - serves about 700,000 people a day in Washington and the neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia.