Tuesday: Mideast Peace Talks Extended; Hiker Out of Iranian Prison
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell gather for the second round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo by Photo by Thaer Ganaim/PPO via Getty Images.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks ended without progress Tuesday on the contentious issue of Jewish settlement construction, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas planned to hold an extra meeting in Egypt before shifting to Jerusalem for more negotiations Wednesday.
The 10-month moratorium on settlement construction is due to expire by the end of the month. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Israel to extend the moratorium.
The Washington Post reports that Clinton “scrambled to avoid a collapse of the talks because of renewed Israeli settlement construction” and U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell “emphasized that for the first time in these talks, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had begun to talk about the core issues dividing them, such as borders, security, the status of Jerusalem and the right of Palestinians who fled during the 1948 war to return to their homes.”
Foreign Policy’s Robert Satloff argues that if President Obama “is serious” about a peace deal, “he will need to establish a regional environment conducive to peace — a step that requires rebuilding American strength in the region.”
American Hiker Freed From Iranian Prison
Iran released Sarah Shourd, an American hiker, on a bail of $500,000 Tuesday more than a year after she was detained. Iran’s judiciary, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the “pretrial detention” of the two American men, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, has been extended for two more months.
Shourd, Bauer and Fattal were detained on the border between Iran and Iraq while hiking in July 2009. They were arrested and charged with spying.
Judge Hearing Arguments in National Health Care Lawsuit
A federal judge in Pensacola, Fla., will begin hearing arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general challenging the national health care law. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed the suit on March 23, the day President Obama signed the health care overhaul bill into law.
McCollum was joined in the lawsuit by 19 other state attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Among other things, the states and the government disagree over the law’s requirement that people have health insurance and whether states should pay additional Medicaid costs not covered by the federal government.
The case will likely end up in the Supreme Court.
The Last Big Primary Day
Tuesday is the last major primary day of the year, with voters in seven states and the District of Columbia headed to the polls to choose party nominees.
The Morning Line takes a look four of the day’s key contests here.