The early word from Syria is that "flashpoints of the 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad were quiet Thursday ... suggesting a U.N.-brokered truce was starting to take hold and the regime was keeping a pledge to halt its assault on opposition strongholds," The Associated Press reports.
After months of relentless shelling and gunfire, activists in Syria reported a quieter daybreak Thursday, as a ceasefire arranged by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan appeared to be largely holding.
Opposition figures said rebel fighters inside Syria would abide by the truce as long as the Syrian military does, while the government says its forces will return fire if attacked. Annan is hoping to progress from the cease-fire to getting humanitarian assistance into the country, and eventually to political negotiations.
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill and have been for almost two years. The stated aim of those negotiations is what is known as the "two-state solution," which means the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel.
But as hopes for an agreement diminish, Palestinians — and even some Israelis — are now talking about other solutions to the conflict. Among them, the so-called "one-state solution."
Colombia was once associated with cocaine trafficking and powerful drug lords, but today's reality is different: It's stable, a magnet for foreign investment and diplomatically engaged — and this weekend hosts the Summit of the Americas. Increasingly, Colombia is seen as South America's rising star.