Sep 4, 2011, 11:56 p.m.

Talks fail with Gaddafi loyalists in desert bastion

NORTH OF BANI WALID, Libya (Reuters) - Forces of Libya's interim ruling council are poised for an assault on the desert town of Bani Walid after negotiators failed to persuade Muammar Gaddafi loyalists to abandon one of their last remaining bastions. The town is one of just a handful of areas in Libya still under the control of Gaddafi loyalists after a six-month rebellion ousted the leader from Tripoli last month.

Japan storm death toll rises to 25, more missing

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's death toll from tropical depression Talas, earlier downgraded from a tropical storm, has risen to 25 with 52 missing, the government said Monday, as torrential rain pounded the west of the country at the weekend, triggering mudslides and bursting river banks. Talas, which cut through Japan's main island Saturday and Sunday, was off the country's western coast as of 8:00 p.m. EDT, heading northeast, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

First witnesses in court for Mubarak trial

CAIRO (Reuters) - A top police official and three other officers will testify on Monday in the trial of Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the first witnesses to take the stand in a case that has gripped Egypt and the Arab world. Egyptians were stunned by television images of their 83-year-old former president of 30 years being wheeled into a cage in court lying on a hospital bed in the first two sessions. By order of the judge, no more sessions will be televised.

Strauss-Kahn returns home

PARIS (Reuters) - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, his presidential hopes shattered by a sex assault scandal that rocked his homeland, returned on Sunday to France facing a frosty public reception and unease among his political allies. The former IMF chief arrived at Paris's Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport at about 7 a.m. (1 a.m. EDT) with his wife Anne Sinclair. Police escorts whisked the couple through the terminal, past waiting media, and into a car.

Chinese firms offered weapons to Gaddafi's forces: reports

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese arms firms offered to sell weapons worth about $200 million to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's beleaguered forces in July, two newspapers reported, compounding pressure on Beijing's brittle ties with the rebels who have ousted him. Following an earlier report in the Globe and Mail, the New York Times reported on Monday that documents found abandoned in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, indicated that Chinese companies offered to sell rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles and other arms to Gaddafi's forces, despite bans on such sales.

Historic rally buoys Israeli social protest movement

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Organisers of Israel's biggest rally for economic reform said on Sunday they will begin to fold their tents but social change will move on, driven by weeks of protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responding to the latest massive demonstrations by a disgruntled middle class in the country's business center, Tel Aviv, and other cities, stuck fast to his pledge to implement change but not at all costs.

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