Voter Studies: Israeli Race Too Close to Call

17 March, 2015

Israelis voted in the country's parliamentary election Tuesday. Studies of voters are suggesting the race between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and Isaac Herzog's Zionist Union alliance is extremely close.

Mr. Netanyahu is seeking a fourth term as prime minister. Neither candidate is expected to win the 61-seat parliamentary majority. Both candidates sought support from smaller groups.

On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu reversed his position on Palestinian statehood. He said he will never support a Palestinian state if he remains in office.

Voter Studies: Israeli Race Too Close to Call
An Israeli soldier casts his ballot for the parliamentary election behind a mobile voting booth at an army base on Mount Gerizim, near the West Bank City of Nablus March 17, 2015. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Mr. Herzog has said Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians.

Pakistan puts 12 to death in single day

Pakistani officials say they executed 12 male prisoners Tuesday.

Ten prisoners were hanged at jails in Punjab province, while two others were hanged in the southern city of Karachi.

The law permitting punishment of death was re-established in Pakistan three months ago. Since then the government has executed 39 prisoners.

Human rights groups protested the reestablishment of executions. Critics say many findings of guilt in Pakistan are highly wrong, unfair or both.

Iranian official says understanding reached in talks with West

Talks continue in Switzerland about Iran's nuclear program. Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akhbar Salehi said Tuesday that Iranian officials have reached an understanding with the United States and its negotiating partners. Mr. Salehi told Iranian state television that one important difference remains. He said if that happens, all parties will be in agreement on technical matters being discussed in Switzerland.

He did not say what that one difference is.

In Washington Tuesday, a White House spokesman said there is a 50 percent chance "at best" of reaching an agreement.

The U.S. and its allies want an agreement that guarantees Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. In exchange, Iran wants an easing of sanctions that have hurt its economy.

Emergency teams try to reach storm victims in Vanuatu

Aid workers and disaster management officials are trying to get to the outer islands of Vanuatu following a powerful ocean storm.

The storm hit the more than 80 island country on Friday. Poor weather and limited communications have interfered with efforts to assess the damage and provide aid. The United Nations humanitarian agency said 11 people are confirmed dead but officials expect that number to rise. Another 3,300 people are sheltering in emergency centers.

The cyclone destroyed homes, buildings and brought down trees. The winds blew as fast as 270 kilometers an hour.


Words in the News

reverse v. to change (something) to an opposite state or condition

sanction n. n action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country, etc.

management n. the act or skill of controlling and making decisions about a business, department, sports team, etc.

assess v. to make a judgment about (something)