JERUSALEM

Preliminary OK for home building raises tensions

Israeli authorities gave preliminary approval Wednesday to build 200 homes in a Jewish area of east Jerusalem, a move that threatened to push Israelis and Palestinians deeper into conflict after weeks of unrest over the city’s holiest sites.

The announcement came hours before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to arrive in neighboring Jordan on a mission aimed in part at restoring calm. A State Department spokeswoman said Washington was “deeply concerned” by the decision.

MOSCOW

Russian strategic bombers to patrol across the globe

In a show of military muscle amid tensions with the West, Russia will send long-range strategic bombers on regular patrol missions across the globe, from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, a top official said Wednesday.

The announcement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu came as NATO’s chief accused Russia of sending fresh troops and tanks into eastern Ukraine.

“Over the last few days, we have seen multiple reports of large convoys moving into Eastern Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “We assess that this significant military buildup includes Russian artillery, tanks, air defense systems and troops. His statement called the situation a “severe threat to the cease-fire.”

Moscow denied the allegation as unfounded, but Shoigu also said the dispute with the West over Ukraine would require Russia to beef up its forces in the Crimea, the Black Sea Peninsula that Russia annexed in March. Shoigu said Russian long-range bombers will conduct flights along Russian borders and over the Arctic Ocean. He said, “In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.”

MEXICO CITY

Violent protests causing cut in Acapulco tourism

Violent protests over the disappearance of 43 college students are putting a damper on tourism in Mexico’s Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

Joaquin Badillo is head of a business association in the southern state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located.

He says the city’s hotels have seen massive cancellations ahead of this weekend, which coincides with Monday’s national holiday commemorating the 1910 Mexican Revolution.

– From news service reports