Pakistani P.M. calls for dialogue with insurgents

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an offer to the Taliban insurgency to begin a dialogue, although he threatened "full use of force" against militants if they rebuff his initiative.

"Like every Pakistani, I want an early end to this bloodshed, whether it is through the process of dialogue or heavy use of the state force," Sharif said in his first speech to the nation since taking office on June 5.

The prime minister, whose conservative Pakistan Muslim League-N overwhelmingly won the May general elections, acknowledged that Pakistan's security apparatus has failed in the fight against the insurgency in recent years.


Pakistani court indicts Musharraf in Bhutto assassination

Pakistan's former strongman Pervez Musharraf was formally indicted along with seven other people of conspiring to assassinate former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Musharraf, who has been under house arrest since April, appeared Tuesday before the Anti-terrorist Court in Rawalpindi and denied the charges of conspiracy and terrorism.

Among the other seven people accused of arranging Bhutto's death are two former top police officials who are currently imprisoned for their alleged involvement in the slaying.


Egyptian security forces arrest Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader

The Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader was arrested in Cairo's Nasr City district, an Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesman told Efe.

Mohammed Badie was detained along with fellow Muslim Brotherhood member Talat Youssef at an apartment near the plaza where Islamists camped out until police moved in last Wednesday and cleared them out.

Special forces and security service personnel made the arrests after confirming that Badie was in the building.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it named Mahmoud Ezzat to be its interim spiritual leader, Egyptian television reported.


Republican Sen. Ted Cruz renounces Canadian nationality

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas renounced his Canadian nationality, to which he has the right because he was born there but which complicates his presidential aspirations for 2016.

ABC reported that Cruz, who was born in the city of Calgary in 1970, refused to hold dual nationality and to dispel any doubts about that possibility he publicly renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Cruz was born Dec. 22, 1970, in Calgary to a Cuban father and a U.S.-born mother, according to the birth certificate - which he provided to the daily Dallas Morning News - of the conservative Tea-Party-aligned politician.

"I believe it makes sense for me to be only an American," said Cruz on Tuesday.


Benedict says God told him to step down as pope

Benedict XVI said it was God who told him to resign the papacy, Catholic news agency Zenit reported.

During one of the few private visits he has granted since his retirement, Benedict, when asked by one of those present why he took that decision, he answered "God told me to," according to Zenit.

It wasn't "any kind of apparition or any phenomenon like that," but rather it was "a mystical experience" in which Our Lord caused to grow in his heart "an absolute desire to remain alone with him, secluded in prayer," the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said.

Benedict also commented during the meeting that the more he observes the "charisma" of his successor, Pope Francis, the more he realizes that his decision to resign the papacy was "the will of God."


U.S. crime writer Elmore Leonard dies

Elmore Leonard, known as one of the great writers of U.S. crime fiction, died in Detroit. He was 87.

"Elmore passed away this morning at 7:15 a.m. at home surrounded by his loving family," an announcement on the writer's Web site said.

The novelist had been recovering from a stroke and heart attack that he had suffered a month ago.


Teachers stage violent protest at Mexican Congress

A group of teachers opposed to educational reforms clashed with police and engaged in acts of vandalism at the seat of Congress in Mexico City, leaving about a dozen educators and officers injured, officials said.

The incident occurred Monday night at the San Lazaro Palace.

The teachers should "change their attitude and work for dialogue to reach an understanding, harmony and agreements," the lower house of Congress said in a statement.

The clashes started just after 9:00 p.m. Monday when some of the approximately 2,000 CNTE teachers union members who had gathered outside the building slipped inside, a Federal District Public Safety Secretariat spokesman told Efe.