Thursday, January 31, 2008


* PM: Winograd poses difficult questions The Final Winograd Report on the Second Lebanon War is "a penetrating and extensive report that poses many difficult questions," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said.

* Jewish group to build 200 new housing units in East Jerusalem The Yemin Yehuda non-profit association has begun building 200 housing units in the Shimon Hatzaddik compound.

* 'Winograd proves Israel intends to attack Lebanon again' The Winograd Committee's findings prove that Israel intends to attack Lebanon again, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said.

* Ethiopian Jewish Sigd-longing for rebuilt Temple The Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd will soon become a national holiday.

* 'Gaza will never be part of Egypt' The Gaza Strip will never be part of Egypt, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told the Italian daily La Repubblica.

* Pope says some science shatters human dignity Pope Benedict said on Thursday that embryonic stem cell research, artificial insemination and the prospect of human cloning had "shattered" human dignity.

* Internet outages disrupt communication across ME Internet outages disrupted business and personal usage across a wide swathe of the Middle East on Wednesday after two undersea cables in the Mediterranean were damaged.

* Stop Kenya burning, says AU head African leaders at their summit in Ethiopia have been told they must get involved with the crisis in Kenya.

* Internal row in Slovakia threatens EU treaty European Parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering has called on Slovakia to act responsibly.

* Kosovo declaration 'not imminent' Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has hinted at a possible delay before an independence declaration, dampening speculation that it may be imminent.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


* The Winograd Report The Winograd Commitee released its final report on the Second Lebanon War on Wednesday

* Court upholds cuts to Gaza electricity The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the government's move to slash fuel and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.

* Ahmadinejad tells West: Accept Israel's 'imminent collapse' Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the West Wednesday to acknowledge Israel's "imminent collapse."

* Air Force chief warns of possible attack on satellites If Israel didn't have enough threats to its security already, what with the ongoing confrontation with Hamas in the south, Hizbullah in the north and Syria close by, on Wednesday Israeli Air Force Chief, Brig.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedi, spoke about possible threats to Israeli spy satellites in space.

* Abbas rules out deal with Hamas Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has ruled out talking to Hamas unless it meets certain conditions, including previous Gaza border arrangements.

* MK Zeev: Gay 'plague' could destroy Israel Members of Hadash party's "Red-Pink Patrol" hung placards overnight Tuesday on the homes of Knesset members Eli Gabbay (National Union-NR) and Nissim Zeev (Shas) in protest of a proposal banning gay pride parades in Jerusalem.

* Jerusalem blanketed with heavy snow A heavy snowfall blanketed Jerusalem and the surrounding areas Tuesday night and was continuing to fall Wednesday.

* Kenya violence 'ethnic cleansing' The violence in Kenya's Rift Valley is "clear ethnic cleansing", the United States assistant secretary for African affairs has said.

* McCain Beats Romney to Win Fla. Primary Sen. John McCain won a breakthrough triumph in the Florida primary Tuesday night, seizing the upper hand in the Republican presidential race.

* Turkish military quiet on head scarves Turkey's military has a tradition of interfering in politics, even staging several coups in past decades.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


* 'UNHRC endorsed Arab charter with anti-Semitic provisions' In a letter issued Monday, UN Watch urged UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour to clarify a recent endorsement of the Arab Charter of Human Rights.

* Annan leads Kenya crisis talks Former UN chief Kofi Annan has begun a new push to broker a deal between the Kenyan government and opposition, in an attempt to end spiralling violence.

* 'Israel, Egypt meet on Gaza status' An Israeli defense delegation secretly visited Cairo on Monday and discussed the situation in Rafah with top Egyptian officials in a five-hour meeting.

* Russia warns EU on Kosovo force Russia warned the United Nations and European Union on Tuesday against taking any unilateral steps with Kosovo.

* Bush: Time has come for peace in Israel US President George W. Bush reiterated his commitment to working toward lasting peace in the Middle East in his final State of the Union address on Monday night.

* EU approves military force to Chad A 3,500-strong European military contingent will soon be heading to Chad and the Central African Republic.

* PM: Jews will never again be powerless Prime Minister Ehud Olmert drew a parallel between the current threat of a nuclear Iran and the Third Reich.

* Germany Confronts Holocaust Legacy Anew Most countries celebrate the best in their pasts. Germany unrelentingly promotes its worst.

* Fatah, Hamas fight for border control The Palestinian Authority has warned the Egyptians against striking a deal with Hamas over controlling the Rafah border crossing separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

* Bid to ease Turkish headscarf ban A proposal to allow women in universities to wear traditional headscarves is set to be presented to Turkey's parliament.

Monday, January 28, 2008


* PM: Jerusalem won't be first topic on peace talk agenda Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that discussion over the future of Jerusalem should be pushed off until a later phase in negotiations with the Palestinians, to avoid the risk of derailing peace talks.

* Iran: Israel too weak to confront us Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says Jewish state's ballistic missile capability won't help it in confrontations with Islamic republic.

* Egypt, Hamas close 1 of 3 gates at Rafah Egyptian security forces and Hamas gunmen in Rafah worked together Monday to string a barbed wire fence across one of the three breaches in the border in the latest effort to stem the flood of Palestinians across the frontier.

* 'Iran producing 300 tons of UF6' An Iranian official said Sunday that the Islamic republic has increased its production to more than 300 tons of a gas used for uranium enrichment, a semi-official news agency reported.

* Europe-wide terror plot thwarted Terror cell members nabbed in Barcelona reportedly planned to strike cities across Europe.

* 20 Years of Research Reveals: Jerusalem Belongs to Jews Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law."

* Iran and Egypt 'to restore ties' Officials in Tehran have announced that Iran is close to restoring full diplomatic relations with Egypt.

* Gangs on rampage in western Kenya Police are struggling to restore order in western Kenya, amid a recent wave of violence linked to disputed elections.

* Fatah TV Broadcasts Daily Call For Ethnic Cleansing of Jews Fatah chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's PA television has been repeatedly broadcasting a hate-filled music video calling for the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people from Israel.

* Dutch reject Serbia deal with EU The Dutch government has rejected calls from EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn for Serbia to be allowed to sign a pre-membership agreement shortly.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


* Egypt watches Gaza traffic go on Thousands of Gazans have poured into Egypt for a fourth day, despite Egyptian attempts to reseal the border.

* Hamas keeps open Rafah crossing Thousands of Palestinians are continuing to cross in and out of Egypt after Hamas defied Egyptian attempts to reseal the border with Gaza and used bulldozers to smash through the barrier.

* Abbas: No talks with Hamas despite Gaza border chaos Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday stuck to his tough conditions for resuming contacts with Hamas.

* Pakistan says nuke arsenal is safe Pakistan is increasingly alert to the possible threat of Islamic extremists seeking control of its nuclear weapons.

* Mottaki: Iran isn't threatening Israel, doesn't want nukes "Iran is not threatening Israel and does not want nuclear weapons.

* EU far-right groups to form party Far-right political leaders from four EU nations have unveiled plans to form a pan-European "patriotic" party.

* U.S. Race Captures World’s Eye, and Holds It To look at the reams of coverage in newspapers outside the United States or to follow the hours of television news broadcasts, you might conclude that foreigners had a vote in selecting an American presidential candidate.

* Jordanians rally in support of Hamas in Gaza Chanting slogans urging Islamist Hamas militants to resume suicide bombings against Israel, thousands of Jordanians marched in the capital.

* In remembrance of Holocaust, UN chief Ban says 'never again' Days before the United Nations General Assembly observes the third annual day to commemorate victims of the Holocaust, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on the world never to let it happen again.

* Iran Reports 7th Shipment of Russian Nuclear Fuel Iran's official news agency says the country has received a seventh shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia for its first atomic power plant.

Friday, January 25, 2008


* Gazans make new border wall hole Palestinians have bulldozed down part of the Gaza-Egypt border wall again, hours after Egyptian troops blocked holes recently made by militants.

* India to join nuclear mainstream India and the International Atomic Energy Agency are within weeks of reaching an agreement on oversight of New Delhi's civilian nuclear program.

* Hamas: 500,000 will march on Erez Egypt has assured the Palestinian Authority that it will reseal its border with the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

* Iraq sends troops for 'decisive' battle with al Qaeda Iraq is sending troops for a "decisive" battle with al Qaeda militants in Mosul.

* IDF beefs up security on Egyptian border The IDF closed down Highway 10 along the Israeli-Egyptian border from Gaza to Eilat Thursday night.

* Russia says foreign spies seeking WMD data: RIA Russia's domestic security service said on Friday it had foiled several attempts by foreign spies to obtain technology for weapons of mass destruction.

* IAF Chief Links Ahmadinejad, Hitler IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy made a pointed comparison Thursday between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

* Global share rebound continues Global stocks have risen on optimism that the White House and the Federal Reserve will steer the world's largest economy out of a recession.

* US scientists close to creating artificial life: study US scientists have taken a major step toward creating the first ever artificial life form by synthetically reproducing the DNA of a bacteria.

* McCain is using support for Israel to court Jews - and Christians Thursday night may prove to have been the last time five Republican candidates appeared on the same stage.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


* UN rights council condemns Israel's actions in Gaza, W. Bank The UN's top human rights body on Thursday passed a resolution condemning Israeli military action in Gaza and the West Bank.

* PM completely freezes new construction in West Bank settlements Israel has completely frozen all new construction in West Bank settlements.

* Egypt refuses to take control of Gaza A top Egyptian official said Thursday that Egypt's border with Gaza will go back to normal.

* Arab League chief: Israeli policy is destroying peace process Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa on Thursday accused Israel of taking steps destined toward destroying the peace process.

* Abbas to MKs: Jerusalem is on the table Jerusalem is on the table in talks between Israel and the Palestinians but it has not yet been negotiated.

* MK Shteinitz: Solution in Gaza Remains the Same - Conquer it! Likud MK Yuval Shteinitz says that with the breakdown of the border between Gaza and Egypt, Israel's lone option remains the same: "We must take over Gaza."

* Dutch FM to lobby for Israeli membership in EU Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Jacques Marcel Verhagen has pledged to lobby the EU member states to admit Israel to its ranks.

* Kosovo's independence 'in days' Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has said a declaration of independence is "an issue of days".

* 'Holland dominated by fear of Islam' A Dutch politician cautioned that the government of the Netherlands was dominated by a "fear of Islam."

* Davos switches focus to Mideast Fears of world recession briefly took a back seat Thursday at the World Economic Forum, where leaders from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq focused on how to establish security in their volatile regions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


* Mubarak: Palestinians were allowed into Egypt on my orders By Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Gaza crossed into Egypt on Wednesday after gunmen destroyed about two-thirds of the Gaza-Egypt border wall.

* Bolton: Israel May Have to Strike Iran Soon Former American Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton hinted broadly Tuesday that Israel will have to strike Iran's nuclear program on its own.

* Hamas willing to cede border control Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called Wednesday for an urgent meeting with his Fatah rivals.

* Report: 5 million killed in Congo conflict Hopes are high that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and armed groups can end a decade of fighting.

* Gaza battle moves to UNSC Even as Israel allowed some fuel and supplies to enter Gaza, and Kassam rockets again struck the western Negev.

* Greek PM in historic Turkish trip Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrives in Turkey on Wednesday in the first official visit there by leader of Greece for almost five decades.

* 'New Iran resolution not harsh' The new draft UN resolution on Iran over its disputed nuclear program does not call for any harsh sanctions.

* Political Unrest in Fear of Winograd Report A week before the release of the long-awaited Winograd Report on the government's handling of the Lebanon War, bereaved parents hand in their own report - and it's not pretty.

* Web pornography targeted in China Chinese authorities closed down 44,000 websites and arrested 868 people last year in a campaign against internet pornography, state media has reported.

* EU blames US spending for market turbulences The European Commission has pointed to unhealthy public spending in the US as the main cause of the current global market turbulences.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


* Ahmadinejad phones Mubarak to discuss Gaza situation Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telephoned his Egyptian counterpart for the first time and discussed the situation in the Gaza strip.

* China: Nuclear standoff with Iran is at a 'critical' stage China said Tuesday that Iran's nuclear standoff with the West was at a critical stage.

* UN Security Council to Meet on Gaza Blockade The United Nations Security Council is set to meet Tuesday late afternoon to discuss what Hamas has successfully billed as a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

* Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, Nato told The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

* Survey finds Europeans wary of interaction with Islam Europeans feel more threatened by the possibility of interaction with the Muslim world than Americans or Israelis.

* Russian bombers to test-fire missiles in Bay of Biscay Russia has sent two long-range bombers to the Bay of Biscay, off the French and Spanish Atlantic coasts, to test-fire missiles.

* Iran hails new delivery of nuclear fuel from Russia Russia delivered a fifth consignment of fuel for Iran's first nuclear power plant in the Gulf port of Bushehr on Tuesday.

* Gen. Shachor: 'Return to Gaza!' Oren Shachor, a former IDF general who was forced to resign for having leaked details of secret Hevron negotiations to then-opposition leader Shimon Peres, is just the latest public figure to say Israel has no choice but to enter Gaza with military force.

* Bolton: Near zero chance of Bush attacking Iran Former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton said on Tuesday that it's close to zero percent chance that the Bush administration will authorize military action against Iran before leaving office.

* EU worried at prospect of US recession EU finance ministers will today (22 January) debate the latest trends on the world markets.

Monday, January 21, 2008


* UN says Gaza facing food shortage UN food aid to about 860,000 people in the Gaza Strip will have to be suspended within days if Israel's blockade continues, the UN has warned.

* Israeli satellite launched from India After several delays, the TecSar reconnaissance satellite was successfully launched Sunday overnight.

* 'Gaza blackout is a Hamas deception' Israeli officials claimed Monday that the Gaza blackout was deliberately instigated by Hamas, in a bid to present the appearance of a humanitarian crisis.

* Day after Gaza blackout, PM says 'Gazans can walk' Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged Monday that Israel would not allow the Gaza Strip to slide into a humanitarian crisis in the wake of the decision to halt fuel supplies over ongoing rocket fire on the Negev, but later said that gas-deprived Gaza residents "can walk."

* Statistics: Jewish Population Flourishing in Judea and Samaria The Jewish population in Judea and Samaria is rising steadily despite Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's stated freeze on building in the expanding Jewish communities in the stony green hills that carpet the region.

* Survey: Muslims, West see divisions deepening Most people in Muslim and Western countries believe divisions between them are worsening and each side believes the other disrespects their culture, according to a poll released on Monday.

* Israeli Jews: No Voice for Diaspora Jews on Status of Jerusalem The vast majority of Jewish Israelis believe that Diaspora Jews have no right to make decisions about Jerusalem, according to a new poll commissioned by the Shalem Center's Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies.

* Bolton: US intelligence has become politicized The 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate, as well as the skewed reporting around it, is a sign of the "illegitimate politicization" of the American intelligence establishment, according to former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.

* Global shares tumble on US fears Global stock markets have tumbled amid growing fears of a recession in the US, and despite recovering slightly in the afternoon, were heading for big losses.

* Nationalist ahead in Serbia poll Hardline nationalist Tomislav Nikolic has won the first round of Serbia's presidential election, but will face a run-off poll, officials say.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


* Russian army chief: We'll use nuclear weapons if threatened Russia's military chief of staff said Saturday that Moscow could use nuclear weapons in preventive strikes in case of a major threat.

* Abbas calls Israeli air strikes 'brutal' Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday denounced Israel's ongoing military strikes in the Gaza Strip as "brutal."

* UN chief warns on Gaza violence UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Israelis and Palestinians to take urgent measures to try to end escalating violence in the Gaza Strip.

* Nasrallah: We have a near-complete body of an IDF soldier Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah appeared in public for the first time since 2006 on Saturday, warning Israel against attacking Lebanon.

* Iraqi Shia pilgrims mark holy day About two million pilgrims have marched through the Iraqi city of Karbala to mark Ashura - one of the holiest events in the Shia religious calendar.

* Serbians head to polls for decisive elections On Sunday (20 January), Serbian citizens will go to the polls to choose their new president in an election likely to strongly influence the country's EU path.

* Pipeline Cements Russia's Hold on Europe’s Gas Supply Russia strengthened its grip on Europe's energy supplies on Friday as it signed a major gas deal with Bulgaria.

* Hamas: We foiled Fatah plot on Haniyeh A senior Hamas figure in the Gaza Strip on Saturday accused rival Fatah of plotting to assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as he prayed.

* 'A valley of economic harmony' An ambitious plan to launch a series of economic ventures in the West Bank is one step closer to being realized.

* EU urges Israelis to ease Palestinian movement A senior European official urged Israel on Friday to ease freedom of movement and trade for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Friday, January 18, 2008


* 'Al Qaida behind Benazir Bhutto killing' The CIA has concluded that members of Al-Qaida and allies of Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud were responsible for last month's assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

* Israel closes crossings with Gaza Israel has temporarily shut its crossings with Gaza, after a series of rocket attacks on nearby Israeli towns from the Hamas-run territory.

* Ahmadinejad: Israel wouldn't dare attack Iran Israel would not dare attack Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday.

* Frattini admits threat of EU 'home-grown terrorists' EU security commissioner Franco Frattini has said he shares concerns recently expressed in Washington that Europe could become a platform for terrorist threats against the United States.

* Abbas threatens to quit if 'escalation' continues Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is considering resigning from his post if Israel continues its military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

* IMF says Iraq economy to boom Iraq's economy is expected to boom in the coming year, despite political and security problems.

* Ahmadinejad scorns US and Israel Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused US President George W Bush of "sowing the seeds of division" during his recent Middle East visit.

* Frontier Insurgency Spills Into a Pakistani City For centuries, fighting and lawlessness have been part of the fabric of this frontier city.

* Balkan boost for Russia gas plan Bulgaria has agreed to a gas pipeline deal with Russia that is expected to strengthen Moscow's grip over energy supplies to Europe.

* Iran receives nuke fuel Iran received a third shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Friday for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


* Olmert: Israel will not take continued Kassam rocket fire Israel will not continue to take the unending Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

* FM: Russian fuel deliveries could help Iran develop nuclear arms Foreign Minister Tzipi said on Thursday that Israel is concerned Russian deliveries of nuclear fuel to Iran might help Tehran develop nuclear weapons.

* Winograd Commission member: Report could topple government "The final report of the Winograd Commission is expected to be dramatic and decisive," a member on the commission told Ynet Thursday, ahead of the report's publication in two weeks' time.

* First Temple seal found in Jerusalem A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David.

* Former military chiefs call for joint EU-NATO 'directorate' Five former Western military leaders have called for the formation of a joint EU-NATO 'directorate'.

* Israel tests rocket propulsion system A missile was test-launched Thursday morning from the Palmahim air force base in the center of the country.

* Agencies see good year for Iraq Iraq faces a period of economic growth and political progress, according to assessments by the International Monetary Fund and the UN.

* Slovenia criticises French Mediterranean Union proposal EU presidency Slovenia has criticized French president Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to set up a Mediterranean Union connecting countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

* Putin urges consensus on Kosovo Russian President Vladimir Putin has said any decision on Kosovo's fate must be agreed by Belgrade and Pristina.

* Archaeologist hid 'Jesus tomb' for fear of anti-Semitism, widow says In an emotional voice, Ruth Gat said that Yosef Gat, a Holocaust survivor, was afraid a wave of anti-Semitism would ensue.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


* Bush vists Mubarak in last stop of ME trip Answering Arab skepticism, US President George W. Bush promised Wednesday to stay engaged in pulling Israelis and Palestinians toward a peace pact by the end of his term.

* Audit doubts Iran sanction efficacy The economic impact of US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program is unclear and Iran has signed about $20bn in energy contracts with foreign firms since 2003.

* PA: Gaza 'massacre' threatens talks The Palestinian Authority threatened on Tuesday to suspend negotiations with Israel in response to an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip that left 19 Palestinians - most of them Hamas gunmen - dead.

* Some question al-Maliki's will for reconciliation When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Nouri al-Maliki's government during a surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday, she was addressing an Iraqi prime minister who has strengthened his grip on power.

* US agency chief: Iran speeding up development of missiles Iran has sped up efforts to develop long-range missiles, demonstrating the need for a proposed missile defense system in Europe.

* Romney's Michigan win shakes up GOP race Mitt Romney claimed a much-needed victory in Tuesday's Michigan Republican primary.

* Lieberman Quits Government Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Is Our Home) party head Avigdor Lieberman announced at a Wednesday morning press conference that his party is quitting the government.

* Recession fears hit stock markets Global shares have fallen amid fears of a US recession and slowing corporate profit growth.

* Chertoff says Europe poses terrorism threat Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Wednesday that one of the biggest threats to U.S. security may now come from within Europe.

* Islamic Militants Capture Military Base in NW Pakistan Islamic militants have captured a remote military outpost in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


* 'Syria, Iran trying to overthrow Abbas' Syria and Iran have stepped up their efforts to overthrow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah party.

* Britain's fastest supercomputer unveiled A supercomputer that could help answer some of science's biggest questions will be unveiled on Monday.

* Livni, Qurei start 'core issue talks' Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qurei formally began discussions Monday in Jerusalem on the "core issues" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

* Minister Sees Need for U.S. Help in Iraq Until 2018 The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012.

* PA Chairman With PLO Flag That Erases Israel Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was filmed this week at a PLO Central Committee meeting with an emblem that negates the existence of Israel as a backdrop.

* Rice praises 'progress' in Iraq US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has praised an Iraqi law to reintegrate former Baath party members, saying more reconciliation measures need to follow.

* France steals Slovenia's EU presidency limelight The small Alpine Republic of Slovenia took over the onerous task of running the EU for six months on 1 January.

* Bush pushes Saudis for help with rising oil prices President Bush used his visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to push for increased oil production to help the U.S. economy by forcing fuel costs down.

* Tehran says Bush's accusations 'words without value' Iran denounced on Monday as "words without value" US President George W. Bush's remarks that the Islamic state was threatening security around the world by backing terror.

* India offers nuclear energy cooperation with China Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered on Tuesday to cooperate with China on nuclear energy during a trip to Beijing.

Monday, January 14, 2008


* Olmert: All options to counter Iranian threat on the table "Regarding the threat of a nuclear Iran, all options are on the table," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told MKs at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on Monday.

* PLO to form separate W. Bank parliament The Palestinians may soon have two separate parliaments - one in the West Bank controlled by Fatah and the second belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

* Confront Iran danger early - Bush US President George W Bush has warned of the dangers he says are posed by Iran, in a speech in its Gulf neighbour, the United Arab Emirates.

* Mid-East talks on 'core issues' Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have begun talks in Jerusalem on what are seen as the most intractable issues in the peace process.

* Nasrallah 'honored' to be enemy of US The leader of Hizbullah criticized US President George W. Bush Sunday for accusing Iran of supporting armed groups in the region and calling them "terrorist," saying he is honored to be an enemy "of the Great Satan."

* Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis criticize Kurds Iraqi Arab lawmakers from rival sects joined forces Sunday to criticize what they claim is overreaching by the Kurds, alleging the powerful U.S.-backed minority's go-it-alone style in oil and other major issues threatens national unity.

* Iran Plans on Destroying Tomb of King Cyrus, Friend of the Jews Iran is planning on submerging the tomb of King Cyrus (Coresh), the Persian King known for authorizing the Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Holy Temple.

* India's Prime Minister Arrives In China For High-Level Talks India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a three-day visit aiming to boost bilateral relations between the two Asian giants.

* 'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians.

* Netanyahu urges Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu to quit government Opposition chairman Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu to leave the government in wake of the first meeting between Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia over the core issues.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


* Syria Rebuilds on Site Destroyed by Israeli Bombs The puzzling site in Syria that Israeli jets bombed in September grew more curious on Friday with the release of a satellite photograph showing new construction there that resembles the site’s former main building.

* Bush blasts Iran for fomenting violence Traveling for the next few days among Sunni Arab-ruled states jittery about the rising influence and ambitions of Shiite-majority Iran, US President George W. Bush used part of remarks here that were focused on Iraq to put Teheran on notice - again.

* ElBaradei to Iran: Increase cooperation The UN nuclear watchdog chief pressed Iran on Friday to "accelerate" its cooperation with his agency.

* Ban eased on Saddam-era officials The Iraqi parliament has passed legislation allowing former officials from Saddam Hussein's Baath party to return to public life.

* Haniyeh: Bush's views 'unacceptable' US President George W. Bush's visit to the region proved his bias toward Israel and hurt Palestinian aspirations for a state of their own.

* Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game There is a reason American military officers express grim concern over the tactics used by Iranian sailors last weekend.

* Musharraf rejects UN Bhutto probe Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has ruled out a United Nations inquiry into the assassination of the opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto.

* Bush Seeks Arab Support For Mideast Peace Plan President Bush sought Arab support Friday for a U.S.-backed Mideast peace deal, but the Bush administration said not to expect a "blinding flash" of Arab cooperation.

* Huge gas cloud will hit Milky Way A giant cloud of hydrogen gas is racing towards a collision with the Milky Way, astronomers have announced.

* 'Victory shall be ours by blood and will,' says Hizbullah chief Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that "President Bush will force the Palestinians to give up on the right of return and accept refugees settling in other Arab nations."

Friday, January 11, 2008


* Bush at Yad Vashem: US should have bombed Auschwitz President George W. Bush arrived at Israel's official Holocaust memorial on Friday.

* Bush wraps up peace mission to Holy Land President Bush ended the first leg of the most extensive Mideast trip of his presidency on Friday after visiting Israel's Holocaust memorial and several Biblical sites.

* Rightists: Bush and Olmert bringing Holocaust upon us Some 200 right-wing activists gathered in central Jerusalem on Thursday evening to protest the ongoing visit of US President George W. Bush.

* Turkey shells northern Iraq Turkish artillery has shelled targets in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

* Blair optimism on Mid-East peace Middle East Quartet envoy and former UK PM Tony Blair says he believes it is possible for a peace deal to be reached between the Israelis and Palestinians.

* CIA: We said back in 1974 that Israel had nuclear weapons The Central Intelligence Agency, backed by bodies including the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Defense Intelligence Agency, determined in August 1974 that Israel had nuclear "weapons in being."

* Kenya election protests to resume Kenya's main opposition party is resuming its calls for mass protests after last month's disputed elections.

* Turkey set for EU talks with Merkel and Sarkozy Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss Ankara's bid to join the 27-strong bloc.

* Nasrallah: Bush visit a black day for Arab world US President George W. Bush's visit to the Jewish state is "a black day for Arabs and Muslims," Hizbullah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah said Wednesday overnight.

* Abbas Says Bush Visit Gives 'Great Hope' Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called on Israel to fulfill its commitments to a Mideast peace plan, and said he hopes "this will be the year for the creation of peace."

Thursday, January 10, 2008


* Mid-East deal in sight, says Bush US President George Bush has said it is "absolutely possible and necessary" for Israel and the Palestinians to agree a peace deal during his term in office.

* UK minister calls for 'mature debate' over new EU treaty UK Europe minister Jim Murphy has urged domestic politicians to hold a "mature debate" on Europe without "bestowing it with apparently satanical powers".

* US launches massive Iraq air raid US bombers and fighter jets have dropped 40,000lb (18,144kg) of bombs on suspected al-Qaeda targets on the edge of Baghdad in a 10-minute air strike.

* Israeli envoy to U.S.: All options are on the table regarding Iran Israel's ambassador to the United States said Thursday that Jerusalem was not willing to rule out any course of action when it comes to dealing with the Tehran regime and its nuclear aspirations.

* Palestinians indifferent to Bush visit The weather was not the only gloomy thing in Ramallah on Thursday morning.

* Tony Blair starts $1M bank job Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who left office last June, has taken up a part-time job with a Wall Street bank on an estimated $1 million salary.

* Poland toughens stance on US missile shield US ambitions to place a missile defence shield in Central Europe are running into trouble.

* 'Construction to continue in major settlement blocs, J'lem' Israel will continue building in Jerusalem as well as in major settlement blocs in the West Bank, even as a construction freeze continues elsewhere in the territories.

* Kenya crisis talks end in failure Talks conducted by Ghanaian President John Kufuor to end Kenya's political crisis have broken down, opposition and government sources have said.

* Netanyahu pushes US president on Iran "Iran is a threat to world peace," opposition Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly told US President George W. Bush.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


* Bush: Our role is to foster a vision of peace (video) US President George W. Bush began his meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon.

* US releases Iran stand-off video The US military has released video and audio recordings of Iranian boats that it says threatened to blow up US Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.

* Gazans stage anti-Bush protests Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza staged protests against George W. Bush on Wednesday.

* Olmert, Abbas Agree to Negotiate Over Jerusalem Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas agreed Tuesday to begin negotiations over the three "core issues" on which Israel is expected to make concessions.

* Bush expedites Saudi smart bomb deal Amid Israeli security concerns and in an apparent effort by US President George W. Bush to go to Riyadh next week bearing gifts, the Bush administration has moved up by a day the date on which it will formally notify Congress.

* Clinton, McCain bids energized in New Hampshire Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain will carry much-needed boosts from New Hampshire into upcoming contests in the 2008 presidential campaign.

* PA rejects int'l troops in West Bank The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday rejected the idea of deploying third party troops in the West Bank.

* EU presidency to push for closer ties with Serbia Slovenia, currently at the helm of the European Union, is set to push for signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).

* Jerusalem: Songs, Prayers and a Human Chain More than 2,000 people braved intermittent showers and cool temperatures Tuesday to form a human chain along the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.

* Sarkozy seen as backing Blair for top EU job Former UK prime minister Tony Blair will attend a conference of French president Nicolas Sarkozy's party.