The World

10 ESSENTIAL STORIES

1 | Washington Envoy Expectations President Obama's Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, kicked off a weeklong trip to the Middle East on Jan. 27, intended to bolster peace and stability in the region and extend the fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Mitchell's trip, which has included stops in Egypt and Israel for meetings with senior officials, came as a flare-up of violence in Gaza left two people dead. Mitchell also plans to visit other key regional players in the peace process, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Mitchell is not scheduled to meet with Hamas representatives during his tour.

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