U.S. State Department

2:47pm

Sun July 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Israel, Palestinians To Restart Talks In Washington

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni during a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Rome in May.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Israeli and the Palestinian negotiators will sit down to peace talks in Washington on Monday, picking up from where they left off five years ago, the State Department says.

Secretary of State John Kerry has personally extended an invitation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to send senior negotiating teams to the U.S. capital "to formally resume direct final status negotiations," spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

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3:22pm

Wed July 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Nominates Caroline Kennedy To Be Ambassador To Japan

Caroline Kennedy in February of 2013.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

President Obama has nominated Caroline Kennedy to serve as the United States' ambassador to Japan.

NPR's Mara Liasson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The daughter of President John F. Kennedy and an early and significant supporter of President Obama's, Kennedy is also an attorney and the author of several best-selling books. If confirmed she would fit a tradition for the Japan post — where many other prominent Americans have served. But she would be the first female ambassador to Japan.

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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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11:45am

Fri July 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Ex-CIA Agent Detained In Panama Reportedly Returning To U.S.

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:55 pm

Egyptian cleric Osama Mustafa Hasan Nasr, photographed in 2007. Better known as Abu Omar, he was allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy in 2003 and taken to Egypt for interrogation.
Amr Nabil Associated Press

The Washington Post reports that a former CIA operative detained in Panama at the request of Italian authorities was on a plane headed to the U.S. Friday.

Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, Italy, was arrested Thursday in Panama in connection with an extraordinary rendition in 2003.

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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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