During a press conference at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on December 6, Secretary of State John Kerry said, having met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the past two days, that he is “encouraged by the continued commitment of both leaders to the pursuit of peace.”
Hassan al-Laqis, a senior Hezbollah commander, was shot on December 3 outside his home two miles southwest of Beirut, dying a few hours later on December 4. A statement released by Hezbollah said that al-Laqis was killed as he returned home from work around midnight.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, during a recent public appearance in Kuwait City, extended an open invitation to Saudi Arabia to “work together in order to promote peace and stability in the region.” “We look at Saudi Arabia as an important and influential country in the region," he stated.
Yukiya Amano, the director general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on November 28 that Iran has invited his agency to visit the heavy water plant in the central city of Arak. Heavy water is commonly used in plutonium production.
In a 5-4 vote on November 19, the Supreme Court declined to block a new Texas law that imposes some moderate restrictions on abortion. Consequently, the law will remain in effect pending an appeal at the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
National Geographic Channel's docudrama Killing Kennedy presents a dual timeline — one depicting the presidency of John Kennedy and a parallel dramatization about the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, who, the Warren Commission concluded, killed the president.
A November 13 press release issued by the UNODC — the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime — stated that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose 36 percent in 2013, which is a record high. Additionally, opium production amounted to 5,500 tons, up by 49 percent since 2012.
Following negative reactions from the United States over Israel’s November 12 announcement that the Jewish state would add 20,000 housing units in West Bank settlements, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel to “reconsider” such plans.
As the remnants of Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Vietnam on November 11, the effects of the deadly storm are still being evaluated and dealt with in the Philippines — where the death toll is feared to be as high as 10,000. The Philippines gives its own names to storms within its territory, and the typhoon was called Yolanda there.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva on November 8 to join in the ongoing talks between the so-called P5+1 nations and Iran. The talks — where the United States is represented by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman —are intended to resolve differences between the Western powers and the Middle Eastern nation concerning Iran’s nuclear fuel enrichment program.