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FROM THIS EPISODE

One Israeli newspaper says John Kerry's efforts to renew talks between Israel and the Palestinians will produce either a "breakthrough" or "political humiliation." We look at the prospects and hear from both sides. Also, the traffic jam at the top of the world: overcrowding on Mount Everest.

Banner image: US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) is joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa at the Dead Sea May 26, 2013. Photo: Jim Young/Reuters

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg
Christian Bordal
Anna Scott

Making News Ricin Letter Sent to Obama 7 MIN, 50 SEC

Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group received letters laced with the poison ricin. Today, the Secret Service confirms it intercepted a similar letter address to President Obama. Josh Gerstein is White House reporter for Politico.

Guests:
Josh Gerstein, Politico.com (@joshgerstein)

Main Topic John Kerry's Gamble on 'Middle East Peace' 25 MIN, 10 SEC

John Kerry has acknowledged that there is skepticism — even cynicism — about renewing the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that broke off five years ago.  But, during his first months as Secretary of State, that's what he's focused on, with repeated visits and at least ten long phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He says improving the West Bank's economy would be a good start, but neither side has shown any change on issues necessary to a two-state solution. Israeli settlements, Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem and national boundaries are as divisive as ever. Palestinians are politically and geographically divided. Polls show that neither side really believes that peace has a chance. Does the US have the power — and the commitment -- to make a difference?

Guests:
Geoffrey Aronson, Foundation for Middle East Peace
Josef Olmert, University of South Carolina
Diana Buttu, Palestinian Liberation Organization (formerly) (@dianabuttu)
Julia Bacha, Just Vision (@juliabacha)

Reporter's Notebook Mount Everest Overcrowded after 60 Years of Climbing 8 MIN, 4 SEC

Sixty years after the first ascent of Mount Everest, the latest National Geographic contains a series of articles on what it calls "the mess at the top of the world." Conrad Anker, who has climbed in the Himalaya for 25 years, ascended Everest three times and has lost friends to what he calls "the vicissitudes of the high alpine environment," describes looking up at more than 100 other climbers, roped together and moving at exactly the same speed, passing the bodies of others who have fallen to their deaths. He says that friction between foreign climbers and local sherpas has led to outright fighting.

Guests:
Conrad Anker, National Geographic (@conradanker)

The Call of Everest

Conrad Anker

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