Middle East

2:02pm

Fri July 19, 2013
The Two-Way

John Kerry: A 'Basis' For New Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 6:45 am

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on Friday. Shortly afterward, Kerry announced a "basis" for the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations.
Fadi Arouri Pool/Getty Images

Nothing ever seems to come easy in the Middle East, but Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that there was "a basis" for a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which would be the first such talks in several years.

Kerry made the announcement in Amman, Jordan, after a series of discussions with Palestinian and Arab leaders.

"We have reached an agreement that establishes the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Kerry said. "This is a significant and welcome step forward."

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6:13am

Fri July 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Trying To Restart Peace Talks, Kerry Will Fly To West Bank

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 6:45 am

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on the phone at Mafraq Air Base before boarding a helicopter to Amman on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a last-minute trip to the West Bank this morning that's intended to jump-start stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The trip comes just hours after the Palestinians said they would not return to the negotiating table unless Israel agreed to begin talks using the borders that existed before 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

The Associated Press reports:

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3:12am

Fri July 19, 2013
Business

In Dubai, Weight Loss Is Worth Gold

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:06 am

If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For every kilogram lost, the government will pay out a gram of gold.

11:22am

Wed July 17, 2013
Shots - Health News

Weight Loss Is Worth Gold In Dubai

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:43 am

Lose pounds and gain grams of gold in Dubai.
iStockphoto.com

If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Alarmed at ballooning waistlines in a region where fast food is common and comfortable outdoor exercise is not, the local government is offering to give citizens a gram of gold for each kilogram lost by Aug. 16, according to news reports.

That's about $41 for a little over two pounds of pudge, based on today's market rate.

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1:17am

Fri July 12, 2013
Middle East

In Southern Syria, Rebels Say U.S. Support Is Critical

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:38 pm

Free Syrian Army fighters after a battle against government troops in Zaizoon, near Dera'a, on Feb. 16.
Shaam News Network Landov

The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.

But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.

Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.

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