Poll: Marseille or Newcastle – where would you rather live?

first_imgAfter Marseille winger Florian Thauvin completed his £13m move to Newcastle on Wednesday, the Drive team want to know your thoughts… Angel of the North 1last_img

Tottenham supporters group demands a ‘credible explanation’ from the club detailing their transfer strategy

first_imgA Tottenham supporters group has voiced their concerns about Spurs’ summer transfer activity which has left concerning ‘gaps’ in the squad, asking for the club’s hierarchy to provide an explanation.Spurs brought in the likes of Heung-Min Son, Toby Alderweireld and Clinton N’Jie to bolster their options but failed to secure the signing of West Brom striker Saido Berahino after a rollercoaster saga.The non-arrival of a proven striker to share the goalscoring burden with Harry Kane raised a few eyebrows, and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust has subsequently questioned the club’s transfer strategy.In a statement, the organisation said:“We have, in line with most fans, congratulated THFC’s Board on running the Club as a sustainable business – avoiding the financial problems that have affected many clubs over the years. We recognise the need to balance a sustainable business strategy with the need to deliver an entertaining and successful team.  “At the end of this season’s transfer window, however, we find ourselves questioning where we have ended up. Some areas of the squad have looked light as we played four games in August, and that remains the case as we move into the main part of the season. We welcome the good signings that have been made, but are concerned at the gaps that still exist and the pressure this places on the manager and the team. “Spurs made the highest ever pre-tax profit in the Premier League last year – £80m. Revenues went up 22% to £180.5m. Ticket prices for top class games remain among the highest in the Premier League. Next year, the Club has informed us it wants to increase those prices.  “Many supporters are now questioning the relationship between what we pay and what we receive. We understand the Club is trying to finance a new stadium, but we have also heard that this will not be allowed to unduly affect the playing side. And no doubt we will be asked to dig deep to watch the team in the new stadium, once it is built.  “This is not the first time the team has gone into a season looking light. We believe fans have shown enormous patience over the years. But we understand why that patience is starting to run out. It is important the Club is run on successful business lines, but the success of the business depends on sporting success – the kind that attracts crowds and fills new stadiums.  “We think a credible explanation from THFC’s Board to address the genuine concerns of supporters, many of whom have backed the current Board consistently, is now required.”Does this represent the general consensus amongst Spurs fans? Leave your comments below… 1 Tottenham crest last_img read more

WWE star Wade Barrett on Rooney’s England absence: ‘He broke his fingers when he slapped me!’

first_img 2 However, he is keen to ensure Rooney is not too beaten up for the summer’s Euro 2016 tournament…“We all know what Phil Bardsley did to Wayne,” added Barrett. “So I just wanted to get his phone number to get a bit of advice on how I take Wayne down.“Phil figured it out in the past, so I wanted to get a few tips from him before I track Wayne down a get a bit of payback!“When I catch up with him he’s going to get a lot more damage than that. But I want him healthy for Euro 2016, so I’m going to get my damage in very early to give him enough time to recover because I want to see us win that tournament.”Liston to talkSPORT’s exclusive interview with Wade Barrett above, and check out how he began his hunt for revenge on Wayne Rooney in the video below! Rooney and Barrett finally met face-to-face on Monday night, with their encounter ending with the pint-size forward laying the smackdown on towering athlete from his ring-side seat in the audience.Barrett didn’t take too kindly to the England record goalscorer’s antics and he quickly called on the expertise of Stoke City defender Phil Bardsley, who notoriously appeared to knock Rooney out in a video of a play fight that emerged online, to aid in his revenge plot. 2 WWE star Wade Barrett has sworn revenge on England captain Wayne Rooney, and revealed to talkSPORT the ‘REAL’ reason why the striker is missing for England in Friday’s friendly against Spain.Roy Hodgson revealed on Thursday that the skipper is set to sit out of the game in Alicante, but insisted it was simply to give his other strikers the chance to impress before Euro 2016.But after their famous clash at WWE Raw in Manchester this week, King Barrett insists there is another explanation for Rooney’s vanishing act.“I think he broke his fingers when he slapped me actually,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “That’s what I heard!”The Preston-born wrestler – and avid Preston North End fan – has a feud with the Manchester United forward dating back to earlier this year, when he called Rooney out for a bout after watching him take a dive against his beloved Lilywhites in last season’s FA Cup.last_img read more

Dortmund starlet insists he will NOT be joining Manchester City

first_img Julian Weigl Borussia Dortmund starlet Julian Weigl has rubbished speculation linking him with a move to Manchester City.The 20-year-old is tipped for a big future by many in Germany and Europe’s top clubs are already making enquires.Barcelona and Manchester City are at the front of the queue for the midfielder, but Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen.However, Weigl has cooled any exit talk and instead reiterated his desire to stay at the Westfalenstadion.“I really don’t plan on leaving Borussia. It’s just not an issue for me,” Weigl told Bild.“I can only stress that I am under contract at BVB until 2019, and I still want to achieve a lot with this club.” 1last_img read more

Guus Hiddink rules out move to China for Chelsea’s Loic Remy

first_imgGuus Hiddink has dismissed suggestions Loic Remy could move to China this month.The French international has been linked with a switch to the Chinese Super League after finding first-team chances limited at Stamford Bridge.But Hiddink is adamant that will not happen and says he intends to keep his squad as it is until the end of the season.“I think this squad what we have now will stay until the end of the season,” said the interim manager.“We must be very careful. We love to have double-covered positions and you never know what will happen. I don’t see many changes at the moment.” Loic Remy 1last_img read more

Committee to begin studying Angel’s Gate ideas from public

first_img“Because of these people, we’re going to get this done,” Wolfgram said. “We’re all determined to have this happen.” However, the committee still has to worry about funding for the plan. Wolfgram said at last month’s public forum that neighborhood councils have donated money, and the cultural center received funds from the California Cultural and Historic Endowment. “It is not enough,” Wolfgram said. She said fundraising is a must, and that residents should keep their eyes open for different opportunities. rachel.jones@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityMembers of the steering committee will evaluate the suggestions provided by local residents and organizations, which range from athletic fields to an Asian or Native American cultural center to a dog park. The steering committee will then make a recommendation for the park’s use and submit it to the city by the end of the year. Sophia Pi a-Cortez, Recreation and Parks superintendent for the Pacific region, said that the final plan may not please everyone, but that they are “trying to build a consensus” with the ideas that were received. The public will have an opportunity to comment on a draft of the park’s plan, during a public meeting tentatively scheduled for Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. Wolfgram acknowledged that there have been past attempts to create a master plan and improve the park, but she said this time will be different because of a team that is “bound and determined” to see the plan through. She noted the hard work of the project manager, the Angel’s Gate Cultural Center’s board of directors, local politicians and the city Recreation and Parks Department. By Rachel Jones STAFF WRITER Now that the first phase of the Angel’s Gate master planning process has ended, interested parties are looking to the next step in revitalizing the park. At the final public forum on Sept. 29, master plan steering committee chair Juli Wolfgram explained what will happen with the plethora of public suggestions. last_img read more

3 ex-guards convicted in abuse of inmates

first_imgProsecutors said the incident was retaliation for problems guards had with inmates that day. In one of the earlier incidents, inmates threw a jacket over the head of an officer and beat him. In response, officers shackled several inmates and loaded them into a van to take them from one section of the prison to another. Once there, McGowan pulled two prisoners from the van and allowed them to fall to the ground. The inmates could not break their falls because they were handcuffed and shackled. They suffered minor injuries. Flores tossed another inmate to the ground, prosecutors said. Ramos, a sergeant, later submitted a memo to prison officials claiming one of the inmates assaulted by McGowan had slipped, even though he knew of the assault, prosecutors said. They also claim Flores initially lied about the incident to a federal grand jury. The officers’ trial lasted about a week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Jurors deliberated for parts of three days before announcing their verdicts Monday. Clark said he believes the officers have a good chance of winning an appeal. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14. hurling shackled inmates to the ground r_leveque@dailybulletin.com (909) 483-9325160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – Three correctional officers from the California Institution for Men were convicted Monday for and conspiring to cover it up. Robert McGowan of Apple Valley was found guilty of two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Thomas Ramos of Montclair and Hector Flores of Whittier were both convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice for lying to investigators after the May 9, 2002, incident. McGowan, 38, faces up to 25 years in federal prison. Ramos, 51, and Flores, 39, face up to five years each. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Lawyers for the three men did not return calls for comment late Monday afternoon. However, the local president of the union that represents them spoke out in their defense, saying all are honorable men and accusing prosecutors of blowing the case out of proportion. “Most of the officers at CIM feel this is an injustice, a travesty,” said Gary Clark, who heads the Chino chapter of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. “I’m not saying there wasn’t an incident, but I definitely don’t believe it was what the prosecution made it out to be.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tammy Spertus, who helped prosecute the trio, rebuffed that claim. “It’s never a minor incident when correctional officers take the law into their own hands, abuse inmates and cover it up, which is what happened in this case,” she said. last_img read more

Eli Broad has made his mark on L.A.

first_img“I’ve never been one who enjoys the status quo,” Broad says. “I’m always pushing for new ideas, whether it’s in business or philanthropy.” Along with $25 million he donated last year to create the Broad Institute for Integrative Biology and Stem Cell Research at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, Broad has almost single-handedly made Los Angeles one of the nation’s hubs for stem-cell research. “When you look at his record, you see that Eli is a terrifically valuable person,” says George Kieffer, an attorney who heads the Los Angeles Civic Alliance. “He’s made enormous contributions for the arts, education and medicine and has a particular vision for Grand Avenue that may prove to be very important to the city.” Just how powerful? Perceived by many today as one of the most powerful players in Los Angeles, Broad also is among the richest men in the world, with a $5.8billion fortune in a city where money alone can make someone a player. But just how powerful is the man whom some call the architect of modern Los Angeles and the king of L.A.? “Eli Broad is re-imagining Los Angeles, and that makes him more like the Chandlers and less like everybody else,” author and historian D.J. Waldie says, referring to the former owners of the Los Angeles Times. “Broad seems to have a broader reach in (the city’s) culture – his commitment to museums, his art collection, his involvement in Disney Hall and now his Grand Avenue (project) and how that might shape Los Angeles.” Broad seems to make no secret that exceeding what others have done for Los Angeles is part of his vision. He has even gone so far as to say that his Grand Avenue project would be the “Champs-Elysees of Los Angeles” – a comparison he now begs off. “Oh, I said that once, and I’ve got to live that down,” he says. “I think Grand Avenue has to be a grand avenue. It’s got the four venues of the music center including Disney Hall. People thought (calling it the Champs-Elysees) was overdone, over the top. (But) it does speak for itself.” Overdue identity Ultimately, what Grand Avenue does, Broad says, is give Los Angeles a long-overdue identity. “Think about it,” he says. “We’ve got a great opera with Placido Domingo, a great symphony and a great symphony hall, more theatrical productions … than New York, London or Paris, great universities and the biggest book market in America. “But yet we’re viewed as a cultural wasteland and not a cultural oasis, which we are. So putting this all together and having a vibrant center, I think, helps everyone.” The Grand Avenue project, which Broad spearheaded, calls for 2,600 condominiums and apartments, a 9-acre recreational and cultural promenade, 400,000square feet of retail space, a 275-room hotel and a 50-story translucent glass tower designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. In Broad’s vision, only his foundation work exceeds what he expects on Grand Avenue. The foundation so far has committed $2.25billion to education and medical research, as well as the arts. Waning clout? Broad also has money to burn on political campaigns. Just in the past year, more than $65,000 of his money has fattened congressional and presidential war chests alone. But after a recent high-profile stretch that included a Vanity Fair magazine profile, some say Broad’s power – beyond what money can buy – might be waning. He was among the targets of a recent report by The New York Times questioning whether the public benefits of philanthropy are commensurate with the tax benefits the nation’s wealthy givers receive. And critical observers of the city and its power structure say that for all of Broad’s influence in arts and culture, his role as a political power broker is paling. “I think Eli had more influence when we had a weak mayor like (James) Hahn than in this machine we have now of big real-estate developers and a rubber-stamp City Council that have made (Mayor Antonio) Villaraigosa so unassailable,” author and urban historian Joel Kotkin says. With one phone call, Hahn says, Broad was able to talk the former mayor out of merging the Cultural Affairs Department under the Department of Recreation and Parks. “My sense,” Kotkin says, “is that Eli had much more power when there was a more dispersed political leadership than we have now.” Role minimized That feeling extends even inside the city’s power establishment, although many are reluctant to publicly talk about it. “Eli is important in Los Angeles, but he’s not the power broker that some make him out to be. He has money, and that’s what makes him important,” one political-business leader says. “(But) … he’s not a consensus-builder who’s going to bring a lot of different people together. He’s not a political thinker who’s going to have great insight into (political) power and how it’s attained. And he has limited political skills.” For his part, Broad says that despite his high profile in the city, he is retired from business and his emphasis is on his foundation work and seeing his Grand Avenue dream fulfilled. But local history experts say Broad might be an iconic illustration of how power has shifted and continues to evolve in Los Angeles. In the 1950s, a power establishment worked broadly behind the scenes orchestrating land and political development in the city. Called the Committee of 25, it included some of the city’s richest men – including Times publisher Norman Chandler and Asa Call of Pacific Mutual Insurance. The group handpicked mayors and their platforms and dictated the growth of the city. But today, the age of the kingmaker in Los Angeles is history. Changing scene “That type of individual power has been eclipsed,” says Robert Gottlieb, the Henry R. Luce professor of urban environmental studies at Occidental College. Raphael J. Sonenshein, professor of political science at California State University, Fullerton, says he thinks the power shift began about four decades ago. “Historically, there was a time when a private citizen could be the power behind the throne, but that’s less true today,” he says. That’s because in the 1960s, the power and visibility of elected officials began increasing and continued in the mayoral administrations of Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan, who combined the essence of powerful, rich individuals with elected office. It was Riordan who helped Broad transition in the 1990s from an arts-cultural leader to political figure – first as Riordan’s point man in rescuing construction of the foundering Disney Concert Hall and then teaming up in a lavish campaign to reform the city’s public schools through handpicked board members. Helping Antonio But if power in Los Angeles is intertwined with mayoral relationships, Broad’s status has significantly shifted under Villaraigosa. In 2001, Broad was a key financial backer of his mayoral campaign. In one primary victory celebration fitting of a Hollywood political drama, Broad stood tall among supporters with a smile of satisfaction on his face. Even after Villaraigosa’s defeat in that campaign, Broad helped support the budding politician with a consulting position until he could run for office again. By then, the Broad legend of power broker and kingmaker was in full bloom. Just four years ago, a Los Angeles magazine headline proclaimed: “He has more pull than the mayor, more art than Getty and more money than God. Does Eli Broad own L.A.?” By then, too, Broad was at work fattening Villaraigosa’s credibility with a constituency he needed to widen his appeal for a second mayoral bid. “Broad was important for Villaraigosa in reaching out to the business community and in having the mantle of being an education reformer,” Sonenshein says. “But in Los Angeles today, as we’ve seen in Villaraigosa, being the mayor is a pretty powerful person.” Parting of ways For Broad, that came as a jolting realization. He is no longer as close to Villaraigosa as he once was, having a public parting over the mayor’s ill-fated campaign to take control of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Broad views education as a pillar of his legacy, so when Villaraigosa was elected in 2005, it meant an opportunity to put into effect mayoral control of education that Broad and Riordan had once hoped to accomplish. But almost immediately after Villaraigosa’s swearing-in, the two had a run-in when Broad – without Villaraigosa’s input – orchestrated legislation to allow the mayor to appoint the school board if schools failed key performance measures. Miffed about details of the bill and its introduction, Villaraigosa refused to support it. “The mayor,” Broad later recalled with a trace of skepticism, “`wasn’t ready’ at that time.” A year later, Villaraigosa was ready. But when the bill ran into opposition from the teachers union, he negotiated a back-room deal in Sacramento that Broad and others thought compromised too much. Broad swore not to support the legislation, even withholding money from a mayoral committee that had been set up to lobby for the bill. Villaraigosa, though, had other resources – big developers with projects in the city who were eager to line his committee’s coffers. As one member of the city’s power structure observed: “It’s come to the point that (Broad) needs the mayor more than the mayor needs him.” But that can chafe Broad, whose impatience has both driven him to high achievements and left him with a reputation of being uncompromisingly stubborn. “When you deal with Eli,” one downtown business leader says, “you have to be prepared to do things his way or the highway.” Broad sent a letter to the mayor expressing his dissatisfaction and his withdrawal of support. Within days, the letter was leaked to the news media. Also made public was Villaraigosa’s reply – short and dismissive. Education key Their relationship has never been the same since. When Broad’s foundation announced in May that it was injecting $10million in grants into an alliance to create 13 charter schools, Villaraigosa did not attend the ceremonies. Broad says that despite their difference on the mayoral takeover bill, the two remain joint supporters of educational reform, especially of charter schools, into which the Broad Foundation has contributed $41million. Broad also points out that Villaraigosa has been supportive of his Grand Avenue project and his stem-cell research campaign. “Mr. Broad has been a leading voice in the civic and cultural life of Los Angeles, and the mayor very much values his advice,” mayoral spokeswoman Janelle Erickson says. Among their few meetings since their falling out was a three-hour dinner earlier this year at Patina in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. “We drank a lot of good wine (and) talked about a lot of things,” Broad recalled. “I’ve known Antonio for 11 years. I think Antonio is a bridge between many communities. Antonio has a very different job now as mayor than in the Legislature. “Now, he’s chief executive of this city. That’s different than being the head of a legislative body where you do all sorts of compromises. And I think he’s doing fine.” But there was one thing in particular Broad wanted to tell the mayor that night over dinner. And he remembered it with a trace of satisfaction that no amount of money can buy. “I said, `Antonio, I’m not your lapdog that’s going to agree with everything you say.”‘160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From his 12th-floor suite in an office complex in Westwood, Eli Broad looks over acres of million-dollar homes, soaring towers along Wilshire Boulevard and clogged swaths of freeways and thoroughfares. It is the disjointed, cacophonous Los Angeles in which Broad lives. But it’s not the coherent, organized Los Angeles he envisions for the future. “We’ve got a great city and have a lot of great communities, whether it’s the Valley or whether it’s the Westside or whether it’s Pasadena,” he says. “But you need one place where people from all communities can come together, whether it’s for the arts, culture, sports, whatever. “We are, after all, one of the four great capitals of the world along with New York, London and Paris.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.If that is true, one reason is because the 74-year-old billionaire and philanthropist has arguably played one of the largest roles in shaping the cultural and physical landscapes of a city that feeds on wealth, personality and power. His personal imprint looms over the city – the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown, the completion of The Walt Disney Concert Hall, the expansion and redesign of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Last month, his vision for a $2.5billion Grand Avenue redevelopment cleared its final hurdle for construction in a move that Broad believes will forever change the city skyline and set a course for future development downtown. Also last month, his Broad Foundation donated $20million to the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA. Last week, Broad was one of four presented with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in Pittsburgh, honoring those who dedicate their wealth to the public good and have long-standing careers as philanthropists. last_img

Shuttle mission gets extended

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.During a spacewalk already planned for Tuesday, astronaut Scott Parazynski will inspect a good rotary joint that turns the space station’s left set of solar wings toward the sun. NASA wants to see what a perfectly running unit looks like to compare it with the one that is acting up on the opposite side. On Sunday, spacewalker Daniel Tani found black dust that resembled metal shavings inside the motorized joint that controls the right set of solar wings. He said Monday that it was instantly apparent to him something was wrong. The dust was everywhere, and the spinning mechanism was not shiny and clean as it should have been for something launched just four months ago, Tani said. At least some of the shavings are steel and could be from the bearings inside the joint, said Mike Suffredini, NASA’s space station program manager. At Suffredini’s request, shuttle mission managers approved a more detailed inspection of the troublesome right joint. The time-consuming work will be conducted Thursday. By Marcia Dunn The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA asked its orbiting astronauts Monday to take a closer look at the gears that control the international space station’s solar wings to try to find out what’s grinding inside and causing steel chips to clog the system. The “exploratory surgery” as the station’s program manager calls it will keep shuttle Discovery in orbit an extra day. The ship will now land on Nov. 7. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Bush starting to look a lot like Clinton

first_img“We have said from the very beginning, and the president made clear, that it is the parties themselves that have to make the peace,” the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, said on the eve of this week’s meetings. What happens afterward Even before the two sides – or three sides, or 49 sides – meet Tuesday, critics have declared Bush’s Annapolis gathering the photo opportunity that Rice emphatically said it would not be only a month ago. “The mother of all photo ops,” an Israeli official called it on Monday, underscoring the fact that when it comes to Middle East peace, skepticism is always in order. That, however, does not necessarily mean it will be a failed photo op. Bush’s approach has resulted in the first international conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict since the Madrid conference organized by his father’s secretary of state, James A. Baker III, in 1991. The real measure of Annapolis, officials on all sides agreed, will be what happens afterward. That almost certainly will depend on how much political capital Bush’s administration is willing to spend when the two sides reach another impasse on the difficult “final status” issues, like the future of the border, the capital and Palestinian refugees. Bush is expected to give at least a preliminary answer to that question when he opens today’s meeting with a speech that has taken on greater significance in recent days, as the Israelis and Palestinians have struggled to agree even on a general statement that might emerge from the conference. During a toast at a formal dinner at the State Department on Monday evening, Bush promised “my personal commitment to what has become the White House mantra since 2002: two states, Israeli and Palestinian, living side by side in peace and security.” Bush’s aides often point out that in 2002 he was the first American president to declare support for a Palestinian state. That is true, but they fail to mention that he did so while refusing to negotiate with Yasser Arafat, then the Palestinian leader, effectively endorsing a deadly stalemate. A recurring criticism of Bush is that he has so clearly tilted American policy toward Israel that the United States is no longer seen as an honest broker, emphasizing Israel’s security over Palestinian grievances. Failed to follow through That was the case in 2004, when he publicly expressed support for some of the nonnegotiable positions of the former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, including Sharon’s objections to what Palestinians regard as the all-important right of return for Palestinians uprooted by the conflict. Bush’s assurances to Israel remain on the table. An even more consistent criticism, though, has been that Bush failed to follow through, declaring a vision only to let it wither on the vine as the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians worsened. “This is not a slogan,” said Dennis Ross, the Middle East envoy for Clinton and the current president’s father. “If you’re going to do Middle East peace process, you can’t just lay out a broad vision.” Bush’s aides bristle at the suggestion that he has not been effectively engaged, noting that it was the president who proposed the Annapolis conference back in July, even if Rice carried out the diplomacy to make it happen. Perino, the press secretary, suggested Monday that it was not Bush’s involvement that had changed as much as the circumstances in Israel and the Palestinian territories. She said that both sides now had leaders willing to negotiate. Privately, officials also express confidence that the Arab world might finally get behind the effort out of fear of Iran’s rising influence. For some in the administration it is Iran, not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan and the struggle against terrorism, that demands greater attention from Bush as his final year in office approaches. Bush seems to have accepted the argument of those who believe that the Palestinian cause is at the root of Islamic mistrust of the United States – or at least that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could halt the march of Hamas, a radical Islamic movement that has already declared Annapolis a treasonous failure for Abbas. To conservatives, that might be Bush’s biggest gamble: risking a failed peace effort that would lead to a greater radicalization. “I don’t think it’s a risk-free proposition,” said John R. Bolton, a conservative who served as the U.N. representative under Bush until last year and is a vocal critic of the administration. “If the conference fails, it doesn’t leave you in equipoise. It could put you in a worse position.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“The United States cannot impose our vision,” Bush told the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Oval Office on Monday, before saying, and sounding, again, Clintonesque, “but we can help facilitate.” For all the pomp of the Annapolis gathering, the White House is not calling it a summit meeting or anything else suggestive of substantive progress. Bush’s vision is ambitious, but his strategy is cautious – he may be repeating Clinton’s role, yet he rejects what he sees as the meddlesome quality of it. That view reflects more than just his personality. (“The president is not a gambler,” his press secretary, Dana M. Perino, said last week.) It also echoes a view held by conservatives in the administration, and probably by Bush, that the United States should not impose terms on Israel, America’s closest ally in a troubled region. “They’re extremely cautious because they’re exposed in that sense,” Martin S. Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel who worked in the Clinton administration, said of Bush and his aides, and of the inevitable comparisons to Clinton’s final push for peace as his term neared an end. “They don’t think it’s a good idea to drive it to a conclusion.” As a result, Bush has given every indication that once the diplomats leave Wednesday, he will again leave any talks to come to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and, more important, to the Israelis and Palestinians. MIDEAST: Bush’s aides deplore any comparison to former president’s hands-on strategy. WASHINGTON – It might seem, after nearly seven years of deliberate detachment from Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, that President Bush has plunged into Middle Eastern diplomacy with Clintonesque energy. He met with the Israel and Palestinian leaders at the White House on Monday and will do so again on Wednesday. Today, he will meet them at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., along with delegations from 46 countries and international organizations (including, after an arm-twisting by phone last week, Saudi Arabia). In fact, Bush and his aides still deplore what they view as President Clinton’s disastrously hands-on involvement in the peace process in 2000. And they insist that Bush does not intend to negotiate personally the two-state peace he has pronounced as his vision, just as they insist that this is not an 11th-hour effort to forge a legacy other than the one left by the Iraq war. last_img read more