Belgium

Killings treated as terror

A Belgian prison inmate who killed four people while on furlough committed “terrorist murder” and likely intended to cause more harm, prosecutors said Wednesday as authorities searched for possible accomplices and the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bloodshed. The convict who stabbed two police officers in the city of Liege and used their handguns to kill them and a bystander was a “soldier of the caliphate,” IS said in a statement. Interior Minister Jan Jambon said Benjamin Herman also killed a fourth person on Monday night away from the eastern industrial town.

Gaza Strip

Cease-fire with Israel reached

Gaza’s Hamas rulers said Wednesday they had agreed to a cease-fire with Israel to end the largest flare-up of violence between the two sides since a 2014 war. Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, said Egyptian mediators intervened “after the resistance succeeded in warding off the aggression.” He said militant groups in Gaza will commit to the cease-fire as long as Israel does. Israeli Cabinet minister Arieh Deri told Israel’s Army Radio that he expected calm to be restored.

Italy

Populists get another shot

Italy’s president gave populist politicians another chance Wednesday to try to form a coalition government after his naming of an interim leader roiled global markets that feared a new election would amount to a referendum on the euro. Carlo Cottarelli, the former International Monetary Fund official tapped Monday to be a neutral, temporary premier, said “new possibilities” had emerged for a government based on the results of the March election to run Italy rather than the government of technocrats he would direct.

France

Europe expects U.S. tariffs

Europe is bracing for the United States to slap restrictions Thursday on imported steel and aluminum, a move that could provoke retaliatory tariffs and inflame trade tensions. Top European officials held last-ditch talks in Paris with American trade officials to try to avert U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. But they did not sound optimistic. “Realistically, I do not think we can hope” to avoid either U.S. tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum, said Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s trade commissioner.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires