Paradox of finding peace in Middle East

America's former Middle East envoy George Mitchell points out a paradox - the two state solution hasn't worked, despite 50 years of trying, but it is still the best option for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Senator Mitchell was the US's lead negotiator when Prime Minister Netanyahu committed himself to the two-state solution back in 2009, so he can be forgiven for sounding downbeat today.

But, Mr Mitchell says, the Palestinians never believed Mr Netanyahu anyway so his rejection of the two-state solution on the eve of the Israeli election comes as little surprise to them.

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Iran letter deepens Washington divide

The White House agrees that the Republican Senators' letter to Iran creates the perception that America is dysfunctional.

The White House's Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, was clearly angered by the decision by 47 Republicans to send an open letter to the Iranian leadership. The letter warned that any nuclear deal reached between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group could be short lived.

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Powerful words but was Netanyahu right to make speech?

  • 4 March 2015
  • From the section Magazine

Prime Minister Netanyahu's fiery address to Congress was an "affront to the president," according to Martin Indyk the former US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Mr Indyk used to work for Mr Obama so he's partisan, but there are plenty of people who agree that the State of the Union-esque speech was somehow unseemly in a foreign leader.

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How the British misunderstanding of America is growing

Signposts showing the US and UK flags

I've just come back from a few days in London where I had the chance to grill a few Americans - officials and non officials - on what they find tricky about explaining their country to my country.

It's something that perpetually intrigues because the longer I live in America, the more different I think our two nations are and the more I feel Brits misunderstand the US, and vice versa.

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Monopoly's hidden history: invented by a woman?

  • 23 February 2015
  • From the section Magazine

Like millions of people around the world, I grew up addicted to Monopoly - vying with my siblings to buy Park Avenue and avoid being sent to jail. My story is familiar to many. Not so familiar is the origin of the game.

The tale many of us heard was that an unemployed salesman struck it rich when he invented Monopoly during the Great Depression,

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Ukraine crisis: How to 'sweet-talk' Putin

It's high time the Ukrainians got better military advice - that's the advice of Bill Richardson, America's former Ambassador to the UN and uber global negotiator.

Mr Richardson doesn't think there's much chance we'll see UN peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine because Russia would veto such a move in the Security Council. But he does think monitors of some sort, maybe from the OSCE, would be a good idea.

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Ukraine crisis: Senator encourages more US support

If you needed further evidence of the pressure that US President Barack Obama is under to send arms to the Ukrainian government, just listen to my interview with Senator Joe Manchin.

He spoke to me as Russian, Ukrainian, German and French leaders were meeting in Minsk to discuss a truce between Russia and Ukraine.

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Is an American university degree worth the cost?

Nowhere in the world does it cost as much to go to university as it does in the US. Some private universities here cost more than $50,000 (£38,000) per year just for tuition, and that doesn't cover accommodation, food, or even books (remember those?).

I wanted to find whether an American degree is worth it. What do those exorbitant fees actually buy you?

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Syria conflict: The twin challenge of IS and Assad

Syria's President Assad seemed calm and confident in his interview with the BBC - that was the conclusion of Richard Haass, former State Department official and President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Assad does not look like a man who fears he's about to lose his position. But as long as he's there, Mr Haass told me, it's a real problem for the coalition because several coalition members see Mr Assad almost as a big a problem as Islamic State.

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Jordan pilot death 'will be avenged'

Jordan is likely to retaliate - and soon - for the horrendous murder of its pilot by IS.

The country's former foreign minister, Marwan Muasher, told me he wouldn't be surprised if convicted IS terrorists being held by Jordan would be put to death in the next few days.

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