January 3, 2014 |
Once virtually eradicated, polio again stalks the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The innocent victims are mostly young children. The perpetrators are insurgents and indifferent governments. The polio resurgence is preventable and it is time to pull out an old but proven technique to halt its spread: Days of Tranquility. This 30-year-old quaintly named tactic involves a negotiated cease-fire during which insurgents and governments allow humanitarian groups to reach children trapped by fighting and immunize them against infectious diseases, such as polio.
December 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In its last workday of the year, the Democratic-controlled Senate overcame GOP objections Friday to confirm two high-profile Obama nominees to the Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service, but put off final approval of Federal Reserve chairwoman candidate Janet L. Yellen until January as part of a late-night cease-fire so lawmakers could adjourn for the holiday recess. After heated debate, the Senate narrowly approved Alejandro Mayorkas, President Obama's controversial pick for the No. 2 job at Homeland Security, in a 54-41 vote.
December 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senate leaders on Friday called a cease-fire in a weeklong fight over the chamber's new rules that limit filibusters, ending a nearly 48-hour marathon session. In the end, senators' aversion to what would have been a rare weekend session trumped the desire to score political points. Republicans had been dragging out debate over nominations to protest the move by the Democratic majority late last month to all but eliminate the minority's ability to filibuster presidential nominations.
December 13, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Formal peace talks between Taliban insurgents and the central government may be at a dead end, but provisional peace negotiations are underway in the rugged and often unforgiving Afghan countryside. In some remote districts, Afghan army and police commanders have agreed to cease-fires with local Taliban commanders, according to international coalition officials, diplomats and former top Afghan government advisors. Driven by tribal and sometimes family ties, these informal accommodations are viewed as a possible blueprint for a wider, more meaningful national peace deal after 12 years of war. In many instances, former top Afghan government security advisors say, the Taliban is under intense pressure from tribes fed up with the militants' roadside bombings and intimidation of villagers.
October 11, 2013 |
YANGON, Myanmar -- One day after a seven-point agreement was signed between ethnic Kachin rebels and the Myanmar government, analysts and members of the Kachin community expressed skepticism that this represented much of a breakthrough. The two sides failed to agree on a cease-fire over three days of talks that ended Thursday in the Kachin state capital, Myitkyina, instead signing a pact that includes new rules for monitoring fighting and the resettlement of citizens as a result of clashes.
October 9, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Inspectors working under a tight deadline to destroy Syria's extensive chemical arsenal are off to an encouraging start but may need limited cease-fires to complete their task in the midst of a raging civil war, the head of the international agency overseeing the effort said Wednesday. The United Nations' stated goal of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of next year is challenging but “not unrealistic,” Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told a televised news conference held in the Hague, where the international agency is based.
September 13, 2013 |
Philippine Muslim rebels who have laid siege to the port city of Zamboanga for six days agreed to a cease-fire Friday to allow negotiations with the government but continued to hold more than 100 hostages, local media reported early Saturday. Sporadic fighting has killed at least 22 people, including 15 insurgents, and forced the evacuation of more than 20,000 people from the key transport and shipping hub at the southwestern tip of Mindanao Island, the Philippine Star reported.
May 21, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Syria said Tuesday that its forces had destroyed an Israeli vehicle that crossed into Syrian territory from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an account disputed by Israel, which said that shots were fired at a patrol inside Israeli-controlled territory. It was the latest in a series of incidents in recent weeks that have raised fears of renewed violence along the cease-fire line between Syria and Israel. Syria has vowed to retaliate the next time Israel attacks its territory, following three reported Israeli airstrikes this year.
April 2, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- A 4-month-old cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip appeared to be collapsing early Wednesday after militants fired projectiles into southern Israel and the Israel Defense Forces responded with airstrikes against two targets in northern Gaza. No injuries were reported in either attack. The exchanges marked the first airstrike by Israel into Gaza since an eight-day offensive in November that led to the deaths of at least 168 Palestinians and six Israelis.
March 11, 2013 |
SEOUL - In the latest sign of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang cut off a hotline between North and South Korea and said it had torn up the nations' cease-fire accord, signed in 1953, after the U.S. and South Korea kicked off joint military drills at midnight. The 11-day drill, dubbed “Key Resolve,” is an annual exercise involving more than 13,000 U.S. and South Korean troops who rehearse for a possible conflict in the region. Last week, a North Korean agency in charge of border affairs with the South announced it would void the armistice ending the Korean War and sever the phone link if the drills were carried out as planned.