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Qatar announces Israel-Hamas truce-for-hostages deal that would pause Gaza fighting, bring more aid JERUSALEM (AP) — Qatar on Wednesday announced a truce-for-hostages deal between Israel and Hamas that would bring the first temporary halt in fighting in a devastating six-week war, win freedom for dozens of hostages held in the Gaza Strip, and also lead to the release of Palestinian prisoners. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said it would announce within a day when the clock will start ticking on a four-day truce, during which 50 hostages will be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Those freed by both sides will be women and children. Humanitarian aid to besieged Gaza would also increase. The announcement came hours after Israel’s Cabinet approved the deal. It capped weeks of indirect Qatari-led negotiations between Israel and Hamas, an Islamic militant group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years. The United States and Egypt were also involved in stop-and-go talks to free hostages. Hamas said the deal includes the release of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners, all women and minors. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the deal calls for a four-day cease-fire, during which Israel will halt its military offensive in Gaza while Hamas frees “at least” 50 of the roughly 240 hostages it and other militants are holding. ___ Live updates | An Israel-Hamas deal for hostages and a four-day cease-fire has been approved Israel’s Cabinet approved a cease-fire agreement with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to the devastating war that is now in its seventh week. The Israeli government said that under an outline of the deal, Hamas is to free at least 50 of the roughly 240 hostages taken in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack over a four-day period. Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, later confirmed the deal, saying the start time will be announced in the next 24 hours and that it will last for four days. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the Cabinet voted early Wednesday that the war would continue even if a deal was reached. Israel, the United States and Qatar have been negotiating for weeks over a hostage release that would be paired with a temporary cease-fire in Gaza and the entry of more humanitarian aid. Israel says Hamas uses civilians and hospitals as shields, while critics say Israel’s siege and relentless aerial bombardment amount to collective punishment of the territory’s 2.3 million Palestinians after Hamas’ Oct. 7 rampage into southern Israel. ___ North Korea says it put a military spy satellite into orbit on third try SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said it placed a spy satellite into orbit with its third launch attempt this year, demonstrating the nation’s determination to build a space-based surveillance system during protracted tensions with the United States. The North’s claim Wednesday could not immediately independently be confirmed. Observers doubt whether the satellite is advanced enough to perform military reconnaissance. But the launch still invited strong condemnation from the United States and its partners because the U.N. bans North Korea from conducting satellite launches, calling them covers for tests of missile technology. The North’s space agency said that its new “Chollima-1” carrier rocket accurately placed the Malligyong-1 satellite into orbit on Tuesday night, about 12 minutes after liftoff from the country’s main launch center. The National Aerospace Technology Administration called the launch a legitimate right of North Korea to bolster its self-defense capabilities. It said the spy satellite would help improve the North’s war preparedness in the face of “the enemies’ dangerous military moves.” The agency said leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch at the scene and congratulated scientists and others involved. It said North Korea will launch several more spy satellites to better monitor South Korea and other areas. ___ Trump has long praised autocrats and populists. He’s now embracing Argentina’s new president NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump has long praised a particular type of foreign leader — men he describes as “tough” and “strong,” even if they have chipped away at their countries’ democratic norms. The former president and GOP front-runner is now celebrating the newly elected leader of Argentina, Javier Milei, a wild-haired, chainsaw-wielding, self-described “anarcho-capitalist” dubbed “the madman” by his admirers. “A very special congratulations to Javier Milei on a great race for president of Argentina,” Trump exulted in a video posted Tuesday on his social media site that echoed an earlier statement. “I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!” Milei’s resounding win gives Trump a new potential ally if he wins the White House again — and underscores his enduring influence on global politics in the near-decade since he launched his first bid for the presidency. It’s also the latest example of the potency of right-wing populism that flirts with authoritarianism, and an anti-incumbency fever that has spread across much of the world. “It’s just so much easier to be a populist than it used to be,” said Steven Levitsky, a Harvard University political scientist and co-author of “How Democracies Die.” ___ Death toll from landslide in remote Alaska fishing community reaches 3, more missing JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A landslide that ripped down a sopping, heavily forested mountainside in southeast Alaska killed three people, injured a woman and left three other people missing as it smashed into three homes in a remote fishing community, authorities said Tuesday. Rescue crews found the body of a girl in an initial search and late Tuesday the bodies of two adults were found by a drone operator. Crews resorted to a cadaver-sniffing dog and heat-sensing drones to search for two children and one adult who remained unaccounted for hours after the disaster, while the Coast Guard and other vessels looked along the oceanfront, which was littered with debris from the landslide. The ages of the children were not released. The slide — estimated to be about 450 feet (137 meters) wide — occurred at about 9 p.m. Monday during a significant rain and windstorm near Wrangell, an island community of 2,000 residents some 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of Juneau. Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel said at a news briefing that crews on Tuesday morning rescued a woman who had been on the upper floor of a home that was struck. She was in good condition and undergoing medical care. The slide scoured the mountainside, leaving a scar of barren earth from near the top of the peak down to the ocean, wiping out large evergreen trees and leaving what appeared to be remnants of homes in its wake. One of the three homes that was struck was unoccupied, McDaniel said. ___ Largest crypto exchange Binance fined $4 billion, CEO pleads guilty to not stopping money laundering WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government dealt a massive blow to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which agreed to pay a roughly $4 billion settlement Tuesday as its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to a felony related to his failure to prevent money laundering on the platform. Zhao stepped down as the company’s chief executive and Binance admitted to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and apparent violations of sanctions programs, including its failure to implement reporting programs for suspicious transactions. “Using new technology to break the law does not make you a disruptor, it makes you a criminal,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who called the settlement one of the largest corporate penalties in the nation’s history. As part of the settlement agreement, the U.S. Treasury said Binance will be subject to five years of monitoring and “significant compliance undertakings, including to ensure Binance’s complete exit from the United States.” Binance is a Cayman Islands limited liability company. The cryptocurrency industry has been marred by scandals and market meltdowns. ___ Republican Celeste Maloy wins Utah special election to replace her former boss US Rep. Chris Stewart Republican Celeste Maloy has won a Utah special election to replace her former boss, U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, in a race that will put a woman back among Utah’s five-member congressional delegation for the first time since 2019. Maloy beat state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, who as minority whip is the Utah Senate’s second-ranking Democrat. Stewart resigned in September after 10 years in Congress because his wife is ill. Maloy was Stewart’s chief legal counsel. She had Stewart’s endorsement and that of former Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, and was favored to win in the reliably Republican 2nd District, which sprawls from Salt Lake City to the state’s western and southern edges. Maloy will be only the fifth woman in history to represent Utah in the U.S. House. The most recent was Mia Love, who served from 2015-2019 and was the state’s first Black congresswoman. Utah has never had a woman in the U.S. Senate. ___ Fund to compensate developing nations for climate change is unfinished business at COP28 NEW DELHI (AP) — Sunil Kumar watched helplessly in July as his home and 14 others were washed away by intense monsoon rains lashing the Indian Himalayas. “All my life’s work vanished in an instant. Starting over feels impossible, especially with my three children relying on me,” said Kumar, a waste collector in the village of Bhiuli, in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh. This year’s monsoon season in India was devastating, with local governments estimating 428 deaths and more than $1.42 billion in property damage in the region. But India was just one of many developing nations to suffer from extreme weather made worse or more likely by climate change, caused largely by greenhouse gas emissions that result from the burning of fossil fuels. Tropical storm Daniel hammered Libya with massive flooding in September, and Cyclone Freddy battered several African nations early in the year. Activists say all three disasters show how poorer nations, which historically have contributed less to climate change because they have emitted fewer planet-warming gases than developed countries, are often hit hardest by the impacts of global warming. ____ ___ After the dollar-loving Milei wins the presidency, Argentines anxiously watch the exchange rate BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — As soon as Leandro Francisco Diana woke up Tuesday, he reached for his phone like many Argentines on the first business day after the election victory of President-elect Javier Milei. “I opened my eyes, got my phone and looked for the price of the dollar to see how the country had awakened,” said the 26-year-old Diana, who owns a hardware store with his father in Villa Crespo, a middle-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The exchange rate of the peso with the U.S. dollar has become a widely watched barometer of the nation’s economic health, and is top of mind for millions of Argentines coping with triple-digit inflation. Knowing a further depreciation of the peso will boost the price of consumer goods, they are anxious for signs of what Milei’s victory on Sunday meant for the value of the currency that has tanked against the U.S. dollar in the past year. Diana, who loves traveling to New York and visited Miami last month, said he had feared he would find on his phone news of a major run on the currency as Argentina emerged from a long weekend. A large depreciation didn’t fully materialize; rather, the dollar’s value in the parallel retail market – popularly known as the “blue dollar” – increased some 13%. He was relieved. Inflation is running at an annual rate of more than 140%. Uncertainty about prices was rampant this campaign season, with many Argentines stocking up on goods and lining up at gas stations to beat potential post-election price increases. On Tuesday morning, local media were reporting that wholesalers were sharply increasing prices. ___ Brawling fans in stands delay start of Argentina-Brazil World Cup qualifying match for 27 minutes RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Lionel Messi led his Argentina lineup off the field because of a brawl between rival fans in Brazil, delaying the start of their South American World Cup qualifier by 27 minutes Tuesday at the Maracana Stadium. Messi’s squad returned from the locker room after it was deemed to be safe and went on to win a tense match 1-0, staying on the pitch to celebrate with their fans long after the final whistle. “There was family of the players (there). We were more worried about that than playing the match,” Messi said after the match. “We did that (going to the locker room) because that was the way to make it all calm. From below, we couldn’t do much, we saw how they (police) hit people.” Players of both teams had earlier asked fans for calm, with Argentina goalkeeper Dibu Martinez racing to one of the rails in front of the visiting fans and urging police to stop the violence. Police used batons to break up the fights in the crowd, which started minutes after the national anthems echoed around the stadium. The Associated Press

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