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 |
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.
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.
February 28, 2013 |
President Obama's visit to the Middle East next month is widely billed as an earnest attempt to double down on diplomacy and revive the moribund peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against the president. Doves on both sides quietly cede that it would take a miracle to get the two sides back to the business of serious diplomacy. But Obama has an opportunity to aim a little lower and accomplish something that could help safeguard the peace process for years to come.