Around the world: Israel sets out demands to secure Palestinian peace

Israel's prime minister demanded that any future Palestinian state be demilitarised and recognise Israel as the Jewish homeland, as he set out his starting position for new Middle East peace talks this week.

Benjamin Netanyahu said reaching a deal would be difficult but possible - and the conditions he laid down, coupled with a swift Palestinian rejection, illustrated just how difficult the task would be.

The talks will begin in Washington with the US trying to meet its goal of brokering peace within a year.

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"We want to surprise all of the critics. But to do that we need a real partner on the Palestinian side," Mr Netanyahu told his Cabinet yesterday.

"If we have such a partner, we will be able to quickly reach a historic agreement."

In his first public comments since the White House announced the planned resumption of talks on Friday, Mr Netanyahu said any future Palestinian state would not be allowed an army and would have to accept Israeli security demands.

However, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Mr Netanyahu's comments were "dictation, not negotiation".

A RESCUED pink dolphin is moved from the Pailas river to the Grande river in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, after droughts left 12 stranded on dry land.

Drone is 'ambassador of death'

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated Iran's first domestically-built unmanned bomber aircraft, calling it an "ambassador of death".

The 4m-long drone aircraft will have a range of 620 miles - but not far enough to reach arch-enemy Israel.

Parties battle for backing

Leaders of Australia's two major political parties lobbied for support from independent MPs today to stitch together the nation's first minority government since the war.

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The ruling Labour Party lost seats to the environment-focused Greens.

Axed driver seizes bus

A SACKED police inspector armed with an automatic rifle seized a bus in the Philippine capital today with 25 passengers, most of them Hong Kong tourists, demanding his reinstatement.

Six hostages, including three children, were subsequently released and appeared unhurt.

Police took positions around the bus, which was parked near a Manila park, and negotiations to free the remaining hostages were under way.

Gang hangs four from bridge

The decapitated bodies of four men were hung from a bridge in a central Mexican city ravaged by fighting between two drug lords.

A gang led by kingpin Hector Beltran Leyva said it carried out the killings in a message left with the bodies.

Miners alive after 17 days underground

Chile: All 33 Chilean miners trapped deep underground for 17 days were found alive today, the president, Sebastian Pinera, confirmed.

A probe sent some 2257ft deep into the collapsed mine early in the morning came back with a hand-written note: "All 33 of us are fine."

New York: The proposed mosque near ground zero drew hundreds of demonstrators, with supporters shouting "Say no to racist fear!" and waving US flags.