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Jailed Ukrainian opposition leader is cleared for treatment

MOSCOW — Ukraine’s general prosecutor announced Monday that the jailed opposition leader Yulia V. Tymoshenko can receive medical treatment outside the prison camp where she has been incarcerated since December, a step that may aim to quiet Western criticism of the politically tinged case.

Though the statement offered no specific information, it appears to lay the groundwork for Tymoshenko to leave Ukraine, at least temporarily.

German officials have been in negotiations to treat Tymoshenko at a clinic in Berlin, the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported over the weekend. Top aides to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych spent last weekend trying to establish a legal basis for overseas care for Tymoshenko, who has complained of debilitating back pain since she was first incarcerated in October, according to the newspaper.

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years on charges that she harmed Ukraine’s interests by agreeing to pay Russia a high price for natural gas.

—Ellen Barry, The New York Times

North Korea party calls leadership meeting

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party will convene a representatives’ conference April 11, the country’s state-run news agency, KCNA, reported Monday. Analysts said the rare meeting was expected to anoint the new North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, as the official head of the party.

Kim, who became leader after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December, has yet to assume top party posts, such as general-secretary and chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission.

His current party title is deputy chairman of the Central Military Commission, although he took the top military job — supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army — shortly after his father’s death.

—The New York Times, The New York Times

Attacking the West, Islamist gains in Egypt presidential bid

CAIRO — Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is an old-school Islamist.

He wants to move toward abolishing Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and cites Iran as a successful model of independence from Washington. He worries about the mixing of the genders in the workplace and women’s work outside the home. And he promises to bring extraordinary prosperity to Egypt, if it turns its back on trade with the West.

He has also surged to become a front-runner in the race to become Egypt’s next president, reconfiguring political battle lines here. His success may help explain why the United States offered signs of tacit approval over the weekend when the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic group, broke its pledge not to field its own candidate.

—David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times

Why a cloud hangs over Obama’s solar strategy

The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced import tariffs on Chinese solar panels after declaring that Beijing illegally subsidized manufacturing.

It’s no coincidence that the tariffs come after the Chinese stole dominance of the solar industry from the U.S.

China, it seems, did that in part by grabbing market share with the help of government-subsidized manufacturing. If that sounds familiar, it should. The U.S. has done much the same thing, only with far less profitable results.

—Loren Steffy, Houston Chronicle