1. HOMECOMING

    Abbas Returns to Hero's Welcome

    A Palestinian woman cries during the speech of President Mahmoud Abbas at the General Assembly of the United Nations, in  the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Bernat Armangue / AP Photo

    After a tense week at the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas got a hero's welcome when he returned to the West Bank on Sunday. In front of a cheering crowd of thousands, Abbas declared that a "Palestinian Spring" has begun. "Hold your heads up—you are Palestinian," Abbas said in his remarks, predicting a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. While the U.N. weighs his request for statehood, a process he expects to take about two weeks, Abbas has rejected any blueprint for peace talks with Israel that does not include a halt to Israeli settlements.

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