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  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrive for a joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 28, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

    There is the soaring rhetoric. And then there's the messy reality.

    When President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe make an historic visit to Hiroshima on Friday -- the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the site of the first atomic bomb attack -- their words advocating nuclear disarmament will clash with real-world security necessities.

    Far from backing up the vision of a world without nuclear bombs that Obama laid out in a 2009 speech that helped secure a Nobel Peace Prize, his near-finished presidency has seen a multibillion-dollar modernization of the U.S. nuclear force.

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe publicly chastised President Obama Wednesday over the recent murder of a woman in Okinawa, which Japanese police have linked to an American worker at a U.S. military base.

    "At the outset of our small group discussion, I firmly launched a protest against President Obama as the Japanese prime minister with regards to the most recent case in Okinawa," Abe said at a press conference with Mr. Obama, shortly after the two leaders' bilateral G7 summit meeting in Shima, Japan. "I feel profound resentment against this self-centered and absolutely despicable crime," adding that the case has shocked not just Okinawa but all of Japan.

    "I convey to the president that such feelings of the Japanese people should be sincerely taken to heart," Abe continued. "I also urge the United States to make sure to take effective and thorough means to prevent a recurrence and rigorously and strictly address the situation."

  • Gaining fame in the 1990s as the independent counsel who investigated then-President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr (shown) returned to the news this week after being fired from his position as president of Baylor University, and for heaping praise on three former Democrat presidents — including Clinton.

    Baylor officials fired Starr because of what they considered to be his poor handling of multiple rape allegations and convictions on the Waco, Texas, campus. The university is accused of a poor response to the accusations of rape brought forward by at least six female students during Starr’s tenure as chancellor and university president. At least eight former players on the Big 12 conference football team have been accused of violence against women.


  • ncoming defense minister Lieberman and Prime Minister Netanyahu (Photo: EPA)

    Washington worried of Israel's commitment to peace process after Yisrael Beytenu joins gov't dubbed 'most right wing in Israeli history'; incoming defense minister promises to lead 'responsible and reasonable' policy.

    US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the opposition of some Israeli cabinet ministers to a Palestinian state alongside Israel raised "legitimate questions" about the direction of Israeli policy but he said the United States would judge the new government based on its actions.

    "We are going to work with this government as we have with every Israeli government that preceded it with the goal of strengthening cooperation and we remain steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel and in our commitment to working towards a two-state solution,” Toner told reporters.

  • Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Ramallah, Tuesday. (photo: Reuters)

    Denial follows Palestinian report suggesting that a secret delegation of high-ranking Israeli officials visited Cairo to coordinate meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday denied reports of a planned tripartite meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon before a joint press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, October 20, 2015. (photo: GPO, Kobi Gideon)

    Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority on June 26-28 on a final trip to the region before his term expires, Channel 10 reported Wednesday.

    There were no further details on Ban’s agenda or goals on the trip. The UN chief’s term ends on December 31.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon before a joint press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, October 20, 2015. (photo: GPO, Kobi Gideon)

  • Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Wednesday. (photo: Reuters)

    After days of tough negotiations, Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beytenu party signs coalition deal to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government • Netanyahu: We will protect Israel's security with determination and responsibility.

    The details of a deal to bring Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beytenu party into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition were finalized late Tuesday night at a meeting between Netanyahu, Lieberman, and Finance Minister and Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon.

    The deal was signed on Wednesday morning. Lieberman and fellow Yisrael Beytenu MK Sofa Landver are set to be sworn in as ministers next Monday. Lieberman will be sworn in as defense minister, and Landver as immigrant absorption minister.

  • Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, July 13, 2014. (photo: AFP, Jack Guez)

    In response to the rocket fire launched towards Israel late Wednesday night, the Israeli Air Force attacked two locations that were part of Hamas' terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

    The IDF spokesperson released a statement in which they promised to continue to work in order to maintain quiet in the Gaza border communities in Israel.

    The rockets launched from the Gaza strip landed inside Israeli territory on Wednesday night.

  • (photo: AP)

    Hillary Clinton broke government rules by using a private email server without approval for her work as U.S. secretary of state, an internal government watchdog said on Wednesday.

    The long-awaited report by the State Department inspector general was the first official audit of the controversial arrangement to be made public. It was highly critical of Clinton's use of a server in her home, and immediately fueled Republican attacks on Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in an already acrimonious presidential race.

    The report, which also found problems in department record-keeping practices before Clinton's tenure, undermined Clinton's earlier defenses of her emails, likely adding to Democratic anxieties about public perceptions of the candidate. A majority of voters say Clinton is dishonest, according to multiple polls.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman seen during a meeting of the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu faction in the Knesset on November 18, 2013. (photo: Flash90)

    The ruling Likud party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu headed by Avigdor Liberman have reached a deal that will see the nationalist party join the governing coalition, a senior source in the Likud said overnight Tuesday-Wednesday.

    The agreement is expected to be signed on Wednesday, after which it will go for review by Knesset members. According to Israel Radio, Liberman will officially take over the Defense Ministry on Tuesday next week.

    The provisional deal, first announced last week, was held up over a disagreement with the Treasury on pension reform for former Soviet Union immigrants, a key demand by Liberman for having his five-seat party enter the coalition.

  • Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati (photo: World Tribune)

    Iran’s Assembly of Experts which is responsible for electing and overseeing the work of Iran’s supreme leader has chosen hard-liner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as its leader.

    The 88-member Assembly of Experts elected Jannati with 51 votes on May 24, according to media reports.

    Jannati is a critic of President Hassan Rouhani and his attempts to end Iran’s isolation by normalizing relations with the West.

  • Hamdallah and Valls in Ramallah (photo: EPA)

    Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday dismissed an Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal for direct negotiations instead of a French multilateral peace initiative, calling it an attempt to "buy time."

    Hamdallah made the comments as he met French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has held talks in Israel and the Palestinian territories this week to push Paris's peace initiative.

    "Time is short," Hamdallah said. "Netanyahu is trying to buy time... but this time he will not escape the international community."

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Photo: AFP/PPO/THAER GHANEM)

    The French are not the only ones pushing for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Egyptian President al-Sisi calls on both sides to attend Egyptian-led talks in Cairo: 'There is a real opportunity for peace.'

    While France has pushing for an internatioal peace summit in Paris in an effort to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Egypt has been working behind the scenes on its own diplomatic initiative. 

    The last few days have seen significant diplomatic efforts led by Egypt designed to organize a summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The latter, who intends to mediate between the two, is said to be planning the summit to take place in Cairo. 

    “I say to the Israelis and ask the Israeli leadership to allow the broadcast of this speech at least once or twice. There is a real opportunity for peace even if in the short term there is no real basis given the conditions in the region,” al-Sisi said on Egyptian television. 

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, sit aboard a plane at Ben Gurion Airport on 24 August 2009 (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash90)

    During his stint as finance minister over a decade ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had private donors and organizations fund most of his trips as well as cover travel expenses for his wife and children, and failed to clear the information with the Knesset, a state comptroller report published Tuesday found.

    In the report, Comptroller Yosef Shapira chided Netanyahu for failing to approach legal experts to weigh in on whether the trips, between 2003 and 2005, represented a conflict of interest or illicit gifts. Some allegations were omitted from the report, pending the attorney general’s examination of the case, Shapira said.

  • Netanyahu and Abbas. (photo credit:REUTERS)

    An Israeli delegation secretly arrived in Cairo on Sunday afternoon on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to arrange a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an. 

    The delegation hopes to enlist the assistance of the Egyptians in organizing a tripartite meeting between Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Sisi in order to reboot the moribund peace process ahead of a French-initiated peace conference scheduled to take place in Paris in early June. 

    Israel and the Palestinians have not been invited to the Paris meeting.

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds