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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, centre, speaks during a news conference with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, right, after their meeting to discuss the situation in Gaza, in Cairo Nov. 20, 2012. (ASMAA WAGUIH/Reuters)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, centre, speaks during a news conference with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, right, after their meeting to discuss the situation in Gaza, in Cairo Nov. 20, 2012. (ASMAA WAGUIH/Reuters)

Morning briefing: Clinton enters diplomatic push on Gaza Add to ...

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe’s news desk on Nov. 20, 2012

Clinton enters diplomatic push on Gaza

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is heading for the Middle East amid increasingly frantic diplomatic efforts to stop the violence spinning out of control. Ms. Clinton, on a tour of Asia with President Barack Obama, will hold meetings with officials in Israel and the West Bank before heading to Egypt to join the diplomatic push to reach a ceasefire. On the ground, the violent showdown continues: A Palestinian rocket exploded near Jerusalem Tuesday, an attack that triggered air raid sirens in the city for a second time since the conflict began last week. Israel struck numerous targets in Gaza Tuesday.

For the latest developments on the Gaza conflict, follow the Globe's liveblog here.

In related news: To read a report from The Globe’s Patrick Martin on the obstacles to a ceasefire created by the killing of militant leader Rames Harb, click here. Also, check out The Globe’s in-depth Inside Hamas video series.

Christian girl cleared of blasphemy

A Pakistani court has cleared Rimsha Masih of blasphemy charges, a case that caused international outrage and forced the school girl’s family into hiding. “She is a free woman,” her lawyer said after the court dismissed allegations that she burned the pages of the Koran. The charge carried a possible life sentence.

Also: To read more about freedom for girls in Pakistan from The Globe’s Stephanie Nolen, click here.

Goma falls as rebels advance in Congo

Despite efforts of UN-backed Congolese soldiers, rebels appear to have taken the besieged town of Goma. Witnesses report seeing groups of armed rebel soldiers moving unhindered in the city, Reuters reports. Thousands, including a sizable contingent of foreign aid workers, have fled the strategically important town in advance of the M23 rebel group. Here’s a recent report on the battle for Goma by The Globe’s Africa correspondent Geoffrey York.

British PM former spokesman charged

More charges are being laid in latest legal twist in the so-called phone-hacking scandal that has rocked the Britain’s political and media establishment. Prime Minister David Cameron’s former spokesman, Andy Coulson ,and Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World, are among those facing bribery-related charges.

Alberta man may be deported

Convicted drug dealer Saeed Jama may be deported to Somalia as early as today – even though he has never set foot in the country. Born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Canada by his parents, Somali refugees, Mr. Jama has been ordered out of the country following his conviction. His family hopes for a stay.

New push for a national securities regulator

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan plans to meet with federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today in Ottawa, where the main item on the agenda will be a renewed effort to create a single agency to oversee the country’s securities markets. The initiative, which would replace the country’s 13 provincial and territorial regulators, has the apparent support of Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Church of England votes on women bishops

In what could be the first major test for the next archbishop, the Church of England decides today whether to allow the ordination of women bishops. The vote is the culmination of one of the most divisive issues within the Anglican community, and comes as the church struggles to balance the competing desires of dwindling congregations in its country of birth and growth spots in more conservative countries overseas.

Blue Jays to get new manager

Fresh off a blockbuster trade, the Toronto Blue Jays annouced that John Gibbons will return to manage the team. The fiery Texan, who managed the team in the mid-2000s, will be introduced at a press conference today.

Pauline Marois unveils first budget

In its most important challenge, the fledgling Parti Québécois minority government will try to establish the party’s credibility with Quebec’s business community with its first budget today. Click here to read a backgrounder by The Globe’s Rhéal Séguin.

RCMP at status of women committee

The allegations of sexual harassment against the RCMP will be at the forefront again today as police officials appear at a House of Commons status of women committee to discuss sexual harassment in the federal workplace.


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