Kerry Cites Progress Toward Pacific Trade Deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday the 12 nations negotiating the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal have made "good progress" toward reaching a final agreement, but that some details remain to be worked out.
He highlighted a series of goals for the pact as he spoke during a visit to Singapore, saying the deal would not only create economic opportunities for the countries involved, but also serve as a show of support for "good governance, transparency and accountability."
Negotiations have stretched on for years, and last week trade ministers failed to agree on a final pact during talks in Hawaii. If completed, the so-called TPP could cover 40 percent of the global economy.
Kerry said the TPP would raise standards by calling for compliance with international labor and environmental standards, for state-owned companies to compete fairly with the private sector, and for businesses to refrain from the use of underage workers or unsafe work places.
居住在东耶路撒冷的大多数巴勒斯坦人长期以来拒绝选择以色列国籍，视之为背叛他们的政治大业 - 建立一个以东耶路撒冷为首都的巴勒斯坦国。但由于这个梦想仍然遥遥无期，越来越多的巴勒斯坦人正在申请获得以色列公民身份。很多巴勒斯坦人表示，这是个艰难决定，但不得不务实面对。
前巴勒斯坦谈判人员塔法基说：“有很大的风险，如果情况持续下去，巴勒斯坦人还谈判什么呢？他们要谈判土地 - 他们已经失去了土地。他们要谈判人口，而人口正在流失。”
Growing Number of Eastern Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship
Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship.
Palestinians seeking Israeli citizenship usually say they do not have a choice.
Palestinian Teacher, who asked not to be identified, said: "I have a bad feeling because I prefer to have the passport of my country as a Jerusalemite, as a Palestinian, so I should have a Palestinian passport. But unfortunately I cannot get one. Instead, I got something that will only connect me more to Jerusalem."
While some Palestinians say that full-fledged citizenship enables them to get better jobs and more benefits, others disagree.
Ghassan Nofal, East Jerusalem resident said: "For someone that has children, expenses, a house and a shop and all these things, the citizenship could never help. If they give us a passport and take away our IDs, it is the same for me."
It is not all about benefits. The suburban Jerusalem homes of some Palestinians got separated from the rest of the city by an Israeli concrete wall built ten years ago after a rash of suicide bombings. Those Palestinians fear they may lose Jerusalem residency.
Interior Ministry figures obtained by the Reuters news agency, show that there were 1,434 passport applications for the year 2012-2013, of which 189 have been approved. Most of the rest are still being processed.
Amnon Ramon, Researcher Of The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, said: "We are indeed witnessing an increase in the number of East Jerusalemites who have permanent residency status in the state of Israel who are seeking Israeli citizenship. The question of how big this increase is - is debatable."
Palestinian officials pushing for a state that would include the territory of East Jerusalem are concerned.
Khalil Tafakji, former member of The Palestinian Negotiating Team, said: "There is a big risk that if the situation continues, what will the Palestinians negotiate about? They want to negotiate about land - they already lost the land. They want to negotiate for the population and the population is being lost."
The demographic impact could be even wider, they say, when one considers that the children of those who become Israeli are born Israeli citizens. Officials in Jerusalem deny that the demographics will affect Israel's negotiations with Palestinians.