The Slatest

Slatest PM: John Kerry Wants a Two-State Solution Within Nine Months

 Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat (R) during a press conference on the Middle East Peace Process Talks at the Department of State.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

***Sign up here to receive the Slatest PM in your inbox daily.***

Nine Months Out?: New York Times: “Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would convene again in the Middle East within two weeks and that their goal would be to work out a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months. Mr. Kerry described the talks here on Monday and Tuesday as constructive, and said they had involved three-way discussions that included the United States, as well as direct discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He said that the next meeting would mark the beginning of formal negotiations on the major issues, and that it would take place in Israel or the West Bank.”

Kerry’s Remarks: “While I understand the skepticism, I don’t share it and I don’t think we have time for it. I firmly believe the leaders, the negotiators, and citizens invested in this effort can make peace for one simple reason: because they must. A viable two-state solution is the only way this conflict can end, and there is not much time to achieve it, and there is no other alternative. We all need to be strong in our belief in the possibility of peace, courageous enough to follow through on our faith in it, and audacious enough to achieve what these two peoples have so long aspired to and deserve.”

What’s Next: Washington Post: “The talks, if they happen, would be the most substantive since 2008, in the waning months of the second administration of George W. Bush, when Israel and the Palestinians came within sight of a deal before talks collapsed. An Obama-led effort to revive negotiations fell apart after only a few meetings in 2010. Many of the core issues that the Israelis and Palestinians must address have remained unchanged for decades: how to arrange for Israel’s security needs; whether, where and how to divide Jerusalem to create a Palestinian capital; what to do about Palestinian refugees and their desire to return home; and where to draw the borders for a future state of Palestine.”

It’s Tuesday. Welcome to the Slatest PM, where we’re rounding up the day’s top stories and wishing we were flies on the wall at Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden’s breakfast this morning. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.

The Slatest: Bradley Manning Avoids Life Sentence, May Still Spend Life Behind Bars

Obama’s “Grand Bargain:” NBC News: “President Barack Obama challenged Republicans on Tuesday to help him craft a ‘grand bargain’ for the middle class, unveiling a corporate tax reform proposal intended to put the GOP on the spot ahead of this fall’s budget battles. At a speech this afternoon in Chattanooga, Tenn., Obama called for closing loopholes and certain deductions for big business in exchange for lowering rates. The president offered a trade-off in which new revenue from the tax reforms would be used toward spending on infrastructure and transportation projects.”

The Slatest: Anthony Weiner Refuses to Say Whether or Not He’s Still Sexting

The Sandusky Saga Isn’t Over: Associated Press: “Penn State’s ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Prosecutors showed enough evidence during a two-day preliminary hearing to warrant a full criminal court trial for ex-President Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, Judge William Wenner concluded. … State prosecutors allege that the three men failed to tell police about sexual abuse allegations involving Sandusky and then tried to cover up what they knew about it. The men say they are innocent and were not aware of the allegation against Sandusky in 2001.”

The Slatest: Arkansas School District Takes Page From NRA’s Playbook, Will Arm Teachers and Staff

Morsi is “Well:” New York Times: “The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said on Tuesday that Mohamed Morsi was doing well and that they had discussed the situation in Egypt during their talks on Monday, which were the first time Mr. Morsi, the former president, had been allowed to meet with an international diplomat since the military took him into custody almost a month ago. At a news conference on Tuesday, Ms. Ashton said that visiting Mr. Morsi had been a condition for her trip to Egypt, and that Egyptian officials ‘freely offered’ her the opportunity.”

The Slatest: Taliban Prison Break Frees 250 in Pakistan

Rejection of NYC Soda Ban Upheld: Reuters:”New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries was rejected by a state appeals court on Tuesday, which said he had overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban. The law, which would have prohibited those businesses from selling sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces (473 ml), ‘violated the state principle of separation of powers,’ the First Department of the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division said.”

The Slatest: Video of Police’s Streetcar Shooting Sparks Protests in Toronto

Pennsylvania County Ordered to Stop Gay Marriages: Associated Press: “State officials asked a court to stop a rogue county from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Tuesday, nearly a week after a clerk began granting them in violation of Pennsylvania law. The petition filed by the Health Department in Commonwealth Court alleges that D. Bruce Hanes, the register of wills in Montgomery County, ‘repeatedly and continuously’ flouted the law. As of Tuesday afternoon, the county had granted 34 licenses and registered six same-sex marriages.”

Afghanistan Needs Long-Term Support: New York Times: “Following reports in recent weeks that the White House is considering a full withdrawal from Afghanistan when the NATO-led mission ends in December 2014, a Pentagon assessment released Tuesday says significant foreign military assistance and financial support for Afghan security forces will be required long after United States troops are expected to depart. ‘Beyond then, it will still require substantial training, advising and assistance — including financial support — to address ongoing shortcomings,’ said the report, titled ‘Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan.’”

Spain Train Conductor Was On Phone at 95 MPH: Associated Press: “The driver of the train that derailed and killed 79 people in Spain was on the phone and traveling at 95 mph - almost twice the speed limit - when the crash happened last week, according to a preliminary investigation released Tuesday. … The driver, Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, was talking on the phone to an official of national rail company Renfe when the crash happened and apparently was consulting a paper document at the time, the statement said. Garzon was provisionally charged Sunday with multiple counts of negligent homicide.”

A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:

That’s all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until next time, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds