In December 1916 a new cabinet assumes power in Great Britain. Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, who has led the government since 1908, is replaced by David Lloyd George, and Arthur Balfour replaces Sir Edward Grey as Foreign Minister. Germany, in diplomatic notes and in a speech in the Reichstag by Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, offers to open negotiations with the Entente in a neutral country. A few days later President Wilson sends notes to the belligerent nations asking for their views regarding terms on which the war might be ended. Germany responds by repeating its offer to negotiate, but refuses to state its terms. The Allies have not yet replied to the American notes, but reject the German offer as a “sham.” On the Western Front, French forces at Verdun attack the besieging Germans and push them back to positions near the lines from which they began the siege in February. In the Balkans, German troops occupy Bucharest. Grigori Rasputin, the influential mystic and religious adviser to the Tsar’s family, is murdered in Petrograd. In Greece a civil war rages between the king and his government.