Wednesday, December 31, 2008


* Gaza war goes on despite EU diplomacy Israel on Wednesday morning (31 January) rejected an EU ceasefire proposal as fighting continued in Gaza, with international pressure building around the New Year war.

* Cabinet rejects French proposal to hold 48-hour cease fire The Security Cabinet on Wednesday rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour suspension of the IDF offensive against Hamas to allow Paris the opportunity to mediate a cease-fire.

* Czech Republic faces challenges with EU presidency On Thursday, the Czechs take over the European Union's six-month rotating presidency from EU heavyweight France.

* 'Massacre result of Fatah-Hamas row' Saudi Arabia's foreign minister criticized the divisions among the Palestinians at the opening of an emergency Arab League meeting Wednesday.

* Israel mission shows Super Sarko leadership will not end with EU presidency Nicolas Sarkozy ends his hyperactive stint as President of Europe at midnight but he made clear today that he aims to stay on as the continent’s de facto leader.

* Turkish PM in Syria stresses 'dangerous situation' in Gaza Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday on the first stop of a regional tour focusing on Israel's deadly onslaught on Gaza.

* While Israel fights in Gaza, Egypt and Saudi Arabia take on Iran Israel's campaign in Gaza is serving to expose the strategic fault lines in the Arab and Muslim world.

* Vulnerable Israeli homefront rethinks withdrawals As Arab rockets reach ever deeper into Israel, they may be weakening what for years has been a cornerstone of Mideast peace efforts.

* Record stock market falls in 2008 Global markets saw record falls in 2008 as the financial turmoil and economic slowdown ended the stock market boom.

* Police arrest Shiite cult leader in Iraq Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a leading figure in a messianic Shiite cult that has battled with Iraqi and U.S. forces.