GAZA/JERUSALEM - Israel rejected on Friday international proposals for a ceasefire in its fight against Islamist militants in Gaza, but is discussing changes to the truce plan with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a government source said. | Video
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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Friday called Afghanistan's presidential candidates who are fighting over who won a June 14 election and urged them to maintain national unity during a vote recount and transition, the White House said.
BAGHDAD - Iraq's most influential Shi'ite cleric urged political leaders on Friday to refrain from clinging to their posts - an apparent reference to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has defied demands that he step aside. Speaking through an aide who delivered a sermon after Friday prayers in the holy city of Kerbala, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said leaders should show flexibility so that political deadlocks could be broken and Iraq could confront an insurgency.