prisoners

US Secretary of State John Kerry has managed to convince the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to come back to the negotiations table...but that's just the easy part.

That John Kerry sure has determination and he’s going to need plenty more where it came from.

A dizzying schedule of shuttle diplomacy has done what Hilary Clinton could not. Convince Israeli and Palestinian leaders to agree to disagree and talk about it.

However talking about possible talks will no doubt prove to be the easy part.

The force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners in Guantanamo prison amounts to politically sanctioned torture by the US government, and breaches established international medical ethics treaties.

The prisoner hunger strike is action of last resort.

It is political in that its aim is usually to draw attention to the injustices of unlimited detention without trial, of torture, oppressive prison conditions and a general lack of access to judicial safeguards.

First pope from the Americas begins new job; Xi Jinping formally sworn in as China's president; Tokyo denies claim Japanese government offered to pay Algeria ransom for release of prisoners; Khmer Rouge leader dies; new Israeli government to be sworn in; and more

Top of the Agenda: Pope Francis Begins First Day

Palestinian prisoners have ended their mass hunger strike before anyone died. Now the world needs to ask some serious questions about the mass incarceration of Palestinians as a tool to break their resistance to occupation.

Israel has managed to avert a massive problem for itself...for a while perhaps.

New Zealand troops could be out of Afghanistan next year – but are we stumbling out of one ill-considered international military commitment straight into another, and what happens to our reconstruction and development commitment to the country our troops are leaving?

As New Zealand prepared for ANZAC Day, Prime Minister John Key made a surprise announcement: New Zealand could end its military commitment to Afghanistan as early as next year. The previous timetable – affirmed only a fortnight ago by Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman – had us leaving some time in 2014. So, what’s changed?