Israel ‘ready for renewal of border talks’ – PM Netanyahu

Israel is ready to renew peace talks with the Palestinians without preconditions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments came during a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. He said that Israel is ready to renew negotiations “today, yesterday, tomorrow,” expressing hopes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would do the same and that Europe would support the joint effort. Abbas maintains that in order for the talks to proceed, Israel must withdraw to its pre-1967 borders and cease building settlements in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

Palestinian PM resigns after two weeks in the office – source

Recently appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas, a government source said. It is unclear if the acting president accepted Hamdallah’s resignation, and the reasons for the move are unknown. Hamdallah, a senior academic, was sworn in on June 6 to replace Salam Fayyad, who resigned in April.

Bank of Tokyo to pay NY state $250 million

New York State is set to receive $250 million from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ after deleting information from $100 billion in wire transfers that authorities would have been able to use to monitor transactions with sanctioned-imposed countries like Iran. The bank moved some 28,000 transactions through New York between 2002 and 2007 intended to end up with countries including Iran and Sudan, or institutions linked to them, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Reuters. Wire transfers usually flag transactions for sanctioned countries, but the bank stripped the transfers of the details. The bank said that it discovered and reported the activities in 2007, and ceased to allow the stripping of the information.

All-female jury chosen for Zimmerman trial

A jury of six women will decide the fate of George Zimmerman accused of second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida last year. “This is probably as critical, if not more critical than the evidence,” Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s attorney, said. Neighborhood watch Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, saying he killed the teen in self-defense. The prosecutors say Zimmerman confronted Martin because he was an African American.

California judges order release of 10,000 prisoners

Three federal judges have demanded California Governor Jerry Brown prepare to release approximately 10,000 state prison inmates by the end of 2013. The 51-page order comes as state officials have “directly defied this Court’s” 2009 order to lower the prison population closer to 109,000 convicts. The overcrowding in California prisons is to the point where it violates the Constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment, judges admitted. The court mandate suggests the state base its decision on which inmates to release on good behavior credits and, from there, determine the men and women who are least likely to commit more serious crimes.