The world implored Israel and Hamas to end hostilities Saturday, but the violence escalated with the toll in Israeli strikes rising to 157 and Gaza militants firing more rocket salvos. Both sides have dismissed calls for a truce, and Israel continued to build up troops along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground invasion, warning Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes. With the Palestinian death toll at 157, and with no Israelis killed, the UN Security Council unanimously urged Israel and Hamas to respect "international humanitarian laws" and stop the loss of life.
Iran's top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran has no interest in building an atomic bomb, despite Western powers' claims otherwise. Zarif's comments, in a television interview due to be broadcast Sunday, when Iran engages in talks with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany aimed at a grand bargain reducing in scope the Islamic republic's nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief. "I will commit to everything and anything that would provide credible assurances for the international community that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, because we are not," Zarif told NBC's "Meet the Press" from Vienna, where the talks are taking place. "We don't see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon."
BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.N. urged Iraq's leaders Saturday to overcome their deep divisions and move quickly to form a new government that can unite the country and confront a surging militant threat, warning that failure to do so "risks plunging the country into chaos."