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“South Korea will falter in the early stages of the implementation of the deal because the United States is economically more powerful,” he said

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s ruling party forced a long-stalled free trade deal with the United States through parliament Tuesday, enraging opposition lawmakers who blasted their political rivals with tear gas. South Korean lawmakers voted 151-to-7 in favor of…

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But war with Iran would have “very, very serious consequences for the region,” says Rubin, so if Israel and its allies can continue to delay the specter of war with small, covert programs, “that is a better option than having to face this yes or now question of starting another war in the Middle East.” Tehran’s nuclear program is back in the headlines of late because the U.N

Iran is a country that functions on rumor and intrigue, and a large explosion there over the weekend has set the rumor mills spinning like a centrifuge refining nuclear material. When the top of the Iranian Mullah hierarchy comes out…

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The lack of progress toward a political settlement with the Taliban is a major disappointment for the United States, which sees a deal as the key to ending the war. But the prospect of some accommodation with the hardline movement that once forbade Afghan girls to go to school is a bitter pill for many of the leaders Clinton addressed Monday. “Reconciliation holds promise, but it cannot be at the cost of the gains you have suffered for,” Clinton said. The Bonn conference attendees are hoping to agree on a set of mutual binding commitments under which Afghanistan would promise reforms and work toward goals such as good governance, with donors and international organizations pledging long-term assistance in return to ensure the country’s viability beyond 2014. “The road ahead will remain stony and difficult. It will require endurance and tenacity,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. “A stable and peaceful Afghanistan which does not pose a threat to the world is in the interest of all of us.” Afghanistan will present a sobering view of its economic dependence on foreign aid and spending related to the huge military presence and seek assurance that donor nations will help fill the gap after most forces leave by 2015. Although donor nations will not commit to specific figures at the one-day session Monday, they will sign up to the principle that economic and other advances in Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban government in 2001 should be safeguarded with continued funding. Afghanistan estimates it will need outside contributions of roughly $10 billion, or slightly less than half the country’s annual gross national product, in 2015. It will present plans to expand mining and agriculture and boost exports, and pledge improvements in financial management and anti-corruption efforts. Pakistan is a central player in regional efforts to improve trade and strengthen historically weak economies in what is a strategically important part of the world. But its boycott has cast a pall over the session, because it points out that nation’s influence in Afghanistan and its ability to play the spoiler. Will Pakistan boycott render Bonn “futile”? Pakistan is seen as instrumental to ending the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan because of its links to militant groups and its unwillingness, from the U.S. and NATO perspective, to drive insurgents from safe havens on its soil where they regroup and rearm. Pakistan canceled its participation to protest last month’s NATO air assault, carried out from Afghan territory, that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The deaths fed the popular perspective in Pakistan that the U.S. and NATO, not the Taliban, are Pakistan’s principal enemies. Pakistan’s army accused NATO of a “deliberate act of aggression,” an assertion the Pentagon hotly denied. Pakistan has received billions in U.S. aid since 2001, largely in expectation of cooperation against militants. Clinton called the deaths tragic and pledged a thorough investigation. Pakistan rebuffed her entreaties, as recently as Saturday, to reconsider and attend the conference. President Obama called Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday to reaffirm that the NATO air strikes were not deliberate attacks and that the U.S. is committed to a full investigation. A report by the Paksitani newspaper DAWN suggested Monday that Islamabad may send some lower-level envoy to Bonn after Mr. Obama’s call to Zardari, reports CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari. A senior official in Zardari’s office tells CBS News a “last minute” decision to attend the Bonn conference remained a possibility. The official also said the U.S. had privately made Pakistan aware of the repercussions that it faces from continuing to take a hard line following the helicopter attack on Pakistan.

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My next project is ‘Catwalk’ by Tony Hickox,” the model-actress posted on Tuesday, adding in a subsequent message, “At this time I am not officially signed onto any other projects

NEW YORK (CBS) Dina Lohan is threatening to take legal action against a film inspired by daughter Lindsay Lohan. Heiress Lydia Hearst is reportedly set to star in the leading role in the film, “Dogs in Pocketbooks,” which centers around…

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