End of the Age News
By Jim Stigleman
KERRY DEPARTS FOR MIDDLE EAST AS PEACE TALKS RESUME
John Kerry left for the Middle East on Wednesday as Israelis and Palestinians are set to resume efforts to broker a peace deal between the nations. An April deadline for a final peace agreement has been set by Kerry.
Kerry does not expect a final agreement to be reached this week however, he would like to set a foundation on which a final agreement can be built. Issues to be discussed in this series of meetings include security measures, what to do with refugees and the status of Jerusalem. If these foundations can be agreed upon, Israelis and Palestinians could then structure a final agreement in which they could live together in peace based on these terms.
A State Department official is quoted as saying, “We want to have a detailed consultation with them about these ideas that have been generated as a result of the negotiations between the parties themselves, and see whether they can serve as gap bridges which could lead to this agreement on the framework for permanent status negotiations.”
Some feel that an April peace agreement would lead to another year of negotiations before a final agreement could be reached. This was refuted by the State Department official saying, “”It is a two-stage process in our minds, agreement on a framework for negotiations and then a permanent status agreement or a peace treaty” by April.
The two sides have differences which need to be rectified and Kerry’s participation is designed to bring proposals to the table that would bring the two sides together.
LATE JANUARY DATE SET FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEAL
After 23 hours of negotiations on Monday and Tuesday in Geneva, six world powers and Iran have decided to begin implementation of a nuclear agreement which would require Iran to cease production of some of its nuclear capabilities.
The six world powers involved in negotiations with Iran – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany (the European Union) have yet to confirm that a date has been set for implementation but, an Iranian negotiator has confirmed that such a date does exist saying on Iranian Press TV, “Based on the conclusions the talks held with …expert delegations, the implementation of the Geneva accord will start in the third ten-day of January.”
Governments from Britain, the EU and U.S. disagree with the Iranian negotiator stating that there are still issues that need to be resolved on how the implementation process will be carried out.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf sighting headway in negotiations have been made, said negotiators “expect to finalize the implementation plan soon.”
Many countries, including the United States, feel that Iran’s nuclear program has military implications, which Iran denies, and have placed years of sanctions against Iran in hopes that they would cease nuclear production.
The current nuclear agreement requires Iran to stop its most sensitive uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting some economic sanctions.
POLL: ONE-THIRD OFAMERICANS SKEPTICAL ABOUT EVOLUTION
A recent poll shows that one-third of Americans believe that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” Sixty percent say “humans and other living things have evolved over time.” One-forth of those polled say that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things.” The telephone poll was conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project.
43 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats accept the idea of evolution. 64 percent of white evangelical Protestants renounce the idea of evolution. Alan Lichtman, author of “White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement,” says, “This [creationism] has been a staple of evangelical Protestantism for nearly 100 years.”