President Barack Obama focused on many social and civil rights issues, with a major focus on the economy, during his lengthy speech at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom event, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famed "I have a dream" speech a half century ago.
Obama told the thousands gathered on the National Mall about the importance of economic opportunity in the road to equality.
After describing the historical event they were remembering and putting it in the context of the grand narrative of American history, President Obama argued that "pursuit of happiness requires the dignity of work." more >>
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli has asked Pink Floyd performer Roger Waters to stop using her image after the superstar posted a letter asking fans to boycott Israel and listing several "breaches of international law." Waters has not yet responded to Refaeli's request.
Waters is a member of the Palestinian activist group Electronic Intifada, according to New York Daily News. He has been an outspoken critic of Israel, but his letter set off a new round of debates, and Refaeli's public request has brought new attention to the Israeli-Palestinian debates.
"Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows," Refaeli tweeted in Hebrew. "If you're boycotting – go all the way." more >>
His Exc. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seoul, has called upon the Virgin Mary for help and addressed the "urgency of reconciliation" between North and South Korea, as the two nations prepare to restart family reunions.
The Archbishop said that Mary is the "Mother of reconciliation" and that Catholics entrust her with the promotion of peace on the Korean peninsula, according to Fides News Agency.
North Korea recently agreed to restart reunions of families that were separated during the 1950-1953 war, which will take place at a tourist resort in the North in September. South Korean president Park Geun-hye had called last week for a resumption of the reunions, described as highly emotional affairs, which were last held in 2010. more >>
A New Hampshire public school has recently banned a mother from saying public prayers against gun violence on the school's steps, judging that her Christian-themed prayers were not inclusive of all students.
Following a complaint issued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire decided to ask Lizarda Urena, a mother of two 10th grade students attending the school, to stop praying for peace on the school's front steps every morning.
"To be fair to all the kids in the school, it is probably best for the principal to say that she shouldn't be speaking out like this and proselytizing on school grounds," Kassandra Ardinger, the president of Concord's school board, told the New Hampshire Union Leader, seconding the suggestion of Superintendent Christine Rath to stop the praying. more >>
Following an informal Iftar dinner at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Tuesday that the initial meetings between Palestine and Israel have been successful, and both have agreed to commence formal peace talks within the next two weeks.
Kerry announced at the Department of State's Benjamin Franklin Room on Tuesday that the upcoming formal peace talks serve as a "new moment of possibility" for Palestine and Israel.
"The time has come for a lasting peace," Kerry said Tuesday. more >>
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will gather in Washington, D.C. on Monday and Tuesday to re-start peace talks after nearly three years, thanks in large part to the diplomatic efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point," Kerry said in the statement regarding the peace talks. "We are grateful for their leadership."
Monday's meeting serves as a new beginning for the talks that abruptly ended in 2010 regarding territory in the Middle East, where Palestine is seeking statehood on Israeli-occupied land. more >>