Nation & World
Israel to release 250 Palestinian prisoners
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday promised to release 250 Palestinian prisoners, a goodwill gesture toward the moderate Palestinian president at a summit overshadowed by the ongoing violence in Gaza that threatens a cease-fire.
Even as Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Jerusalem, Gaza militants were firing rockets, underlining that Abbas has little influence in the seaside territory.
After a relatively effective five-month cease-fire, violence has returned, with Gaza militants firing dozens of rockets and Israel undertaking incursions and air strikes. At least 17 militants have been killed over the past two weeks.Both Israeli and Hamas leaders have said they hope the Egyptian-mediated truce can be preserved, but Israel has threatened to strike hard if the rocket fire persists. Associated Press
A proposed U.N. resolution would increase the 17,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in conflict-wracked Congo by about 3,100 troops and police, according to a draft obtained Monday.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the top U.N. envoy in Congo, Alan Doss, have been urging the Security Council to beef up its presence in eastern Congo, where at least 250,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and camps where they had previously taken refuge. Associated Press
A Mexican newspaper's offices have been damaged by two grenades in the violence-plagued city of Culiacan in northwestern Mexico. The director of El Debate de Culiacan says his newspaper won't be deterred from coverage of drug cartels because of the pre-dawn attack Monday. Jose Isabel Ramos says no one was injured in the explosion. Culiacan is the capital of Sinaloa, a state that has given rise to several major drug-trafficking groups. Associated Press
Dozens of Poles were awarded medals Monday for risking their lives during World War II to save Jews from the Holocaust. President Lech Kaczynski awarded state medals – many posthumously – to around 70 people from across Poland. First lady Maria Kaczynska presented them to the honorees or their relatives in a gala ceremony at Warsaw's National Theater.
The Philadelphia region in 2007 had the highest rate of workplace homicides of any U.S. metropolitan area, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Of the 93 area Philadelphia-area workers who died on the job last year, 27 were killed by assaults and violent acts, or 29 percent. The national average was 11 percent. The Philadelphia Inquirer
Illinois Glen Carbon
A Goodwill store in Illinois has found the owner of $7,500 in cash mistakenly donated with old shoes. Teodora Petrova, a newcomer to the United States from Bulgaria, found the money this month and turned it over to management.
Goodwill found the family through hints on scraps of paper left in the shoebox and eventually linked them to a family, who said they didn't want to be identified. The family has offered Petrova a gift for turning over the money. Associated Press