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WORLD IN BRIEF: Biden criticizes new Jerusalem settlements

Biden criticizes new Jerusalem settlements

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden is condemning Israel's approval of 1,600 new settlement homes in disputed East Jerusalem and said the timing undermines the peace process the United States is attempting to revive.

Biden, visiting the region on Tuesday, said timing of the announcement is ''precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I've had here in Israel.'' Biden said Israelis and Palestinians must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them.

Moments earlier, President Barack Obama's top spokesman, Robert Gibbs, condemned the announcement from the White House. Relations between Israel and the Obama administration have been chilly precisely because of the settlement issue.

Suicide attack kills troops in Afghanistan

KHOST, Afghanistan -- A suicide attack Tuesday at a joint NATO-Afghan base in eastern Afghanistan killed two international service members and wounded several others, the military alliance said.

The attack in remote Khost province near the Pakistan border was on a compound used by both international forces and the Afghan Border Police, NATO said.

Residents in the province's Ali Shir district said they heard a large blast at the base after dark.

Missing body of Cyprus' ex-leader found

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Three months after it was stolen, the corpse of Cyprus' former president was found reburied in another grave and three men were arrested Tuesday in what officials called a case of bodysnatching for ransom.

Two spokesmen for former President Tassos Papadopoulos' family insisted, however, that his relatives had never received a demand for money.

The right-wing Greek Cypriot hard-liner's body was stolen in December during slow-moving reunification talks with Turkish Cypriot leaders. A lack of clear motive and few clues led to speculation that it could have been politically motivated, but authorities suggested early on that ransom was a more likely scenario.