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North Korean regime proposes talks with US

NORTH KOREA

Regime proposes talks with US

PYONGYANG — North Korea’s top government body is proposing high-level nuclear and security talks with the United States days after a planned meeting with rival South Korea collapsed. The National Defense Commission said Sunday that the talks should ease tensions and achieve peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has issued a series of angry statements since UN sanctions were imposed after a December rocket launch and a February nuclear test. There have been threats of nuclear war by the North, followed by South Korean vows of counterstrikes. Outside analysts say North Korea often expresses interest in talks after raising tension with provocative behavior in order to win outside concessions. Washington’s top worry is North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. (AP)

LIBYA

Six soldiers killed in militant attack

TRIPOLI — Rooftop snipers and knife-wielding assailants killed six soldiers in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi early Saturday, in the largest attack on the country’s new security forces to date, officials said. The brazen assault by hundreds of gunmen on security installations forced soldiers to withdraw from some of their bases. The attacks are believed to be retaliation for the expulsion of a major militia from the city last weekend. (AP)

SOUTH AFRICA

Mandela’s health better, family says

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QUNU— A week after he was hospitalized with a serious lung infection, former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa has started to recover, his grandson said Saturday. “He’s getting better,” the grandson, Mandla Mandela, told mourners at a funeral for a member of the Mandela clan in Qunu, a village where Mandela, 94, spent his childhood and where he has lived since mid-2012. Mandla Mandela said that when he left Pretoria, where his grandfather was being treated by military doctors, “he was looking very good.” He thanked Christians in South Africa for their prayers for Mandela. (New York Times)

CHINA

10 air quality rules OK’d to cut smog

HONG KONG — China’s Cabinet has adopted 10 measures to improve air quality in the latest move aimed at responding to the dense smog that has repeatedly enveloped Beijing and other major Chinese cities in recent years. Many of the measures had previously been enacted by some cities, or were the subject of national experiments that had not yet received the imprimatur of the Cabinet, which is known as the State Council. (New York Times)

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