By Ali Sawafta JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A senior Palestinian official said the United States was asking Palestinians to make security concessions in peace talks with Israel in order to silence the Jewish state's criticism of world power diplomacy over Iran's nuclear program. The accusations by Yasser Abed Rabbo, who joined Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, further clouded hopes of achieving a negotiated accord by an April target date. Kerry, who will return to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, presented both sides with suggestions on Thursday about how Israel might fend off future threats from a Palestinian state envisaged in West Bank land it now occupies. Israel has long demanded that under any eventual accord it retain swaths of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as military control of the territory's eastern Jordan Valley - effectively, the prospective Palestine's border with Jordan.
South African security forces had only days to implement a rough plan for Nelson Mandela's grand funeral, based partly on blueprints of past major events like the 2010 World Cup final. South Africa's first black president had been seriously ill for some time, but his death still posed a major organisational challenge as a small army of world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities asked to attend the state send-off. Security preparations which would normally take months for the likes of US President Barack Obama had to be compressed into a few days. After that, Mandela's body will lie in state for three days in Pretoria before being taken for burial Sunday in his rural boyhood home of Qunu.
WASHINGTON (AP) â Senate Republicans blocked a batch of mostly minor nominations by President Barack Obama late Monday in the aftermath of last month's Democratic move weakening the minority party's traditional ability to block most presidential appointments.
Advanced illness is unfortunately an aspect of life. While our culture no longer whispers the name of serious conditions such as cancer, we far too often go silent on the subject of dealing with a disease that is likely to take the life of someone we love.