Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will join Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for talks in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Mr Netanyahu says he is hoping for peace and "good neighbourly relations".
But many are saying that the same old issues - Israel's borders, the political status of Jerusalem, Palestinian right of return - remain as intractable as ever.
"You can force someone to attend but you can't force someone to vote."
That was Paul Kagame, Rwanda's re-elected President, reacting to international and opponents' criticisms over Rwanda's 9 August 2010 Presidential polls.
The 9 August Presidential polls in Rwanda registered a slight upturn in the percentage of votes - to an extraordinary 97%.
But before, during and after the elections, some of Kagame's political opponents - such as Victoire Ingabire, who Rwanda's electoral commission prevented from running for presidency on genocide accusations - as well as Reporters Without Borders qualified Rwanda's elections as not free and fair.
"In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease"
The British Library is gathering the sounds of Britain. Perhaps the poet John Keats would have nominated the nightingale as his evocative choice? Which sounds remind you of home? Whether it is of man, machine or the material world, do let us know.
Questions about the floods, their impact and the best way to deal with them are everywhere. Is aid really reaching those who need it? Are countries giving enough and if not why not? Is the army really doing the best job on the ground? As the UN reviews the security of aid workers after threats from the Taliban - how safe is it for those working to help those in need?
Ros Atkins| 05:00 UK time, Thursday, 26 August 2010
Matthew Syed was a sensational table tennis player (if you don't believe me watch this). Still is by any of our standards no doubt. He was British number one, and took gold three times in the men's singles at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships. (He was also a defender, an amazing but sadly now dying art more alive in the tennis of Andy Murray than in 21st century table tennis.)
Now Matthew Syed is a sports journalist for The Times, and has recently written a book called Bounce: How Champions Are Made, which explores what leads people to being the absolute best in their chosen field. And he's our guest on Thursday.
Ros Atkins| 06:42 UK time, Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Just beginning another bulletin shift on BBC World News, so this will be another brief post. US General James Conway is the head of the US Marine Corps and he says deadline to begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan is encouraging the Taliban and "giving our enemy sustenance". Is he right? And how should President Obama respond?
Two weeks ago we discussed whether to put the ground zero mosque story on the air. The only thing that was stopping us was that the initial spike in interest in the story had been the week before. In the end we decided we run with it, and here we are now with the debate getting bigger by the day. We should've known that journalist's pre-occupation with avoiding 'old' stories is not shared by most of you.
The latest development, is that two groups of protestors (one for, one against) were on the streets of New York yesterday. And the disagreement, hinges not on people's right to build a mosque in America, but their right to build one near Ground Zero.
So is religious freedom absolute? Or do we have to accept that extraordinary, unlikely or sensitive circumstances may give cause to curb that freedom?
It's called the honeymoon package. Call it an extended honeymoon; hold off becoming parents and the Indian government will pay you for your patience.
The New York Times recently looked at how well India's latest birth control initiative is doing. Over the past 12 months, some districts have been paying couples to postpone their plans for parenthood. Over 2,000 women have opted for the money in one of the pilot villages.
We asked delegates at the CIVICUS conference here in Montreal what they thought about the idea.
Hello I'm Ousman Conteh from the Gambia, and I'm here in Montreal for the Civicus youth conference. I'm a youth activist by profession and currently serving as a member of the National Youth Parliament of The Gambia. I write to share my concern and also gauge your opinion on a silent killer amongst young people, road accidents.
I'm overwhelmed by the tragic and unbearable reports that each year nearly 1.2 million people die and around 50 million more are injured or disabled as a result of road traffic crashes. Of the total who are killed, more than 400,000 are young people, millions more are injured or disabled.
Something extra - video highlights from the first WHYS at Civicus in Montreal, hosted by Nuala and discussing whether criminals waive their right to compassion and why young people seem not to care about the big issues of the day.
You may have seen that on Thursday, we asked the delegates at Civicus to let us know what questions they wanted us to debate on WHYS on Friday. But how did we get from there to the show that ultimately went out?
Well, here's the behind-the-secens look at the editorial meeting we had on Friday morning...
Alicia here, as you can see we had a great turnout for the meeting, we had a vibrant debate and really good ideas came from it. Some of the participants were upset that their favourite story didn't make it on air after counting the votes including those from our team in London.
Unfortunately, that's the way the cookie crumbles. Looking forward to Monday's editorial meeting, if you are at the Civicus, it's in the St Charles room, in the Delta Centre Ville hotel at 7am - hope to see you there!
The UK government has urged Libya not to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi, the man who was freed on compassionate grounds as he was dying of cancer.
Reports from Tripoli suggest he could now live for another SEVEN years.
Hello, bonjour. My name is Aengus Bridgman and I am a 21 year old Canadian. I'm here at the CIVICUS World Assembly here in Montreal because of my interest in climate justice.
My generation has more access to information, through the internet, than ever before. More than just that, the youth of today are using that access to become informed. I often hear that youth are apathetic and ignorant but youth at this conference disprove that common stereotype
Hi from BBC Television Centre. I'm over here presenting bulletins for BBC World News, and it looks like our 1500GMT running order may be going out of the window. Hillary Clinton is expected to give a statement about direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Here's what we know so far. Does it make you optimistic of a deal being done? You can tweet me with your reaction to what Hillary Clinton says and I'll do my best to get your comments and questions to our correspondents.
What do you do with a boatload of Sri Lankan Tamils - 492 of them, to be precise?
That's the question currently preoccupying a large percentage of the government and media in Canada.
And the issue has become so controversial that even to describe them presents some difficulty. There are disputes over whether they are refugees or illegal immigrants; victims of war or people who have carried out terror attacks.
Hi! Nuala here, writing today from Concordia University in beautiful Montreal. We're gearing up to broadcast from the Civicus Youth Assembly tomorrow. I've been chatting with a number of people taking part, and they have lots of ideas about issues our show should address. Our open editorial meeting tomorrow at 7am and everyone is invited but as Kalmunity Vibe Collective are having a big party tonight we took a few ideas in advance, just in case......and voilà, here they are....
We've been out today to take our first look at Civicus and plan for tomorrow morning's meeting, when we'll be working with the people at the conference to decide what we will be talking about on our live show.
But what exactly is Civicus, who goes, and what does it hope to achieve? Nuala spoke to Christine Renaud, who is comparing the conference, to find out.
Ros Atkins| 12:18 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010
LIVE ON BBC WORLD NEWS TV AT 1430GMT AND ON BBC WORLD SERVICE RADIO AT 1700GMT.
Nine days ago, Ben wrote this post asking if Pakistan's flood victims were getting the help they deserved. And the question hasn't gone away. One colleague tweeted yesterday 'Terrible irony for #Pakistan: donors mr generous when many dead. The dead don't need aid, displaced people do.' It highlights the fact that for whatever reason the world hasn't responded as with previous natural disasters.
In acknowledgement of that, the UN is to hold an emergency meeting because it has not even raised half the money it says it needs to deliver adequate help to those affected.
So what's going on here? Several explanations are being put forward online...
The WHYS team has landed in Montreal ahead of the CIVICUS conference, which Nuala will be presenting live on Friday and Monday. But as we were waiting to collect our bags at Pierre Trudeau International, I began to tell the rest of the team about the man the airport is named for - and why he is a bit of a hero of mine - and I thought I'd share a little of it here.
Back in the 1960s and 70s, the province of Quebec was a volatile place. What was once New France was striving to assert its uniqueness, and for some that meant independence from Canada and the British crown.
French-Canadians saw themselves as not part of the rest of the country - as districtively different. The state's official motto - seen on every car numberplate here - is Je Me Souviens.
The former British PM is donating the profits from his memoirs (called "My Journey") to the Royal British Legion to honour their "courage and sacrifice"
Mr Blair's spokesman referred to a speech he made to the House of Commons on his last day in office :
"'I believe that they [the Armed Forces] are fighting for the security of this country and the wider world against people who would destroy our way of life. But whatever view people take of my decisions, I think that there is only one view to take of them: they are the bravest and the best.'"
Nadja Benaissa is the singer in the German group No Angels and she's on trial for gross bodily harm. She's accused of having unprotected sex with several partners without warning them she was HIV-positive. The story is the most read in bbcnews.com,and raises any number of questions...
"If I could go back in time, I would have probably been more vague." - Professor Karol Sikora , one of the doctors who advised Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi would die of cancer within 3 months - a year ago.
Plans are being made to celebrate the first anniversary of the Libyan bomber's release from a Scottish prison.
Relatives of his victims - 270 people were blown out of the sky on a Pan Am jet flying over Scotland in 1988- have called the party " a kick in the teeth " and " the craziest thing in the world ".
They're being referred to as the "lost generation." They want to work but they don't have work and they've little chance of getting a job anytime soon.
The International Labour Organisation has released a report which says that global youth unemployment figures have reached the highest they've been in almost a decade. 13% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed. That's 81 million young people and few countries are unaffected
Minout Chatte in California tweets,
'Youth Unemployment Hits Record High - if you didn't believe me when i said i couldn't get a job'
Lots of you in Africa have been posting on the WHYS Facebook page to tell us how bad the situation is on your continent. Enos calls it the 'biggest threat Africa is facing.'
A new superbug called NDM-1 which is drug resistant has got you talking. Cases have been found in the UK, US, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Sweden.
Update : Professor Timothy Walsh from Cardiff University one of the authors of the study published in the Lancet will be on the programme from 1800-1830BST ready to take your questions.
Conservative Liberal posts on the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail
So we've now heard there's a new bug in town... We've heard that there's no antibiotic for it... We've heard that all the big Pharma are looking for more money for "research"... But most importantly, what are the symptoms? You tried hard with the H1N1 fear campaign, and really I don't think you can fool us twice... first was the virus and now its bacteria? What are we to believe anymore?
KiranKS tweets :
There's hardly any talk in media about NDM-1, the new superbug found in South #Asia, that's resistant to most antibiotics. Scary!
Pauline, who listens to WHYS in San Francisco emailed us about this story yesterday.
The first military trial under Obama at Guantanamo has begun. Canadian Omar Khadr, a former child combatant, is the only person in modern history to be tried for war crimes that he allegedly committed as a minor. Canadian citizen Khadr, now 23, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier during a gun battle in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was 15. He alleges that he was tortured into confessing to the murder.
Ros Atkins| 14:28 UK time, Wednesday, 11 August 2010
The most retweeted message on twitter supported this idea. One of you emailed me during yesterday's show, to say you weren't giving money to charity any more 'because there are more disasters these days'. You'll remember back to Hurricane Katrina as well when some suggested this kind of event was due to climate change.
We're inviting several experts to put this theory to the test. If there's a point or question you want to make to them, please let us know.
Tell us if you make a connection between events in Pakistan and China this week and broader changes in our climate.
I've spent the afternoon learning about hyperlocal multimedia sites from Ed Walker, who runs yourCardiff, a community site that points ahead to some of the ways online media will develop from newspapers.
It's not print, it's not local TV, it's not radio, but it's got elements of all of them.
The site breaks news too - like this video of police smashing the car window of a pensioner
Ed has some ideas on how things might be adapted for the developing world - "start with a daily text message to mobiles" he suggested.
If you're involved in local media projects for your community, we'd like to hear about it.
We'll transmit the interview with Ed Walker on World Update sometime this week, and incorporate your ideas and comments.
Over the past couple of weeks, those of you who post on our Facebook page have wanted to discuss the issue of the Serengeti highway. Although this issue is a hot topic on Facebook and Twitter, the world news has yet failed to put this issue in the media spotlight:
Pia posted on the WHYS Facebook page:
'The highway will ruin one of the most magnificent sites on earth! This is an urgent environmental issue. I cant understand why the BBC is ignoring it.'
I looked into various blogs and anti-highway web sites and then found that in an effort to join local and business communities, the Tanzanian government has approved plans to build a commercial highway from Lake Victoria to Eastern Tanzania, which would consequently cut through the Serengeti National Park.
How this reflects on what Charles Taylor did or didn't do doesn't appear to be of anywhere near as much interest. But is this necessarily a problem? So long as those in court pay attention to the charges laid against Charles Taylor, does it matter if others get distracted?
Are these celebrities bringing a trial to the world's attention in a way that wouldn't have been possible without them? (I know we touched on this last week.) This article argues the details of that night with Nelson Mandela are very important. Or is the media frenzy of the past few days trivialising Charles Taylor's trial?
Ros Atkins| 14:19 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010
We received this email a couple of days. We've been talking about it and thought you'd like to too...
'My name is Patrick, I'm a WHYS listener from France.
First of all, thank you for your great show! I listen to it every day, and it is very interesting! The topics are often very interesting, thought-provoking, the guests say relevant things. The blog is interesting too! World Have Your Say has opened my mind on many issues, ideas. Merci beaucoup !
There are 2 remarks that I'd like to make:
1) In my opinion, WHYS is too US-centric! The topics are often, very often, centred on US issues.
UPDATE: 4 AUGUST: In a unanimous vote the last obstacle to building a muslim community centre and mosque at the site of 9/11 has been removed. The project's planners say:
We are eager to begin working with our partners, supporters, neighbors and communities, to build a community center for everyone.
UPDATE: 3 AUGUST The debate over the plan to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero rages on. This column by Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League an organisation which fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, garnered a huge reaction as he lays out reasons for their opposition to the mosque. And a great round-up of conflicting opinion here courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
Reading through the arguments, who do you agree with? Please post below.
UPDATE 10 JUNE: Opponents feel it's their moral duty to protest against what they call the 'mega mosque'. That's exactly what they did earlier this week when they hit the streets of Manhattan.The project founder continues to insist the aim of the Islamic Centre is to "bridge and heal the divide between Muslims and other Americans."
This blogger calls the whole idea an abomination but isn't impressed with the protestors behaviour. This piece adds that the debate is becoming irrational - there's zero tolerance on ground zero.
Update: We'll have experts on the show to answer your questions.
It's been a bad harvest for Russia. Sweltering heat and very little rain have killed half the crop in some places, and now they've slapped a ban on grain exports from Russia. Wheat prices have shot up and it's got people talking about how the rates might spiral out of control and raise the cost of food around the world. Two years ago a vicious price spike caused food riots from Haiti to El Salvador. So are we on the edge of another food crisis?
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, has waded in to the debate about the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, saying the US is too focused on retribution.
Defending the decision to release Megrahi, who has cancer, the Cardinal describes the row as a "clash of cultures" comparing Scotland's "culture of compassion" to the "culture of vengeance" America has in its concept of justice. Citing the use of the death penalty in the US, he says it is 'only outdone by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and China'.
From Dris Prophete, the WHYS man in Port-Au-Prince.:
I'm sitting in what I should call my room, in a cracked house located in the heart of Port-au-Prince, like most buildings in the city, the Ministry of Public Works put a sign on it, a yellow one, meaning it has to be repaired; however, the vast majority are marked red, meaning they have to be torn down, and the rest; a few really, have a green notice, meaning they're fine.
65 years after nuclear bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some people in Japan are still waiting for the United States to apologise.
But with the US, France and Britain sending representatives to Hiroshima commemorations for the first time, some feel even this is giving too much to Japan. The son of the U.S. pilot who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima likening it to an 'unsaid apology' said: "It's making the Japanese look like they're the poor people, like they didn't do anything".
Saudi Arabia says it will suspend BlackBerry services today as concerns spread across the Middle East and parts of Asia over security issues with them. It's not just Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, India and Algeria are all considering restrictions.
The U.A.E. says some BlackBerry features operate outside the country's laws, "causing judicial, social and national security concerns." It boils down to governments not being able to monitor communications between Blackberrys on it's messenger service.
'Despite headlines screaming "the worst oil spill in history" it turns out the BP blowout disaster wasn't really as big a deal as you'd have thought'. So says Addison Wiggin, as the US government admits that nearly 75% of all the oil leaked into the Gulf has already been removed.
The average lake has higher concentrations of greasy suntan lotion from swimmers... So everybody really ought to just calm down about it... The Gulf shores will get cleaned up and big mother earth will do the rest.
Mexico's drug war has claimed 28000 victims since 2006. July 2010 was the deadliest month yet, with 1,234 killed. 84,000 weapons have been confiscated in that time by the security forces. Yet, the cartels are still thriving.
The international coalition have lost the battle for the "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people and so are losing the battle against the Taliban. So says the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, in an interview with a French newspaper.
This video has been released on the internet in France, it has had 500'000 viewings on YouTube, and some people have been shocked.
LycoApollo on twitter says : The way the French police handled a baby and a pregnant woman in this video chilled me to the bone.
Benjamin Holmes writes on our facebook page: Brutal! Where was the brutality? French authorities are breaking up camps of illegal immigrants, who have no right to be in any country BUT their own. Show me the use of batons and fists, and I too will say brutality. But there was none.
Gisele Bundchen, who once reacted to the sliding value of the U.S dollar by insisiting on being paid in Euros , is making headlines again by telling mothers that there should be a "worldwide law" to make all mums breast feed for the first 6 months.
Let's assume the supermodel means those that CAN breastfeed , and we'll ignore the fact that Ms B was back modelling swimwear just 6 weeks after giving birth, but does she have a point ?
Extremes of weather are striking in various parts of the world with devastating effects.
The Pakistan floods have so far left 1,100 dead and 27,000 trapped. They were brought on by the worst rains since 1929.
Meanwhile the forest fires in central Russia have left 23 people dead and thousands homeless, while the capital Moscow has suffered its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching 39C (102F). A state of emergency has been declared in more than 20 drought-hit regions.
We're listening to President Obama announce the end of the combat mission in Iraq. Combat troops will pull out at the end of August.
If you'd like to listen in live click here.
And if you'd like to read a transcript of his speech click here
Here's the background, we hope you'll comment below.
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