A Japanese tunnel collapse on Sunday killed nine and trapped many motorists.
A Midwest perspective on the Middle East—and other challenges President Obama faces in his second term—highlights that, like politics,all foreign affairs is local. Education lags, economic competitiveness, and energy policy are as important, or more, than dealing with the world’s hot spots.
Taliban fighters attacked a NATO airfield yesterday, detonating three car bombs and launching a two-hour gun battle that left about a dozen dead.
Israel’s announcement that it will move forward with planning 3,000 additional housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is getting scrutiny and opposition from key allies. Israel on Friday gave preliminary approval for planning to construct thousands more housing units in a contested corridor east of Jerusalem, known as E-1, that is currently home to Palestinians. The move is seen as the Israeli government’s retaliation for the Palestinians’ successful move to upgrade their status at the UN General Assembly to that of non-member observer state last week. Israel also said it’s withholding tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority—about 450 million shekels ($118 million).
The French want to do away with homework. Authorities in the new socialist government also want to lengthen the week—currently, French children have Wednesdays off—but shorten the school day.
Saudi Arabia has introduced a tracking system that monitors any cross-border movements by female citizens following the case of a woman who apparently converted to Christianity and fled the country. Women cannot leave the country without permission of a male guardian, and are held under a “state of slavery," according to Saudi writer Badriya al-Bishr.