A former Cuban spy urged Washington to swap three detained agents for the freedom of American Alan Gross, citing the deal that saw a US soldier released over the weekend.
Relatives of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by Boko Haram on Thursday called for their unconditional release, after Nigeria`s government ruled out a prisoner swap with the extremists.
The Pakistan army has rejected the Taliban`s claim that the latter had handed over three security men and secured the release of six Taliban members in the Waziristan tribal region.
Mexico and the US swapped 27 convicts to have them continue serving their sentences in their own countries.
The swap will apply to all prisoners except those detained on terrorism or espionage charges, sources said.
The United States said that contractor Alan Gross held by Havana was not a spy.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel has "no choice but to overhaul the rules" now that Gilad Schalit had been freed.
Israel has released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the second and final phase of a swap with Gaza Hamas militants that brought home an Israeli soldier after five years in captivity.
Israel was preparing to release 550 Palestinian prisoners who will be freed after nightfall to complete a swap deal.
The US-brokered deal was reached days after a successful Egyptian-brokered swap between Israel and Hamas Islamists.
Israel has strongly denied Egypt`s accusations, insisting
the whole thing was a mistake and accusing Egyptian
authorities of "bizarre behaviour."
Mark Toner said that "the US Government deems some of the prisoners as posing a threat to Israel and US interests".
The prisoner swap will free soldier Gilad Shalit after 5 years in captivity in return for release of 1,000 Palestinians.
Israel`s Cabinet has approved a
prisoner swap with Hamas that will bring home a captured Israeli soldier in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Israel and Hamas on Tuesday announced that an Israeli soldier abducted to Gaza five years ago would be swapped for about 1,000 Palestinians held by Israel and accused of militant activity.
The agreement had been reached for a swap to take place possibly as soon as in the coming days.
Arch-rivals Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed at a summit in Russia Wednesday to swap prisoners of war and exchange the bodies of soldiers killed in their conflict over the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region.
The US has dismissed Iranian Prez Ahmadinejad`s suggestion for a prisoner swap.
Russia, US are said to be planning a dramatic Cold War-style prisoner swap.
The US on Wednesday rejected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s offer of releasing three American hikers held in Iran in exchange for Iranian citizens held in US prisons.
Day in Pics: 21st September
Showbiz World - September 21, 2014
iPhone6 fever grips the world