Yemen presidential envoy in talks with Shiite rebels in last-minute effort to end crisis

A government official says a Yemen presidential envoy has arrived in the northern stronghold of a Shiite rebel group for a last-minute effort to end a standoff with the government.

The official said the envoy arrived Monday amid signs of escalation from the Hawthi rebels, whose leader called the night before for civil disobedience in its ongoing mass protest against the government. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The rebel group has held large rallies and sit-ins in the capital, Sanaa, for over two weeks, calling for a new government and the reinstatement of fuel subsidies.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi had called on the group to end its rallies but extended negotiations to Tuesday to diffuse the crisis.