Efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency to help persuade Israel and Arab nations to agree on a path toward a Middle East free of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction have been unsuccessful thus far, according to a new report by agency head Yukiya Amano’s office, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Interchanges have revealed that there still is a “fundamental difference of views” between Arab nations and Israel, but Amano will continue trying to bridge the diverging perspectives, according to his team.
IAEA member nations last year tasked Amano with meeting with officials from the region to discuss bringing all atomic programs under agency safeguards. Israel is thought to be the area’s sole nuclear-weapons nation, but it by policy does not confirm or deny its arsenal and is not a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
In a document issued last week, ahead of the agency’s plenary meeting in mid-September, Amano said he backed exploration of “relevant new ideas and approaches.” However, no headway was achieved on applying “comprehensive agency safeguards covering all nuclear activities in the region,” the report said.
It remains unclear when, if ever, a regional conference will be held on negotiating a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone for the entire Middle East. Plans to hold the U.N.-backed forum in late 2012 ultimately were abandoned after Israel would not confirm whether it would participate.
Israel and the United States have supported the idea of attending such a conference under certain conditions. At the same time, they have maintained that a regional ban on nuclear weapons could not be achieved as long as Iran continues its controversial atomic development activities and there is no broader Arab-Israeli peace arrangement.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."