Syrian opposition activists called mass protests for Friday to test a fragile, day-old ceasefire by President Bashar al-Assad's forces, and international pressure mounted for Damascus to fully comply with a U.N.-backed peace plan.
Israel's occupation of the West Bank is "morally and politically unsustainable, and must end," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. In a speech delivered Wednesday in Uruguay by his assistant, Ban also praised the Palestinian Authority's state-building program and criticized Israel for continued settlement building, according to reports. “Time is of the essence in realizing the two-state solution," Ban said. "The occupation that started in 1967 is morally and politically unsustainable, and must end. The Palestinians have a legitimate right to the establishment of an independent and viable state of their own.