Slatest PM: The What Makes a Cease-Fire Edition

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 20 2012 4:55 PM

Slatest PM: The "What Makes a Cease-Fire" Edition

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IT'S NOT A CEASE-FIRE UNTIL THE FIRING ACTUALLY CEASES: New York Times: "Diplomatic efforts accelerated on Tuesday to end the deadly confrontation between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, as the United States sent Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Middle East and Egypt’s president and his senior aides expressed confidence that a cease-fire was close. But by late evening there was no word on an agreement."

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LIKE WE WERE SAYING: The BBC: "Gaza has come under renewed bombardment from Israel, as agreement on a ceasefire to end a week of violence remains elusive. At least 20 Palestinians were reported to have been killed on Tuesday. Two Israelis—a soldier and a civilian—were killed in rocket strikes. Earlier, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said a ceasefire would shortly be announced at talks in Cairo. But Israel has said a deal is not yet done. And late on Tuesday, a senior Hamas official, Izzat Risheq, said a deal might not be reached until the morning."

A SURPRISE VISIT: Washington Post: "Cutting short a trip to Southeast Asia, where she was accompanying President Obama on a three-nation tour, Clinton undertook the mediating effort in an apparent attempt to head off an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, a step that would mark a major escalation of the conflict and further complicate U.S. relations with regional partners — notably Egypt, an emerging Arab Spring democracy, and Turkey, a key NATO ally."

IT'S TUESDAY, welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

ABOUT THOSE THREATENING EMAILS: New York Daily News: "The menacing emails sent by David Petraeus’ ex-mistress to a Florida socialite promised to make the apparent rival 'go away' and boasted of her friends in high places, the Daily News has learned. The notes Paula Broadwell sent to Jill Kelley were far more sinister than previously reported and seemed like the rantings of someone 'clearly unhinged,' a close friend of Kelley told The News Monday. 'This wasn’t just a catfight. Any normal person who got emails like that would have immediately called the police,' said the friend."

WELL, THEN: Associated Press: "Ben Bernanke on Tuesday urged Congress and the Obama administration to strike a budget deal to avert tax increases and spending cuts that could trigger a recession next year. ... Bernanke also said Congress must raise the federal debt limit to prevent the government from defaulting on Treasurys debt. Failure to do so would impose heavy costs on the economy, he said. ... Uncertainty about all these issues is likely holding back spending and investment and troubling investors, the Fed chairman said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York."

FOOD STAMP CHALLENGE: Politico: "Newark Mayor Cory Booker is set to live at least a week on food stamps after he challenged a self-described Army wife and veteran to join him in the test. Booker tweeted on Monday that investing in 'schools, nutrition, etc' would save money in the long run instead of paying only for “huge back-end” government programs like prisons and police. ... Booker spokesman Mark Matzen said Tuesday that the challenge will go forward probably in December and the rules are still being worked out. 'He (Booker) also said he may be asking more people to join in,' Matzen said."

FEMALE BISHOPS: Associated Press: "The Church of England's governing body on Tuesday narrowly blocked a move to permit women to serve as bishops, leaving the church facing more years of contentious debate. Following a daylong debate, opponents mustered enough support to deny the necessary two-thirds majority among lay members of the General Synod, with backers falling six votes short of passage. Many speakers expressed regret that they were unable to agree on a way forward."

INSIDER TRADING: Wall Street Journal: "U.S. officials for the first time Tuesday implicated Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, in an alleged insider-trading scheme they said was the most lucrative ever to be charged. In the criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, federal prosecutors alleged that Mathew Martoma, a portfolio manager at SAC Capital affiliate CR Intrinsic Investors, received confidential information over an 18-month period from a neurology professor about a trial for an Alzheimer’s drug being jointly developed by Elan Corp. and Wyeth, which is now part of Pfizer. He allegedly purchased shares in the pharmaceutical companies and later sold their shares short when he learned negative news ahead of an announcement about the drug trial in 2008."

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.