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Israel Offers Halt To Housing Project

Israel has offered a temporary freeze on construction of a disputed housing project in an attempt to revive stalled Middle East peace talks, Channel 1 television reported Friday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the offer at a meeting with Osama el-Baz, an adviser to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the TV report said. El-Baz was in Israel for Tuesday’s summit between Netanyahu and Mubarak.

The Har Homa housing project is being built by Israel for Jews on captured Arab land in Jerusalem where the Palestinians hope to establish their capital.

Peace talks hit an impasse after Israel broke ground for the 6,500-unit project in March. Israel has repeatedly refused to back down on the construction.

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U.S. Gulf Coast prepares as Alberto brings wind, rain north

UPDATED: 9:03 p.m.

updated  Florida and Mississippi launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.