January 24, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - The unexpectedly strong showing by a new centrist party in Israel's parliamentary election has raised hopes of a revival of peace talks with Palestinians that have languished for four years under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Political newcomer Yair Lapid, the surprise kingmaker, is already being courted by a weakened Netanyahu, who needs his support to form a ruling coalition. Lapid has said he will not sit in the government unless the peace process is restarted. But following a campaign in which the Palestinian issue was largely ignored, it remains unclear how hard Lapid will push the issue in what could be weeks of coalition talks with Netanyahu.
December 27, 2012 |
VATICAN CITY - In his Christmas message to the world Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to the slaughter in Syria, for more meaningful negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and for more religious freedom under China's new leaders. Delivering the traditional speech from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict also encouraged Arab spring nations, especially Egypt, to build just and respectful societies. The pope prayed that China's new leadership may "esteem the contribution of the religions, in respect for each other" to help build a "fraternal society for the benefit of that noble people.
November 21, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Israel and the extremist group Hamas edged closer to a cease-fire Tuesday, but after a day of furious diplomatic efforts involving the U.S. secretary of state, U.N. chief, and Egypt's president, a deal remained elusive and fighting raged on both sides of the border. Israeli tanks and gunboats pummeled targets in Gaza in what appeared to be a last-minute burst of fire, while at least 200 rockets were fired into Israel. As talks dragged on near midnight, Israeli and Hamas officials, communicating through Egyptian mediators, expressed hope that a deal would soon be reached, but cautioned that it was far from certain.
November 7, 2012
Jack Hood Vaughn, 92, who led the Peace Corps at the height of its volunteer enrollment in the late 1960s, died Oct. 29 at his home in Tucson, Ariz. The cause was cancer, his daughter Jane Constantineau said. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Mr. Vaughn as the second director of the Peace Corps in 1966, after the five-year tenure of R. Sargent Shriver, the driving force in the creation of the corps during the Kennedy administration. Under Mr. Vaughn, the number of volunteers rose from approximately 12,000 to more than 15,500 - the most in the corp's history - serving in more than 50 countries.
November 5, 2012 |
Though it's not fashionable to look favorably on the 1950s, voters today might want to consider the choices people faced 60 years ago, the leader they elected, and the stability and prosperity that resulted. In 1952, Americans wanted change. The previous 12 years had been exhausting, marked by wars and recessions and scandals. As the Democrats were in charge, and had been for two decades, it seemed likely that the GOP would benefit from the hopes for new leadership. And with a nickname like "Mr. Republican," U.S. Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio had the edge.
October 29, 2012 |
Howard Alber, 101, an artist, graphic designer, arts advocate, and peace activist, whose acquaintances included John Philip Sousa, Salvador Dali, and Norman Rockwell, died Wednesday, Oct. 17, at his home at the Quadrangle, a senior living facility in Haverford. Mr. Alber was a longtime supporter of the arts and helped further the careers of many younger artists in the Philadelphia area. He operated his own art gallery, Alber Galleries, in Center City for many years and was a board member of Artists Equity, a group that promotes the business interests of visual artists throughout the tristate area.
October 28, 2012 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan has increased efforts to reach out to some of its biggest enemies in Afghanistan, a significant policy shift that could prove crucial to U.S.-backed efforts to strike a peace deal in the neighboring country. The target of the diplomatic push has mainly been non-Pashtun political leaders who have been at odds with Pakistan for years because of the country's historical support for the Afghan Taliban, a Pashtun movement. Many of the leaders fought against the Taliban when the fundamentalist Islamic group seized control of Afghanistan in the 1990s with Pakistan's help, and have accused Islamabad of maintaining support for the insurgents after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 - allegations denied by the government.
October 23, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday during a visit to Jerusalem that the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord is "vanishing," blaming Israeli settlement of the West Bank. Carter, a longtime critic of Israeli policies, called the current situation "catastrophic" and blamed Israel for the growing isolation of East Jerusalem from the West Bank. He said a Palestinian state has become "unviable. " "We've reached a crisis stage," said Carter, 88. "The two-state solution is the only realistic path to peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians.
October 20, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Turkey and Germany on Friday threw their weight behind calls for a Syrian cease-fire during a Muslim holiday next week as the international envoy for the conflict arrived in Damascus to push for the plan. The effort has taken on urgency after activists in recent days reported some of the heaviest air bombardments by President Bashar al-Assad's military against rebel-held areas. Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy, was expected to meet Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Saturday.
October 15, 2012
Last year's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize was a rarity, as it was divided among three women: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. Match up previous female winners of the award, which was first presented in 1901, with the year they were honored. 1. Jane Addams. 2. Emily Greene Balch. 3. Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams. 4. Shirin Ebadi. 5. Wangari Maathai. 6. Rigoberta Menchu. 7. Alva Myrdal.