Kerry Plays Down Spat With Israeli Defense Chief
Kerry Plays Down Spat With Israeli Defense Chief
Box Office: ‘The Martian’ Triumphs With $55 Million Debut
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Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday played down criticism by Israel's defense minister of American efforts to broker peace in the Middle East, saying he wouldn't let "one set of comments" undermine his work. With his subdued reaction, Kerry appeared to be attempting to quickly move beyond the uproar that exploded Tuesday over the comments reportedly made by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. After harsh criticism from Washington, Yaalon issued a late-night apology. Speaking to reporters in Kuwait, Kerry said that he speaks regularly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said they were both "very committed" to moving forward on peace efforts. "We just can't let one set of comments undermine that effort, and I don't intend to," Kerry said. Kerry has been shuttling between Israel and the Palestinians for months, and is expected back in the region in the coming weeks to deliver his ideas on a framework for peace. The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, territories captured by Israel in 1967, for an independent state. Netanyahu wants to keep parts of the West Bank and says he will not share control of east Jerusalem, home to sensitive Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious sites.
“The Martian” blasted off with an outer-worldly $55 million, nearly surpassing another space-based adventure, “Gravity,” as the highest-grossing October debut in history. The Ridley Scott release was bolstered by rapturous reviews, with critics calling the picture among the director’s best and heaping praise on Matt Damon’s performance as an astronaut stranded on the red planet. It marks the second best launch of Scott’s career, behind only “Hannibal’s” $58 million debut, and the second best premiere for Damon, trailing “The Bourne Ultimatum’s” $69.3 million bow.
Charleston, South Carolina, The Holy City, became a barren, flooded labyrinth Saturday as heavy rains deluged coastal South Carolina and much of the East Coast. Many streets and intersections on the city’s downtown peninsula were submerged Saturday as Charleston faced the possibility of record flood levels as a stream of wet weather arrived from the Atlantic, partially powered by Hurricane Joaquin. Five to nine inches of rain had fallen by midday Saturday over a 24 hour period in Charleston– enough to flood yards and gardens downtown, swamp parked cars, and cause the cancellation of Sunday church services.
Forecasters warned wind gusts topping 35mph could down trees and power lines across the Carolinas and Virginia in the coming hours after flooding from days of record-setting rain along the heavily populated US east coast washed out bridges and homes. The National Weather Service (NWS) is reporting major flooding in the South Carolina capital of Columbia, the result of the dangerous rainstorm drenching parts of the east coast. Police say officers and firefighters have been rescuing stranded motorists around Columbia. Fire officials said Sunday morning that they had made more than 50 swift-water rescues, and they’re responding to dozens more calls for help.
Kim Davis' lawyer stood onstage in a Washington D.C. hotel and pointed to a photo on the screen. It showed 100,000 people packed into a Peruvian soccer stadium, Mat Staver told the crowd, all there to pray for the Kentucky clerk battling against gay marriage. The crowd erupted. It wasn't true. Staver's firm, the Liberty Counsel, which revealed Davis' secret meeting with Pope Francis, has been accused by advocacy groups of peddling misrepresentations in the past. Yet it has become the main source of details about the controversial pope meeting. Online sleuths quickly debunked the Peru story Staver told at the Values Voter Summit, a conference for the conservative Family Research Council. The photo was from a year-old gathering unrelated to Davis, who spent five days in jail for defying a court order and refusing to license gay marriages. Staver could provide no evidence of a massive Davis rally. On Monday, he called it a mistake and blamed miscommunication with the Peruvian authorities who gave him the photo.
Benicio del Toro’s violent new crime thriller Sicario opened to packed theaters and critical acclaim this weekend, but not everyone is applauding the movie’s early success. The IRL mayor of Ciudad Juarez, where the movie’s plot is set, is joining a group of perturbed citizens in calling for a boycott of the film, arguing that Hollywood is shamelessly trying to profit from the darkest days of the border town’s narco-violence, which claimed some 10,000 lives and disappeared thousands more. Ciudad Juarez Mayor Enrique Serrano told Fusion, “This film tries to portray a situation of violence as if it were the current reality of the city, which is not the case. That’s a fallacy. This happened in Juarez a few years ago, and now they are trying to sell tickets out of Juarez tragedy.”
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