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Wednesday, Aug 05th

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As euro exit looms, Greece shutters banks and announces capital controls

Greece to close banksGreece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn to date Sunday, with the cabinet deciding, after an 8-hour session, that Greek banks would remain shut for six working days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals.

The Athens Stock Exchange would also not open on Monday, financial sector officials confirmed.

A decree published in the official Government Gazette stipulates banks will not open Monday morning and will remain closed through Monday, July 6. The finance minister could decide to short or extend that period.

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Iran nuke talks set to go beyond deadline

Iran talks to go onA senior U.S. official acknowledged Sunday that Iran nuclear talks will go past their June 30 target date, as Iran's foreign minister prepared to head home Sunday for consultations before returning to push for a breakthrough.

Asked about the chances for a deal, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's top diplomat, told reporters: "It's going to be tough ... but not impossible."

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Fire injures scores attending party at Taiwan water park

Fire injures scores in TaiwanA fire on a music stage spread into a crowd of spectators at a party Saturday night at a Taiwan water park, injuring more than 200 people, authorities said.

An accidental explosion of an unknown powder set off the fire near the stage in front of about 1,000 spectators, said Wang Wei-sheng, a liaison with the New Taipei City fire department command center.

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Blockade-Busting Boat Heads for Gaza

Marianne of GothenburgA ship carrying some 70 pro-Palestinian activists, including an Israeli-Arab lawmaker, set sail from Crete to Gaza.

The Swedish Marianne of Gothenburg ship is expected to arrive Sunday off the coast of Gaza in a bid to defy Israel’s naval blockade, the site news.walla.co.il reported Friday, hours after the vessel sailed.

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Tourists flee as chilling details emerge in Tunisia

Tunisia massacreStories of terror and bravery emerged Saturday as foreign visitors rushed to leave Tunisia by the busload after a gunman opened fire on a beach resort, killing 39 people.

At least 36 people were wounded in the nation's deadliest onslaught Friday before the shooter was killed by security forces. The gunman was identified as Seifeddine Rezgui by Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid.

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Vatican signs first treaty with 'State of Palestine', Israel angered

Vatican treaty with PalestineThe Vatican signed its first treaty with the "State of Palestine" on Friday, calling for "courageous decisions" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and backing a two-state solution.

The treaty, which made official the Vatican's de facto recognition of Palestine since 2012, angered Israel, which called it "a hasty step (that) damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement".

Israel also said it could have implications on its future diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

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Severed head discovered at French gas factory after attack

French gas factory attackA decapitated body covered in Arabic writing was found at a gas factory in southeastern France after an attack Friday, with the severed head posted on the entrance gate, police sources and French media said.

The attacker rammed a car into the premises, triggering an explosion. The assailant survived the blast and was arrested, police said. The identity of the beheaded victim was not clear, but French media said it was a manager of a local transport company, on the site for a delivery.

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