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Shimon Peres, whose six decades of public service included stints as both Israel's prime minister and president, has died at the age of 93, two weeks after suffering a stroke. The joint 1994 Nobel Peace Prize laureate played a defining role for Israel since its founding in 1948, serving as an aide to the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and later working secretly with the French to establish Israel as a nuclear power, recalls Le Monde.


But it was a negotiated peace in the war-torn region that drove the second half of Peres' career, most notably as one of the architects of the Oslo Accords that earned him the Nobel alongside fellow Israeli Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.


Writing in Haaretz, New Jersey-based rabbi, writer and teacher Eric H. Yoffie reminds us that Peres "made it clear, publicly and privately, that he did not expect peace tomorrow or the next day," but that he was nonetheless "an optimist not blinded by messianism."


As world leaders prepare to fly to Israel for Peres' funeral, it is worth noting that it was another September day, 23 years ago, that Peres, Rabin and Arafat were joined together on the White House lawn by President Bill Clinton for a momentous gesture. Just this week, Israel's current leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, met with the two major candidates seeking the White House. He may have spoken to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about addressing the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But for now, it's only words. Rest in peace.

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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