WASHINGTON (AP) — Every president since Ronald Reagan has refused to release Jonathan Pollard from prison. A CIA director once threatened to resign when Bill Clinton briefly considered freeing the convicted spy as part of Mideast peace talks. But now, in a gamble to extend negotiations that appear on the brink of collapse, the Obama administration is bringing the U.S. closer than it has been in years to granting Pollard an early release.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — In a surprise move that could derail U.S. peace efforts, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday resumed a campaign for further international recognition of a state of Palestine, despite a previous promise to suspend such efforts during nine months of negotiations with Israel.
By Ben Klayman and Eric Beech WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday called her company's slow response to at least 13 deaths linked to faulty ignition switches "unacceptable," but could not give U.S. lawmakers many answers as to what went wrong as she pointed to an ongoing internal investigation. After taking an oath administered by House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, Barra kicked off the contentious hearing by declaring, "I am deeply sorry" for the company's failure to respond quickly to the safety problem and subsequent deaths. Representative Henry Waxman, a veteran Democrat who has spearheaded past attempts to tighten U.S. laws on automotive safety, bluntly told Barra: "Because GM didn't implement this simple fix when it learned about the problem, at least a dozen people have died in defective GM vehicles." GM first learned of a problem with its ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other models in 2001, documents have shown, but took no steps to recall any cars until this past February.
By Saliou Samb CONAKRY (Reuters) - The World Health Organization on Tuesday played down the extent of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus suspected to have killed over 80 in Guinea, a day after medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned of an unprecedented epidemic. MSF has warned they face an uphill task because the infections are scattered across several locations, most worryingly in Guinea's densely populated capital Conakry. It blasted governments and international public health organizations for not doing enough to tackle it. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the number of suspected and confirmed cases in Guinea was unchanged from the previous day at 122, of whom 80 had died.