Monday, May 19, 2008


* Barak hints Gaza incursion imminent Even as Defense Ministry officials said Sunday that Israel was likely to accept the Gaza Strip cease-fire deal brokered by Egypt, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in a meeting with a high-level US congressional delegation, did not mention the cease-fire and talked instead about a possible large-scale military incursion.

* Bin Laden: Arab leaders sacrificing Palestinians Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lashed out at Arab leaders for "sacrificing" the Palestinians in a new message released Sunday and he called on Muslim terrorists in Egypt to help break the blockade of Gaza.

* Bush to Arab nations: You're running out of oil President George Bush yesterday told leaders of the oil-rich states of the Middle East that they must face up to a future without their precious hydrocarbons.

* Test looms in Sadr City ceasefire A major test of the declared ceasefire in Baghdad's Sadr City between Iraqi security forces and the militia of extremist cleric Moqtada Sadr is coming; and with it the potential for a new, cataclysmic eruption of violence.

* China in mourning over earthquake China has begun three days of mourning for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province.

* Orthodox Jews in US slam same-sex decision The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA) and Agudath Israel of America, two of the largest Orthodox organizations in the US, over the weekend attacked a California Supreme Court ruling that permits same-sex marriages.

* Lebanese unity plan 'in trouble' Talks aimed at resolving the Lebanese political crisis appear to have run into further trouble, reports say.

* Thousands flee S Africa attacks Some 6,000 people have fled a wave of attacks on foreigners in South Africa, which has left at least 22 dead, aid workers say.

* Netanyahu: Olmert gov't has no mandate to negotiate Israel's borders Knesset returns from hiatus to stormy session; Olmert tells Kadima 'opposition always ready to challenge us, but we're seasoned and ready'.

* Focus on domestic energy demand, says Russia's free market guru Anatoly Chubais, architect of Russia's 1990s privatisation programme, has suggested that Moscow should re-channel its focus on feeding energy into European grids to serving its domestic market.