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Washington Post: Intense clashes in Yemen endanger prospects of humanitarian cease-fire

CAIRO — Clashes between Yemen’s Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led alliance intensified Monday ahead of a planned humanitarian cease-fire, with coalition air raids pounding targets in Yemen’s capital and the Houthis claiming to have downed a Moroccan fighter jet in the north.

Also Monday, a Saudi-owned television network reported that the Saudi military was sending a “strike force” of tanks and artillery to the Yemeni border.

The fighting could jeopardize a five-day “humanitarian pause” set to begin Tuesday to allow greater aid shipments from the United Nations and other groups. Impoverished Yemen has been devastated by the Saudi-led air war, which started March 26 in a bid to restore exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

MIDDLE EAST

Obama speaks to Saudi king, White House plans Camp David statement.

Five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen expected to begin on Tuesday.

Saudi-Yemen border areas hit by heavy fire. Saudi Arabia sends tanks as "strike force" to Yemen border: Saudi media.

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ASIA

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US diplomatic overture to N. Korea met with missile-firing.

Beijing calls for restrained reaction to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch.

S Korea vows 'merciless' response to North's missiles.

Japan deepening military ties with US threatens Tokyo's future – Chinese officer.

Malaysia detains hundreds of migrants arriving on boats. Nearly 2,000 migrants rescued off coasts of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Australia in corporate tax crackdown.

AFRICA

Fleeing Burundians flock to western Tanzania, camps overwhelmed. Regional fears as Burundi crisis shows no sign of ending.

Egypt's justice minister resigns after comments raise uproar.

Mediterranean migrants: Libya rejects EU military plans.

Congo seeks extradition of Islamist rebel chief from Tanzania.

Turkish ship shelled off Libya coast, officer killed, several crew injured.

CAR government and rebels sign peace deal.

Mali separatist rebels ambush army convoy near Timbuktu. Separatists attack Mali army patrol, gov't says 9 killed.

Belgium suspends financial aid for Burundi elections.

Somali president committed to more inclusive vote in 2016.

First black leader elected for South Africa’s main opposition party.

WHO: Liberia is Ebola-free.

EUROPE

UN envoy says Cyprus reunification talks to resume May 15. Cyprus rivals to resume peace talks on Friday: UN.

West questions Macedonian government's commitment to democracy.

Merkel defends staff against growing criticism in spy scandal.

Europe appeals for U.N. backing on migrants, no plan to bomb boats. E.U. seeks U.N. authority for military action against migrant smugglers.

EU plans migrant quotas forcing states to 'share' burden.

NATO: Russia has equipped Ukraine rebels to attack at short notice.

Merkel urges more Russian action to halt Ukraine fighting.

Kerry to meet Putin, Lavrov Tuesday. Putin, Kerry to discuss Ukraine, Syria, Iran, U.S. says. Kerry heads to Russia for first Putin meeting in two years.

Greece seeks eurozone recognition of economic progress. Greece says deal will be 'difficult' at Eurogroup meeting.

Microstate tax haven in the Balkans? Not that easy.

Sweden rejects Assange appeal to drop arrest warrant.

AMERICAS

The FBI says far more law enforcement officers were killed in 2014 than in 2013.

US defends record before top UN human rights body.

As Venezuela struggles, Nicaragua feels a chill.

Colombia moves toward ending aerial assault on coca crops.

Big deals expected when Chinese premier visits South America.

New multiracial coalition challenges Guyanese status-quo in election.

France's Hollande begins historic visit to Cuba.

Jury likely to consider Marathon Bomber's sentence this week.

'Jade Helm' war game sparks fears of Texas takeover.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

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Investigative journalist defends bin Laden story. Former top CIA official on bin Laden raid account: 'It's all wrong'.

ISIS hackers plan "message to America" attack today.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

U.S. Fed said to have debt ceiling plan involving market interventions.

US inconsistent in pressing China's banks on secrecy.

Airbus remains committed to A400M despite crash. Nations ground A400M planes after deadly Spain crash.

Picasso masterpiece expected to break $142 million record.

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