Saturday, January 24, 2009


* Assad congratulates Mashaal on Hamas's 'victory' over Israel Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal Saturday on his organization's "victory" in the Gaza Strip.

* UN reopens schools in Gaza Strip Children return to schools in Gaza, with many attending classes in tents beside the rubble of the building.

* Unbowed, Gazans rebuild tunnels It was Friday, the Muslim day of rest, but the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt was a hive of activity.

* Iraq asks Iran opposition group to move voluntary Iraq will not forcibly expel members of an Iranian opposition group living north of Baghdad.

* Diplomats: U.S. Middle East envoy expected next week U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East is expected to arrive in the region next week.

* China responds tartly to U.S. on currency Whether it was a shot across the bow or a simple restatement of his boss's views, Timothy Geithner's assertion that China "manipulates" its currency has complicated a crucial front.

* Lieberman's Party Tied as Number Three in Polls Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu), headed by Russian immigrant Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman, is tied with Labor as the third largest party in the next Knesset.

* French frigate to patrol Gaza waters French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday ordered a frigate deployed immediately to the waters off Gaza.

* Pope rehabilitates Holocaust denier Pope Benedict Saturday rehabilitated a traditionalist bishop who denies the Holocaust.

* UNRWA calls for probe into 'Gaza crimes' John Ging, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, called on Friday for the establishment of an independent international investigation into the alleged war crimes.

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