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Cairo (AFP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry huddled Friday with UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Egypt’s foreign minister as pressure built for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Kerry, who spent another night in Cairo reaching out by telephone to regional officials, met Ban and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri for around half an hour.

The top U.S. diplomat later went into a one-on-one meeting with Ban, who has also been shuttling around the region.

Kerry has said he would speak to reporters later Friday.

The United States has worked with Egypt on a plan that, diplomats say, would provide a humanitarian pause in the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict ahead of talks on key issues.

US officials said that Kerry has spoken repeatedly by telephone with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, which are seen as influential over Hamas.

The Islamist militant movement that controls the Gaza Strip initially refused a ceasefire, instead showering Israel with rockets.

The 18-day conflict has killed more than 845 people, most of them Palestinian civilians.

AFP Photo/Pool

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Rep. Louie Gohmert

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is demanding the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department tell Congress what they know about their own alleged "participation" in Donald Trump's January 6 insurrection, which led to at least seven deaths. Gohmert falsely claims the attack on the U.S. Capitol – which in reality was an attempted coup designed to overturn a free and fair election – was instead a "monumental entrapment scheme used as a pretext to imprison otherwise harmless protestors" and used to "frame the entire MAGA movement as potential domestic terrorists."

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