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January 30, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Scarlett Johansson has resigned from her post as an Oxfam ambassador following her participation in a SodaStream campaign that ensconced the actress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and put her odds with the humanitarian charity.  The "Her" voice actress became the global face of SodaStream, a Tel Aviv-based soda machine company that operates in the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, earlier this month; however, her affiliation with that...
January 27, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- With the nine months initially allotted by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks more than halfway spent and a rumored American plan nearing, a scrambling for a foothold appears underway. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over the weekend, Kerry cautioned both sides of the consequences of failure. The demographic dynamic will make it impossible for Israel to remain Jewish and democratic, Kerry said, adding that “the status quo, my friends ... will not last forever.” As for the Palestinians, they will be no closer to sovereignty or controlling their own fate and economy, Kerry said.
January 22, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc and Ruben Vives
The city of Long Beach will pay $380,000 to a man who was Tasered and beaten with flashlights by police when he asked for a badge number. A jury found that officers had arrested Perry Grays without probable cause and used excessive and unreasonable force against him, and awarded him $441,000. On Tuesday, the City Council approved the negotiated settlement amount and said it would not appeal the verdict. Grays, a married father of three who worked as a security guard, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and five officers who responded to a noise complaint at his home on Feb. 6, 2011.
January 17, 2014 | By Kate Linthicum
JERUSALEM -- The foreign minister of Israel summoned the ambassadors of four European nations Friday to complain about what Israel sees as their countries' pro-Palestinian bias.  The rebuke by Avigdor Lieberman came the day after those same European governments  -- Britain, Italy, France and Spain -- called in the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest Israel's plans to build new settlements in territories that the Palestinians want...
January 16, 2014 | By Matt Pearce and John M. Glionna
ALBUQUERQUE - Police were positive David Eckert had some drugs this time. On Jan. 2, 2013, officers in Deming, N.M., handcuffed Eckert, 63, in a Wal-Mart parking lot after a routine traffic stop turned into an attempted narcotics bust. Police said their drug dog, Leo, had sniffed something on the driver's seat of Eckert's truck. According to a lawsuit Eckert later filed, the officers said Eckert, who had a history of drug arrests, also had a history of hiding meth in his anal cavity.
January 14, 2014 | By Sam Farmer
Lawyers who have proposed a $765-million settlement with the NFL on behalf of roughly 20,000 retired players say they are confident the deal will be approved in court, even though a federal judge on Tuesday rejected the agreement as insufficient. “We are confident that the settlement will be approved after the Court conducts its due diligence on the fairness and adequacy of the proposed agreement,” Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP and Sol Weiss of Anapol Schwartz, co-lead counsels for the retired NFL player plaintiffs, said in a written statement.
January 12, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - The federal government has a real estate question for consumers who have bought or refinanced homes that's certain to generate more than an earful: Were there any problems when you went to close the deal? Any last-minute glitches or surprises that delayed the settlement, required unexpected negotiations or, worst of all, blew up the sale or refinancing? Did you get your settlement sheet in advance so that you could review the documents intelligently? Were there any errors or discrepancies that popped up - charges that were considerably higher than you had expected, loan-related fees or an interest rate that differed from what you thought you had signed up for?
January 11, 2014 | By Laura King and Edmund Sanders
JERUSALEM - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the iron-willed army general who fought in nearly all of his nation's major wars and spearheaded Jewish settlement of Palestinian territories, then years later presided over Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, died Saturday. He was 85. The controversial leader, who had been incapacitated since suffering a severe stroke in 2006, was moved in 2010 to his ranch in the Negev desert at the request of his family. In September he underwent abdominal surgery, but his condition worsened this month as his organs deteriorated.
January 10, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
JERUSALEM -- Israel announced plans Friday to build an additional 1,400 housing units in West Bank settlements and eastern Jerusalem, drawing fierce criticism and warnings of destroying the ongoing peace process. The construction plans were expected, as Israel has made a point of pairing off each release of Palestinian prisoners with high-profile declarations of settlement expansion, aimed in part at placating hawkish circles in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
January 9, 2014 | By Shan Li
Four car dealers in Southern California agreed to a settlement with the U.S. government over accusations of deceptive advertising, part of a broader effort to keep a tighter rein on the auto industry. The dealers - which include Honda of Hollywood and Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos - were accused by the Federal Trade Commission of running ads that misrepresented the costs of buying or leasing automobiles. The agency's nationwide sweep, dubbed Operation Steer Clear, also targeted five dealerships outside the Golden State.
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