The long-dormant Middle East peace efforts got new life on Friday.
An agreement has been reached that "establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between" Palestinians and Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Amman, Jordan.
"This is a significant and welcome step forward," Kerry said.
This came as Kerry visited the Middle East this week and came up with a formula for reanimating peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian territories, a source close to the talks said.FULL STORY
By Jamie Crawford
The United Nations response to the ongoing carnage in Syria has been a "disgrace," Samantha Power, President Barack Obama's nominee as U.N. ambassador, said on Wednesday.
"We see the failure of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria – a disgrace that history will judge harshly," the former National Security Council staffer said at her confirmation hearing.
The Security Council, of which the United States is a member, has been stymied by Russian and Chinese vetoes for more robust action in Syria.
A former academic on the issue of genocide, Power said it was incumbent on the United States to continue working with the Russians to try to stop one of the "worst cases of mass brutality" she has seen.
By Barbara Starr
A series of explosions on July 5 at a critical Syrian port was the result of airstrikes by Israeli warplanes, according to multiple U.S. officials.
Regional media widely reported the predawn explosions at Latakia, but no one had officially claimed responsibility.
Three U.S. officials told CNN the target of the airstrikes were Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles that Israel believes posed a threat to its naval forces.
The officials declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the information.
By Barbara Starr
The former vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff is under investigation by the Justice Department regarding material in a book by David Sanger, a correspondent for The New York Times, a source directly familiar with the situation said Thursday.
The source could not confirm that the investigation involving Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright is specifically about the Stuxnet computer virus, which Sanger writes about in his 2013 book "Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power."
NBC News reported Thursday, citing legal sources, that Cartwright has been told he's under investigation for allegedly leaking classified information about Stuxnet, a complex virus that infected computers in Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010.
That leak was one of a series of national security-related leaks last year and had details of how the United States and Israel were behind the Stuxnet attack.FULL STORY
CNN's Elise Labott is along the Syrian-Israeli border where things have been relatively quiet - until now.
As Israel finds itself drawn into the Syrian conflict, CNN's Elise Labott examines efforts to prepare for a possible confrontation. Labott, CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter, is based in Washington but currently reporting from Jerusalem.
By Elise Labott, reporting from Jerusalem
If there is one thing Israelis and Palestinians can agree on, it's that John Kerry doesn't lack enthusiasm.
Arriving in Israel on Thursday on his fourth trip since taking office, the secretary of state seems determined that shuttle diplomacy will be enough to coax Israelis and Palestinians into restarting long-stalled talks.
Kerry has made it clear the Israeli-Palestinian issue will be the centerpiece of his tenure as America's top diplomat and hopes solving it will be his legacy.
He has spent more time on this issue than any other, is in almost daily contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and speaks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas several times a week.
By Jill Dougherty
Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he will return to the Middle East later this month to try to push forward on the peace process.
In Rome Wednesday, Kerry met with Israeli Justice Minister Tsipi Livni and Itzhak Moho, Israel's negotiator with the Palestinians.
Conferring at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Italy, Kerry said he and his partners face a short time timespan. "We understand the imperative to try to have some sense of direction as rapidly as we can," he said.
By Frederik Pleitgen and Sara Sidner
A Syrian official called an attack Sunday on the nation's military research facility a "declaration of war" by Israel.
In an interview with CNN, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad said the attack represented an alliance between Islamic terrorists and Israel.
He added that Syria would retaliate against Israel in its own time and way.
By Tom Watkins, CNN
[Urgent update, 8:19 p.m.]
A number of explosions on Sunday rocked the Damascus suburb of Jamraya, hitting a "scientific research center," according to Syrian state TV. The news report said Israeli rockets struck the area.
[Original story published at 3:40 p.m.]
Sectarian violence reported in Syrian city of Baniyas
Sectarian violence has erupted in northwestern Syria, where three consecutive days of killing by mostly Alawite forces have left hundreds of predominantly Sunni residents dead, opposition groups said Saturday.
"The regime attacked the town of Beyda and other neighboring areas from the sea with rockets before security forces and militias loyal to the regime entered the area and conducted mass executions," Free Syrian Army chief of staff Gen. Salim Idris said by phone from Antakya, Turkey.