Rice holds talks with PM Blair on Mideast mission

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in London Thursday for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair on a renewed push for Middle East peace following her visit to the region. Rice, who earlier briefed Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, said she had drawn encouragement from meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, who she said signaled a desire for quick progress toward a peace agreement. As the top US diplomat landed in high winds in London, Blair faced a political storm as a senior Cabinet minister denounced US President George W. Bush's administration as the most "right-wing in living memory." Peter Hain, Blair's Northern Ireland secretary, said in an interview published Thursday that Bush's foreign policy had been a failure.