The Obama administration's flagging efforts to revive Arab-Israeli peace talks took another turn in the wrong direction this week. The Palestinians overcame U.S. opposition and won diplomatic recognition by UNESCO, becoming a new member state of the U.N.'s cultural and scientific agency. They've vowed to keep seeking such recognition elsewhere in the U.N system. Israel responded by speeding up settlement construction. U.S. officials say those moves are pushing the parties further away from a peace process, but both sides seem determined to move in opposition directions, leaving the U.S.
People protesting the agenda of the world leaders meeting at the G-20 summit in the south of France are being kept well away from the event. So Thursday, several hundred of them staged a peaceful demonstration in a super wealthy suburb near Monte Carlo. Amid the fabulous villas of the super wealthy, the protesters asked why the Greek people have to suffer an austerity program — while the rich benefit from tax havens like Monaco.
Robert Siegel speaks to Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University and an expert on contemporary Greece, about the tensions between democracy and the need for decisive action in dealing with the euro crisis. Mazower says that the speed of financial markets, and the slowness of the democratic process, has increased this tension during the crisis.
The Greek government is teetering on the brink of collapse Thursday, following the decision of Prime Minister George Papandreou to call off a referendum on the Europe bailout package for his country. The finance minister and other party colleagues have turned against Papandreou, amid talk of a national coalition government to prepare for new elections. Guy Raz talks to Joanna Kakissis, who has the latest from Athens.