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ISRAEL: Palin visits Wailing Wall

Sarah Palin visited a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem soon after arriving in Israel on Sunday on a trip that has raised speculation she is honing her foreign policy credentials before a run for the U.S. presidency next year. Palin arrived from India. The former Alaska governor, who was John McCain's running mate in his failed 2008 campaign for president, did not comment to reporters at the airport and was whisked away in a white van. Although the trip is private, she is to meet Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Palin toured holy sites in the Old City in the evening, including the Wailing Wall, as Israelis celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim. "Israel is absolutely beautiful and it is overwhelming to see and touch the cornerstone of our faith and I am so grateful to get to be here," Palin told reporters.

THE KOREA: Joint volcano study urged

North Korea, apparently spooked by the earthquake in Japan, has proposed conducting research with rival South Korea on volcanic activity at their highest mountain, considered sacred by the North. The North's earthquake bureau sent a letter to the South's weather agency Thursday, proposing joint quake and volcano research at Mount Paektu, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported. South Korea's Unification Ministry confirmed the proposal and said Seoul was considering the idea. Iconic Mount Paektu, which borders China, last erupted in 1903 but remains active, experts say. Paektu, spelled Baekdu by the South Koreans, is considered one of the peninsula's most beautiful sites. North Korean lore calls it the birthplace of leader Kim Jong Il.

MEXICO: $13M armed robbery

Authorities say armed men have stolen 157 million pesos from a cash transporting company in southern Mexico. The Oaxaca state attorney general's office said six gunmen wearing masks and latex gloves broke into the Cometra facility early Sunday, subdued four guards and made off with cash equivalent of about $13 million.

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