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AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EST

Truce in Gaza extended at last minute as talks over remaining Hamas captives get tougher JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel and Hamas on Thursday agreed to extend their cease-fire by another day, just minutes before it was set to expire.

Truce in Gaza extended at last minute as talks over remaining Hamas captives get tougher

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel and Hamas on Thursday agreed to extend their cease-fire by another day, just minutes before it was set to expire. The truce in Gaza appeared increasingly tenuous as most women and children held by the militants have already been released in swaps for Palestinian prisoners.

As word of the extension came Thursday morning, gunmen opened fire on people waiting for buses where a main highway from Tel Aviv enters Jerusalem, killing at least three people and wounding several others, according to police.

Police said the two attackers were killed. It was unclear if the attack was carried out by a Palestinian militant group or individuals acting on their own, or if it would have any impact on the truce in Gaza.

International pressure has mounted for the cease-fire to continue as long as possible after nearly eight weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign in Gaza that have killed thousands of Palestinians, uprooted three quarters of the population of 2.3 million and led to a humanitarian crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on his third visit to the region since the start of the war, said “my heart goes out” to the victims of the Jerusalem attack. Blinken is expected to press for further extensions of the truce and the release of more hostages.


Henry Kissinger was a trusted confidant to President Nixon until the bitter, bizarre end

WASHINGTON (AP) — All these years later, the scene still is almost too bizarre to imagine: a tearful president and his perplexed aide, neither very religious, kneeling in prayer on the floor of a White House bedroom in the waning hours of a shattered presidency.

Until the embittered end, Henry Kissinger was one of the trusted few of a distrusting Richard Nixon. That trust, combined with Kissinger’s intellectual heft and deft manipulation of power, made him a pivotal player in a tense period in American history, a giant of U.S. foreign policy and a fixture in international relations for decades to come.

The German-born diplomat who got the U.S. out of Vietnam after bloody, costly years of delay and into China in a sudden burst of secret diplomacy died Wednesday. He was 100.

With his brusque yet commanding public presence and behind-the-scenes maneuvers, Kissinger exerted extraordinary influence on global affairs under Presidents Nixon and Gerald Ford.

His power grew during the turmoil of Watergate, when the politically attuned diplomat took on a role akin to co-president to the discredited Nixon.


Global leaders pay tribute to Henry Kissinger, but his record also draws criticism

TOKYO (AP) — Global leaders paid tribute to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Thursday, but there was also sharp criticism of the man who remained an influential figure decades after his official service as one of the most powerful diplomats in American history.

Kissinger, who died Wednesday at 100, drew praise as a skilled defender of U.S. interests. On social media, though, he was widely called a war criminal who left lasting damage throughout the world.

“America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices” on foreign affairs, said former President George W. Bush, striking a tone shared by many high-level officials past and present.

“I have long admired the man who fled the Nazis as a young boy from a Jewish family, then fought them in the United States Army,” Bush said in a statement. “When he later became Secretary of State, his appointment as a former refugee said as much about his greatness as it did America’s greatness.”

Kissinger served two presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and dominated foreign policy as the United States withdrew from Vietnam and established ties with China.


Japan suspends its Osprey flights after the fatal crash of a US Air Force aircraft

TOKYO (AP) — Japan suspended flights by its Osprey aircraft Thursday, officials said, the day after a U.S. Air Force Osprey based in Japan crashed into the sea during a training mission.

Tokyo has also asked the U.S. military to ground all Ospreys operating in Japan except for those searching for victims of the crash.

A senior Defense Ministry official, Taro Yamato, told a parliamentary hearing that Japan has suspended flights of Ospreys beginning Thursday until details of the crash and safety are confirmed.

The U.S.-made Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but can rotate its propellers forward and cruise much faster, like an airplane, during flight.

Ministry officials said a planned training flight Thursday at the Metabaru army camp in the Saga prefecture in southern Japan was canceled as part of the grounding of all 14 Japanese-owned Ospreys deployed at Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force bases.


South Koreans want their own nukes. That could roil one of the world’s most dangerous regions

CHEORWON, South Korea (AP) — To the steady rat-tat-tat of machine guns and exploding bursts of smoke, amphibious tanks slice across a lake not far from the big green mountains that stand along the world’s most heavily armed border.

Dozens of South Korean and U.S. combat engineers build a pontoon bridge to ferry tanks and armored vehicles across the water, all within easy range of North Korean artillery.

For seven decades, the allies have staged annual drills like this recent one to deter aggression from North Korea, whose 1950 surprise invasion of South Korea started a war that has technically yet to end.

The alliance with the United States has allowed South Korea to build a powerful democracy, its citizens confident that Washington would protect them if Pyongyang ever acted on its dream of unifying the Korean Peninsula under its own rule.

Until now.


A look at what to expect as latest UN climate talks get under way in oil-rich UAE

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Middle East plays host to its second straight U.N. climate conference over the next two weeks, with countries hoping to agree on new ways to keep the planet from heating too much by the end of the century. Distractions abound, most notably war between Israel and Hamas.

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates will welcome thousands of attendees for the 28th “Conference of the Parties” of the U.N. climate conference from Thursday until Dec. 12, amid lingering doubt about how far the oil-rich country will go to help end a climate crisis driven largely by fossil fuel use.

Here’s a look at the backdrop, stakes and challenges ahead at COP28.


The world has gotten hotter since last year’s conference in Egypt. Some experts say 2023 is already the hottest year ever recorded. The northern hemisphere had record highs this summer, and Brazil – where it’s not summer yet – this month saw all-time high heat and humidity.


OPEC+ suppliers struggle to agree on cuts to oil production even as prices tumble

LONDON (AP) — The OPEC oil cartel led by Saudi Arabia and allied producers including Russia will try to agree Thursday on cuts to the amount of crude they send to the world, with prices having tumbled lately despite their efforts to prop them up.

That's been a good thing for U.S. drivers, who have been able to fill their gas tanks for less money in recent months and whose costs at the pump can be sensitive to moves by the OPEC+ coalition. But it's bad news for OPEC+ countries whose oil income props up their economies and who have faced setbacks in keeping prices up despite initial fears that the Israel-Hamas war could affect oil flows.

Now, they are struggling to come to a consensus on production cuts, analysts say, on the same day the U.N. climate conference kicks off in the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member.

The group postponed its meeting originally set for Sunday by four days, indicating that a new agreement will prove to be challenging, said Jorge Leon, senior vice president of oil market research for Rystad Energy.

“Despite the challenges, we still expect OPEC+ to reach an agreement to reduce production," he said in an analyst note. That's because “every member country acknowledges the need to reduce output to support prices into 2024.”


Haley and DeSantis are relying more on outside campaign groups with time running out to stop Trump

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are increasingly outsourcing central parts of their campaigns, drawing on the growing urgency of Donald Trump opponents to find a single alternative to the former president.

Struggling to energize his campaign, DeSantis this week privately encouraged his donor network to support a newly formed super PAC that's taking over advertising responsibilities. That’s after a leadership shakeup at the pro-DeSantis super PAC that for months has been handling the bulk of both his advertising and his get-out-the-vote operation.

At the same time, Haley's self-described “scrappy” political campaign, which has never enjoyed the same level of funding or manpower as DeSantis' operation, won the support of the the Koch network, the largest conservative grassroots organization in the nation. By week’s end, scores of Koch-backed activists are expected to begin advocating on Haley's behalf at the doorsteps of tens of thousands of Republican primary voters.

The extraordinary reliance on independent groups for the two Republicans who increasingly appear to be Trump's closest challengers is testing the practical and legal limits of modern-day presidential campaigns. And with less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, neither candidate has shown the ability to disrupt Trump as he appears on a glide path to another presidential nomination.

“Personally, I’d rather see that all of this is put together under a campaign so that the candidate has responsibility for everything. But this is just the way the game is played today,” said Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known Iowa evangelical leader who has endorsed DeSantis. “If that’s the way you get your big money in, that’s the way you get your big money in.”


An Indian official plotted to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader in New York, US prosecutors say

NEW YORK (AP) — An Indian government official directed a plot to assassinate a prominent Sikh separatist leader living in New York City, United States prosecutors said Wednesday as they announced charges against a man they said was part of the thwarted conspiracy.

U.S. officials became aware in the spring of the plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who advocated for the creation of a sovereign Sikh state and is considered a terrorist by the Indian government. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration interceded and set up a sting, with an undercover agent posing as a hitman, after the conspirators recruited an international narcotics trafficker in the plot to kill the activist for $100,000.

The Indian government official was not charged nor identified by name in an indictment unsealed Wednesday, but was described as a “senior field officer” with responsibilities in security management and intelligence, said to have previously served in India’s Central Reserve Police Force.

The charges were aimed at a different person: Nikhil Gupta, 52, a citizen of India who was accused of murder for hire and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. The charges carry a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment said Gupta was recruited in May by the unidentified Indian government employee to orchestrate the assassination of Pannun, who was only identified in court papers as “Victim.”


A friendship forged over 7 weeks of captivity lives on as freed women are reunited

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — In the depths of captivity, they formed an unlikely but prized friendship. And reunited in a video call this week, the bond between a recently freed Israeli mother and daughter and a Thai woman who had been held hostage alongside them filled an Israeli hospital room with unbridled joy.

“Both of us give you a big hug,” Danielle Aloni, one of dozens snatched by Hamas militants from a kibbutz in southern Israel on Oct. 7, told her friend Nutthawaree Munkan, an agricultural worker who was seized the same day and held captive in the Gaza Strip. “I love you and I told you while we were there that we are family.”

Aloni, 45, spoke in Hebrew in a five minute video of the Wednesday meeting released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Nutthawaree, speaking from the hospital, replied in Thai — and with a flurry of air kisses and a wide smile that required no translation at all.

With her partner — another freed captive — looking on and a Thai-speaking Israeli psychologist assisting with the conversation, Nutthawaree waved at the screen as Aloni’s 5-year-old daughter, Emilia, sang to her. Nutthawaree, holding a small Israeli flag, counted to 10 on her fingers as Emilia recited her numbers in the Thai that Nutthawaree had taught her during the seven weeks they spent as hostages.

It was not clear where Aloni and her daughter were speaking from, but they had already been discharged from the hospital and had returned to their home.

The Associated Press