From NPR News in Washington, I’m Nora Raum.
US officials are meeting with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators this weekend, hoping to salvage the just resumed peace talks. One complication is that in 2 hours, a partial moratorium on new Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank will expire. Sheera Frenkel is in the northern part of the West Bank. She says Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has said that he’d walk away from the talks if there’s no extension, then later told an Arab newspaper he wouldn’t withdraw right away.
Abbas is in a contradiction because of course the Palestinians have taken the line, a very hard line, against the settlements and said that if there’s settlement construction, they don’t want to take part in peace talks. They stated this repeatedly, including on the day that they stood on the White House lawn then launched the direct peace talks with Israelis. They said, you know it’s clear it could be, that if Israel building the settlements comes commercial in six, they would withdraw from peace talks. Now they find themselves under intense pressure both from their American and from their European partners and the European diplomats that is to continue with the peace talks. Sheera Frenkel in the northern part of the West Bank.
The top Republican in the House says he wants Congress to settle whether to extend Bush era tax cuts sooner rather than later. NPR’s Giles Snyder reports.
House Republican leader, John Boehner, says Congress has an opportunity to put the issue to rest this week. “…and to return without dealing with this means that, in their minds, the elections are more important than the jobs for the American people, and it’s just politics as usual.” Boehner was speaking on Fox News Sunday. It’s not clear when the House will take up the issue, but on the Senate side, majority leader Harry Reid has postponed the vote until a lame-duck session scheduled to convene on November 15th. The cuts due to expire at the end of the year are a big issue heading into the November second elections. President Obama wants to let the taxes rise for the wealthiest Americans; Republicans want all the cuts extended. Giles Snyder, NPR News, Washington.
BP’s chief investigator into April’s oil rig explosion acknowledged today his work had limitations. Mark Bly told the National Academy of Engineering Committee his team only looked at the immediate cause of the disaster and did not interview employees from other companies. Memos of the panel noted that BP investigators didn’t examine whether organizational flaws could have contributed, and they concentrated on decisions made on the rig, not by managers on shore.
Bishop Eddie Long addressed his congregation near Atlanta this morning for the first time since four lawsuits were filed claiming he had allured young men into sexual relationships. “I have never, in my life, portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that’s being portrayed on the television.” Long did not address the allegations directly, but he promised that he would fight them.
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What’s left of tropical depression Matthew is drenching parts of Central America. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say the storm could trigger flashfloods and mudslides. In Guatemala, officials are worried about people in low-lying areas who’re refusing to go to shelters. They say people are afraid looters will steal their possessions if they leave their homes.
France is considering legalizing so-called “shooting galleries”, medically supervised clinics for drug addicts. Frank Browning reports.
So-called “legalized shooting galleries” exist in a number of countries including Spain, Switzerland and some Nordic nations. Supervised drug injections centers have won wide support across the French political spectrum where it’s regarded. Now there’s a moral issue about a health and public security question. However, French prime minister, François Fillon, has been a vocal opponent of such centers, saying they’re “neither wise nor timely” in France. Drug addiction in France has risen steadily in recent years. Canadian medical specialists in Vancouver have also reported that a similar experiment there was effective in helping addicts break their habits and avoid infection with HIV and other diseases. For NPR News, I’m Frank Browning.
A company called Liquid Comics is coming up of with new comic book in November, featuring a new superhero called “silver scorpion”. He’s a Muslim boy in wheelchair. The storyline is that the boy lost his legs in a landmine accident and then finds that he has the power to control metal with his mind. The idea came from a group of young, disabled Americans and Syrians brought together by a non-profit organization. It’ll be distributed in both English and Arabic.
I’m Nora Raum, NPR News in Washington.