By Arshad Mohammed JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the Israelis and Palestinians were making some progress in peace talks, though there was still a chance no accord would be reached. Speaking before he flew to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to brief them about his 10th set of meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said both sides had a sharper idea of the compromises needed to secure an agreement. "We have had very positive - but I have to say very serious, very intensive - conversations." Kerry said all of the major issues in the conflict - borders, security, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem - were under discussion. And it is becoming much more apparent to everybody what the remaining tough choices are," he said, adding he would not be flying to meet the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia if he did not believe both sides were grappling with the issues.
Secretary of State John Kerry voiced support for direct South Sudanese peace talks set to begin on Sunday and cautioned against any use of force to try to gain the upper hand. The government of South Sudan and representatives of rebel forces met on Saturday evening in Ethiopia for the formal inauguration of peace talks, part of the diplomatic effort to halt weeks of fighting in the young nation. They cannot be a delay gimmick in order to continue the fighting and try to find advantage on the ground at the expense of the people of South Sudan," Kerry told reporters during a visit to Israel. President Salva Kiir accused his former vice president, Riek Machar, of leading an attempted coup.
By Sharon Begley and Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. medical providers are seeing only a trickle of patients newly insured under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, as insurers, hospitals and doctors try to work out any hitches in coverage. More than 2 million people have signed up for new private health plans that took effect on Wednesday under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Already on Friday, Senate Republicans opposed to the law seized on scattered media reports of a handful of people having difficulty confirming their new insurance policies, feeding into a narrative of Obamacare's harms that is expected to intensify ahead of Congressional elections in November. Central Ohio Primary Care, a 250-physician practice, is holding off on filing claims for patients who say they bought plans through the HealthCare.gov exchange, said Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Wulf.