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International issues

US envoy sees Mideast talks resuming soon

United States envoy George Mitchell called Tuesday for a “prompt resumption” of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, saying regional support for President Barack Obama has boosted peace prospects.

*”We all share an obligation to help create the conditions for the prompt resumption and the early conclusion of negotiations,”* the special Middle East envoy said.

Mitchell, speaking at his first press conference in Washington since his appointment in January, gave no time-frame but hoped his preliminary discussions aimed at reviving the negotiations would conclude in a matter of weeks.

From Asia, Lula positions himself for nuclear disarmament

The Brazilian President, in an official visit yesterday to Kazakhstan, advocated for international disarmament initiatives, including nuclear weapons.

Ban Ki-Moon reiterates the urgency for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to come into force.

Adopted by the UN in 1996, the treaty can only come into force when 44 specific countries who at the time of negotiations had nuclear technology have ratified it. China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States have yet to do so although during the US election campaign Obama said, “As president, I will reach out to the Senate to secure the ratification of the CTBT at the earliest practical date.”

Carter: Netanyahu Blocking Peace with Palestinians

Former President Jimmy Carter has accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of setting up new obstacles to peace with the Palestinians. On Sunday, Netanyahu said for the first time he could accept a two-state solution, but only if the new Palestinian state had no army and no control of its airspace and borders. Jimmy Carter spoke during a stop in Jerusalem.

Chomsky: Is this really a turning point in US Middle East Policy?

Chomsky continues writing for Pressenza in an article in which he reflects on the direction of US policy in the Middle East.

Three pacifist members died

The month of June has brought sad news, as three members of the global movement against gun violence were on the Air France flight that went missing on 1 June while flying from Brazil to France.

Antiwar Lawmakers Urge Rejection of War Funding

*A new administration and the same old war, and expansion of the war in Afghanistan. We cannot afford these wars*, said Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Peruvian Congress Suspends Land Laws

In Peru, lawmakers have temporarily suspended two land-use laws that led to an indigenous uprising and dozens of deaths in the ensuing police crackdown.

Security Council Members Agree on North Korea Sanctions

UN Security Council members have agreed on a new round of sanctions in response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and missile launches. The new measures include asking countries to inspect North Korean vessels carrying suspicious cargo and requiring them to deny the vessels fuel. The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, praised the agreement.

Human destiny

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined Obama at Saturday’s ceremony held under bright skies—a stark contrast to the winds and rain that marked D-Day.

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