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Palestinians want new peace formula

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Palestinian president called on the international community Friday to draft a new formula for peace talks with Israel and set aside the current process that he said is "managing the conflict but not solving it."

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority broke down in September after an Israeli freeze on settlement construction expired. The Palestinians say they will not negotiate as long as Israel builds homes for Jews in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, lands the Palestinians claim for a future state. U.S. mediators have returned to indirect talks to seek a way out of the impasse.

But with those peace efforts in tatters and no clear way out, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday in the West Bank that the international community should step in to devise a new vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He did he not elaborate on what a new formula might entail.


8 militants killed in U.S. drone attacks

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- A U.S. missile strike killed eight suspected militants in northwest Pakistan on Friday, the final day of a year that has seen a major escalation in drone attacks targeting insurgents flowing into neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Four missiles struck a convoy of militants traveling by car and by foot near the town of Ghulam Khan in the North Waziristan tribal area along the Afghan border, the two officials said.

It was the third day this week that missiles have struck North Waziristan, part of a ramped-up U.S. campaign to take out al-Qaida and Taliban fighters seeking sanctuary on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border.


Anti-Kremlin protests result in 68 arrests

MOSCOW (AP) -- Moscow police detained 68 people during anti-Kremlin protests that drew hundreds of people on New Year's Eve. Police said about 50 were detained at a similar protest in St. Petersburg.

In Moscow, an opposition group had city permission to hold a rally on one corner of a central square and it took place peacefully, with its leaders dressed as Father Frost and the Snow Maiden.

Helmeted riot police detained people gathering elsewhere on the square, including prominent opposition leaders Boris Nemtsov and Ilya Yashin.

Protesters demanded that Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin step down and called for the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil tycoon whose prison sentence was extended Thursday after a trial seen as punishment for challenging Putin's power.

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