Israel reportedly agrees to negotiate Palestinian border

In a dramatic policy shift, Israel’s prime minister has agreed to negotiate the borders of a Palestinian state based on the cease-fire line that marks off the West Bank, a TV station reported Monday.

Up to now, Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to spell out his plan for negotiating the border. A senior Israeli official would not confirm outright that the prime minister was now willing to adopt the cease-fire line as a starting point, but said Israel was willing to try new formulas to restart peace talks based on a proposal made by President Barack Obama.

In a speech about the Middle East in May, Obama proposed negotiations based on the pre-1967 line with agreed swaps of territory between Israel and a Palestinian state. Netanyahu reacted angrily, insisting that Israel would not withdraw from all of the West Bank, though that was not what Obama proposed.

Now Netanyahu is basically accepting that framework, according to Channel 2 TV, offering to trade Israeli territory on its side of the line for West Bank land where its main settlements are located.

The official, who has been briefed on the talks, spoke on condition of anonymity because the contacts are still in progress. He said he would not deny the TV report, while refusing to confirm the specifics. He emphasized that Israel would not withdraw from all of the West Bank.


More contaminated cows shipped from radioactive area

Another 290 beef cattle raised in Fukushima Prefecture have been shipped inside the prefecture as well as to Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures after being fed what is believed to be cesium-tainted rice straw harvested in Miyagi Prefecture.

This brought to 872 the number of cows suspected to have been contaminated with radioactive cesium and shipped from Fukushima Prefecture.

According to the Fukushima prefectural government Saturday, six cattle farms in Iwaki, Sukagawa, Furudonomachi and Ishikawamachi purchased the straw and fed it to their cows.


Polygamist leader makes third try to remove judge

Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs made a third attempt Monday to remove the Texas judge overseeing his child sex assault case – this time based on the claim that God himself demands a change.

The head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints filed a motion purporting to quote God as saying state District Judge Barbara Walther should “step away from this abuse of power against a religious and pure faith in the Lord.”

After a short recess, Walther ruled the trial would continue under new Texas Supreme Court rules that went into effect Monday. They no longer require an immediate hearing to recuse a judge after evidence in a case has been heard. A hearing will eventually be held on Jeffs’ motion, but it’s unclear when.


Casey Anthony may have to report to probation officer

Casey Anthony, whose whereabouts have been a secret since her dramatic murder acquittal last month, may have to report to a probation officer in central Florida this week under a judge’s order Monday in another case against her.

The Orlando judge who sentenced Anthony last year for fraudulent check writing signed a “corrected” version of Anthony’s probation order that made clear she was supposed to start the one-year term after her release from jail, not while she was detained waiting for her murder trial.

Her attorneys are likely to challenge the revised order.


Coast Guard captures drug cache in sub-like vessel

The U.S. Coast Guard announced the capture of a submarine-like vessel off the Honduran coast and the seizure of some 15,000 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $180 million.

According to the Coast Guard district headquartered in Miami, the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca interdicted a drug-smuggling, self-propelled semi-submersible in the western Caribbean Sea on July 13.

The semi-submersibles are typically built in the jungles of Colombia and are less than 100 feet in length, authorities said. They are usually used to carry a crew of four to five people and a stash of thousands of pounds up drugs up to 5,000 miles. The semi-submersibles are designed to rapidly sink when detected in order to make it difficult for law enforcement to recover the drugs.

Video released by the Coast Guard shows a pursuit boat from the Boston-based Seneca encountering the semi-submersible in the open waters and taking an unspecified number of crewmembers into custody. The watercraft sank, but it was found after several searches by the Coast Guard, FBI dive teams and the Honduran Navy.