Kerry 'feels the clock ticking' on Mideast peace agreement
July 30th, 2013
07:15 PM ET

Kerry 'feels the clock ticking' on Mideast peace agreement

By Jill Dougherty

As Secretary of State John Kerry embraced Israeli Justice Minister Tsipi Livini and warmly shook hands with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat at the State Department on Tuesday there was a deja-vu moment.

A flashback to September 1993 when President Bill Clinton embraced Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the South Lawn of the White House.

This is just the beginning of a revived peace process that could easily crumble, as Clinton’s Oslo accords did and Kerry admitted: “I know the path is difficult. There is no shortage of passionate skeptics.”

The secretary of state, however, did succeed in getting two representatives together at the State Department to work out details of where this new push for peace is headed.

Israel, Palestinians launch sustained peace talks
July 30th, 2013
03:51 PM ET

Israel, Palestinians launch sustained peace talks

By Tom Cohen

Secretary of State John Kerry got the money shot he wanted on Tuesday - the chief negotiators for Israel and the Palestinians framed by his lanky embrace as they shook hands to launch "sustained, continuous and substantive" talks on a long-sought Middle East peace treaty.

Now the question is whether the negotiations expected to last nine months will bring an even more historic image, with President Barack Obama bringing together Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sign a final-status agreement that creates a sovereign Palestinian state in what is now part of Israel.

The Middle East dispute, perhaps the world's most intractable in the past six decades, entered a new phase with Kerry's announcement that the first direct talks in three years would proceed in earnest in the next two weeks in either Israel or the Palestinian territories.

Flanked by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, Kerry said "all core issues" toward achieving a two-state solution would be on the table.

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Filed under: Israel • Middle East • Palestine
July 30th, 2013
03:47 PM ET

Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty on other charges

By Ashley Fantz and Chelsea J. Carter

A military judge has found Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, not guilty of aiding the enemy - a charge that would have carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Manning was also found not guilty of unauthorized possession of information relating to national defense.

He was found guilty of most of the remaining charges against him, with the judge, Col. Denise Lind, accepting only two of the guilty pleas he had made previously to lesser charges. Those two were possession of a video that was marked classified and that he exceeded authority by obtaining a State Department cable.

Though those two counts carry a maximum sentence of two years, the rest of the charges that Manning was found guilty of could lead to a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison. Among the charges Manning was found guilty of - which carry a maximum 10-year sentence - are the theft of more than 700 U.S. Southern Command records, the possession of records pertaining to Afghanistan; the theft of State Department cables and the possession of classified Army documents.