The week's news at a glance.
The Swiss government hosted two days of talks this week on allowing Israel to join the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The umbrella organization of aid groups has long used a red cross or red crescent on white backgrounds as symbols of neutrality. But Arab countries refuse to allow the Israeli aid society, which uses a red Star of David, to join the umbrella group. Under a newly proposed compromise, the group would add a third symbola red diamond on a white fieldto be known as the Red Crystal. Israel could add a star inside the diamond. The adoption of a new emblem, neutral in form, is an opportunity for [religiously mixed] countries, as well as for those who are interested in a symbol without a religious connotation, said Antonella Notari, a spokeswoman for the group.