By Alistair Smout DUNDEE (Reuters) - Former British prime minister Gordon Brown set aside a long-running feud on Wednesday to urge Scots to reject independence in his first public appearance with Alistair Darling, the leader of the campaign to keep Scotland part of the United Kingdom. With three weeks to go before a historic independence referendum on Sept. 18, the two Labour party politicians, who fell out while in government from 2007-10, appeared in Dundee to argue that Scotland would be better off staying in the union. They spoke as postal voting got underway and as the campaign intensifies with independence supporters struggling to catch up with their rivals in the polls even though their leader, Alex Salmond, won a final TV debate on Monday.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An open-ended ceasefire in the Gaza war held on Wednesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced strong criticism in Israel over a costly conflict with Palestinian militants in which no clear victor emerged. In Israel, sirens warning of incoming rocket fire from the Gaza Strip fell silent, but media commentators, echoing attacks by members of Netanyahu's governing coalition, voiced deep disappointment over his leadership during the most prolonged bout of Israeli-Palestinian violence in a decade. "After 50 days of warfare in which a terror organization killed dozens of soldiers and civilians, destroyed the daily routine (and) placed the country in a state of economic distress ... we could have expected much more than an announcement of a ceasefire," analyst Shimon Shiffer wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's biggest-selling newspaper. "We could have expected the prime minister to go to the President’s Residence and inform him of his decision to resign his post." Netanyahu, who has faced constant sniping in his cabinet from right-wing ministers demanding military action to topple Hamas, made no immediate comment on the Egyptian-mediated truce deal that took effect on Tuesday evening.
By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told parliament on Wednesday he would not be cowed by thousands of demonstrators camped outside the assembly demanding his resignation. Protesters led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and firebrand cleric Tahir ul-Qadri have rallied in Islamabad for almost two weeks and vowed to occupy the capital until Sharif resigns - a demand the premier has firmly rejected.