The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been in the Middle East, Rome and Russia this week trying to find some kind of diplomatic end to Syria's civil war. He's also been trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Mr. Kerry has been the U.S. secretary of state for just over 100 days, spending more than a third of that time overseas.
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on how his tenure at the State Department seems to be shaping up.
British physicist Stephen Hawking has stepped into a political black hole.
He announced this week that he was withdrawing from a conference in Israel to protest that country's treatment of Palestinians, throwing his weight behind an academic boycott of the Jewish state. The Guardian reports:
If you've followed the story of "Prisoner X," the mysterious Israeli-Australian national, who allegedly committed suicide in an Israeli prison after being secretly held, you have no doubt asked yourself: What did Ben Zygier, who worked for Israel's spy agency, do for the country to imprison him and then keep everything about his arrest — or even his existence — secret for years?
Israeli warplanes attacked a military research center near Damascus early Sunday, according to intelligence reports and Syrian state media. The attack prompted Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad to deem it a "declaration of war" by Israel, CNN reports.
Israel has conducted an airstrike against a target in Syria, in an apparent attempt to keep a shipment of missiles from reaching Hezbollah, according to multiple news agencies citing Israeli and U.S. officials.
Israel has not officially confirmed reports that it carried out the attack on a target in Syria, as The Associated Press reports. But the news agency says anonymous Israeli officials have said the attack took place in the early hours of Friday.