Indian Diplomat Leaves US
An Indian diplomat at the center of a disagreement with the United States for allegedly lying on a visa application for her maid has left the U.S.
Devyani Khobragade flew out of the U.S. Thursday night after India turned down a U.S. request to waive her diplomatic immunity.
Khobragade had been serving as India's deputy consel general in New York. However, on Thursday - following standard procedure - U.S. officials accepted India's request to change her accreditation to the United Nations as a diplomat, giving her full immunity.
Once she had full immunity, the State Department asked India to waive it so that Khobragade could face charges. But India denied the request.
The spokesman said the charges against her will not be dropped upon leaving the country, and she will face them if she returns.
Israel Announces Plans for New Settlement Homes in West Bank
Israel has announced plans for 1,400 new settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a move certain to upset Palestinians during a time of already fragile peace talks.
The Israeli Housing Ministry on Friday announced that 800 homes would be built in the West Bank and 600 in East Jerusalem, both areas occupied by Israel's military since 1967.
The move had been expected as part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to calm concerns by some in his government about the release of Palestinian prisoners.
The 26 prisoners were freed last month as part of a peace effort brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Israeli officials said they waited until Kerry left the region to announce the settlements.
Palestinians have threatened to walk out of the talks, and possibly pursue legal action, if Israel goes ahead with the settlements, which are built on land Palestinians want as part of a separate state.