July 29, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas weren't in the room Monday when preliminary peace talks resumed in Washington. But the fate of Secretary of State John F. Kerry's initiative depends on the political courage and fortitude of these two leaders. Better known as cagey strategists than risk takers, Netanyahu and Abbas will each need to overcome considerable political opposition from within their ranks, a deeply pessimistic public and a mutual distrust that some fear may be unbridgeable.
July 19, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Abbas al Nouri pauses as a particularly loud car roars past the cafe on the main thoroughfare. The overly solicitous waitress lingers, a hint of recognition in her eyes. At the table, the conversation inevitably focuses on Al Nouri's native Syria. "The father who cannot listen to his children is a failure, and this is something that destroys the family," Al Nouri says, the metaphor describing the war pitting armed rebels against the government of President Bashar Assad.
July 17, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an "urgent" meeting Thursday of his senior advisors, the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee and other factions to consider the latest proposal by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry to restart peace talks with Israel, his office said Wednesday. Though there were some signs that Kerry's effort is making headway, officials on all sides said it remained unclear whether a breakthrough was imminent.
May 8, 2013 |
The gift shop of the recently opened ABBA museum in Stockholm is stocking an exclusive collection of jewelry inspired by the band and its music and designed by fellow Swede Efva Attling . According to Wednesday's press announcement, the eponymous designer has known members of the band since her nightclubbing days in '70s Stockholm, where she and ABBA's Anni-Frid Lyngstad “often did some disco moves together. " Attling continues: "Anni-Frid, Benny, Björn and Agneta and I stayed in touch off and on over the years.
May 7, 2013 |
With no ABBA reunion in sight, patrons can take a chance on a new museum devoted to the 1970s Swedish pop super-group. Opening Tuesday in Stockholm, the museum will display band memorabilia, including star-shaped guitars, gold records, concert footage and the requisite hip-hugging flares -- except for a few "embarrassing" skin-tight costumes, band member Bjorn Ulvaeus told the Associated Press he omitted from the collection. The permanent exhibit inside the Swedish Music Hall of Fame features an interactive side where guests record music videos to ABBA hits alongside life-sized holograms of band members and try on costumes via a green screen.
May 7, 2013 |
BEIJING -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured Shanghai on Tuesday, paying tribute to the city's role sheltering Jews during World War II and conveniently avoiding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was visiting Beijing. The concurrent visits to China of the Middle East antagonists created some diplomatic awkwardness. Although the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times suggested the two might hold an impromptu meeting, Netanyahu's itinerary apparently was arranged to avoid that possibility.