Monday, January 19, 2009


* 'Withdrawal to end before inauguration' Israel hopes to pull all its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States on Tuesday.

* Haniyeh: We have achieved victory On Sunday night, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinians had achieved a historical and strategic victory over Israel, and claimed that Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip had failed.

* Arab initiative won't last forever Saudi King Abdullah said that the Arab initiative offering peace with Israel will not remain on the table forever.

* Saudi Arabia to donate $1 billion to rebuild Gaza The Saudi king said Monday his country will donate $1 billion to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after the devastating Israeli offensive.

* The North Korea problem awaiting Obama North Korea may be on the back burner when U.S. President-elect Barack Obama takes office next week but analysts said Pyongyang would be a major problem spot for him in his years in office.

* Russia and Ukraine sign gas deal Russia and Ukraine have signed a 10-year gas deal, bringing to an end their long-running dispute.

* Hamas: We'll keep smuggling weapons A day after Hamas announced a truce with Israel, a spokesman stressed that Hamas would continue to rearm.

* Obama prayer leader linked to Hamas A Muslim scholar chosen to speak at President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural prayer service Wednesday is the leader of a group that federal prosecutors say has ties to terrorists.

* Scale of Gaza destruction emerges The full scale of devastation in Gaza following Israel's three-week offensive is becoming clear, after both Israel and Hamas declared ceasefires.

* Most people unaware of upcoming EU elections The vast majority of EU citizens remain unaware that European elections will take place later this year despite a concerted effort by politicians in Brussels to raise the profile of the European Parliament.

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