Saturday, February 28, 2009


* No deal in Israel coalition talks Israel's prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu says talks to include the centrist Kadima party in a coalition have ended without agreement.

* Netanyahu: Palestinians should govern their own lives, but not threaten ours Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu says he believes in the Palestinians' right to self governance.

* Obama outlines Iraq pullout plan President Barack Obama has announced the withdrawal of most US troops in Iraq by the end of August 2010.

* Nasrallah's deputy: Hizbullah prepared for another conflict with Israel Hizbullah is prepared for the possibility of another armed conflict with Israel.

* East-West divide plagues Europe European leaders are converging on Brussels this weekend for yet another "emergency" economic summit meeting.

* Vatican rejects bishop's apology The Vatican has rejected an apology by a British bishop who denied the full extent of the Holocaust.

* Russian bomber neared Canada before Obama visit Canadian fighters planes scrambled to intercept an approaching Russian bomber less than 24 hours before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa last week.

* Clinton: Hamas must recognize Israel Egyptian-brokered efforts to bring about reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah will only work if the Islamic group recognizes Israel.

* US may boycott racism conference The US is likely to boycott a UN racism conference, reports suggest, saying a text drawn up for the event criticises Israel and restricts freedom of speech.

* Russia's Putin warns against economic protests Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned opposition critics on Friday not to use the economic crisis as an excuse to challenge his government and told them to abide by the law.

Friday, February 27, 2009


* Palestinians pledge era of unity Leaders of the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have said they are entering a new era of reconciliation, after talks in Cairo.

* Barak: US must limit Iran diplo effort Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday warned that it was critical that the United States limit the time-span of its diplomatic effort to rein in Iran's nuclear drive.

* U.S. Retains Hidden Grip on Pakistan's Nukes With Pakistan's political instability spreading, nervous concern has mounted over the fate of Islamabad's nuclear arsenal should Taliban sympathizers gain power.

* War crimes charges grow, J'lem silent As various individuals and organizations file petitions abroad against Israel for alleged war crimes, including at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, there is growing criticism in Jerusalem.

* U.S.-Syria talks chart way forward The State Department's top Middle East official met Thursday with the Syrian ambassador to the United States.

* 40 days after war, Hamas rule of Gaza gaining legitimacy Three rockets fell Thursday in the area around the Gaza Strip, one in the yard of a Sderot home.

* Rice: U.S. will seek to end any 'illicit' nuclear ambitions by Iran The Obama administration will work to stop any "illicit" nuclear aspirations by Iran.

* Mitchell, Netanyahu meet on peace efforts US Middle East envoy George Mitchell held a series of talks Thursday in Tel Aviv with the country's top leaders.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


* Barak: Time running out on Iran threat Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that immediate diplomatic action must be taken on the Iranian nuclear program.

* Bibi against talks with a Hamas-PA gov't Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to lobby Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week.

* Palestinians relaunch unity talks Leaders of the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have opened reconciliation talks in a renewed effort to create a unity government.

* U.N.: 15,000 flee southern Darfur Fighting has prompted thousands of people in the southern part of Sudan's Darfur region to seek security and shelter at a refugee camp in the northern part of the war-torn area.

* U.S. envoy, Netanyahu meet on peace efforts The special U.S. envoy tasked with jump-starting flagging peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians huddled Thursday with designated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

* EU trio proposing more sanctions for Iran Three EU members proposed tougher sanctions against Iran to possibly aid the United States in its expected engagement with Iran.

* 'Reactor highlights world's failure' The activation of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran demonstrates the international community's failure to stop the Islamic republic.

* US military weaning Iraq's army from support There was the time the Iraqis spent millions of dollars on ammunition from Romania, only to discover that it was defective or didn't fit their U.S.- or Russian-made weapons.

* The Iran-Israel nuclear endgame is now much closer In recent days, four key developments have clicked in to edge Iran and Israel much closer to a military denouement with profound consequences for American oil that the nation is not prepared to meet.

* Financial crisis threatens east-west divide in EU Eastern European member states' fears that they will be left behind by richer EU members in the economic crisis are growing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


* Israel: Iranian nuclear test 'bad news' Iranian and Russian nuclear officials tested Wednesday the first nuclear power plant built in Iran - a move likely to raise concerns among the US and its Western allies.

* Turkish PM: Israel must recognize Palestine Turkish Prime Minsiter Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tehran has sought Anakara's help in finding a solution for its diplomatic crisis with the United States.

* Hamas, Fatah to begin talks in Cairo With stakes that have never been higher, Palestinian factions will open talks in Cairo on Wednesday.

* PA official: Peace process dead Israel's impending new government indicates that the peace process "has died".

* Quartet planning to meet in Sharm ahead of Gaza donors' conference Foreign ministers from the four powers heading a Middle East peace process may meet in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheikh on March 1.

* 'Bombed Syrian reactor now missile base' Syria has revealed that it has built a missile facility over the ruins of what the US says was a nuclear reactor destroyed by IAF warplanes.

* Iran sees Palestinian issue as test for Obama's "change" slogan Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker, Ali Larijani, said on Wednesday the Palestinian issue is a test for U.S. President Barack Obama's "change" slogan.

* Gaddafi: Foreign forces, including Israel, behind Darfur conflict Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the current African Union president, on Tuesday said that "foreign forces," including Israel, were behind the Darfur conflict.

* Hamas Promises to Keep Smuggling in Arms A top Hamas official has declared that his Palestinian terrorist group will continue to smuggle weapons into Gaza, despite international protests.

* Major controversy in Turkish parliament Ahmet Turk, created a major controversy when, on Tuesday, he became only the second person in history to speak Kurdish in the Turkish parliament.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


* 'I won't wait forever for unity gov't' Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu publicly pledged on Monday afternoon to do whatever possible to build a national unity government with Kadima or Labor.

* Saudis replacing Egypt as regional leader A recent U.S. National Intelligence Council report suggests Egypt has lost its superior status among Arab states.

* Peres: Europe must stop Hamas support European leaders must continue to publicly condemn Hamas and its actions rather than express support for dialogue.

* Hamas: We reserve right to bring arms into Gaza Gaza-based Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar declared Tuesday that his Islamist militant group reserves the right to bring arms into Gaza.

* Iraq's National Museum reopened Iraq's National Museum has reopened nearly six years after it was looted and vandalised in the aftermath of the 2003 US-led invasion.

* Ross named special US envoy on Iran Dennis Ross joined the Obama administration in a coordinating role on policy regarding Iran and its neighbors on Tuesday.

* Jewish Home: Committed to Judea & Samaria As part of its role in any future government, the Jewish Home party says it is committed to promoting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

* U.S. to open permanent Jerusalem office for envoy The United States is planning to open a permanent office in Jerusalem for its special envoy to the Middle East.

* Big groups to retain power in EU parliament The balance of power in the European Parliament would stay broadly the same if elections were held today.

* Museum aims to piece together Iraq's plundered past Iraq's National Museum will again be home to the country's treasures.

Monday, February 23, 2009


* Al Qaeda No. 2 warns against Gaza truce Al Qaeda's No. 2 warned Palestinians in Gaza against accepting a truce with Israel in an audio message posted on extremist Web sites.

* EU worried over Bibi's peace plans EU officials raised concerns Monday over the commitment of Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu to pursue genuine peace talks with the Palestinians.

* Global jihad could be behind rockets Al-Qaida affiliated global jihadi groups could be playing an important role in the trickle of rocket fire and border attacks being directed against Israel.

* New U.S. Intel Chief: Support of Israel Not a U.S. Interest A flurry of reports over the weekend said that the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, considered a sharp critic of Israel, is to be named to a top intelligence post in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

* Iran secretly accelerated A-bomb drive Iran is speeding ahead toward the production of a nuclear weapon, and is operating a shadow nuclear program in tandem with its public program to achieve that goal.

* Israelis split on taking Evangelical charity More than 40 percent of Israeli Jews, including nearly 80% of the Orthodox, believe Jewish groups should not accept charity from evangelical Christian organizations.

* EU Commission hails enlargement The European Commission says the 27-nation EU must not let the current economic crisis jeopardise the gains of eastward enlargement.

* EU nations call for better financial regulation Leaders from the EU's largest economies have called for stricter regulation of the financial sector to prevent a repetition of the current crisis.

* Brown: World needs "Global New Deal" The world needs a "global New Deal" to haul it out of the economic crisis it faces said UK PM Gordon Brown.

* Peace Winner Blair Wins $1 Million, Wants Hamas Part of Solution The University of Tel Aviv has awarded Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair a $1 million prize for his efforts to make peace in the Middle East.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


* 'Iran, Syria continuing nuke projects' "Iran and Syria are secretly working on nuclear technology in a manner which risks peace in the region and the world.

* Clinton urges stronger China ties Hillary Clinton has called for a deeper US-China partnership, on her first overseas tour as US secretary of state.

* PA official: US has given green light for Hamas-Fatah talks The new US Administration has given the Palestinian Authority a "green light" to talk to Hamas about the possibility of forming a Palestinian unity government.

* Credit crunch plays into China's shopping plans With the world suffering through a major credit crunch, China has suddenly gone shopping..

* Hamas gives Kerry letter to Obama Hamas official Ahmed Yousef on Saturday said he wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama, which was received by Senator John Kerry during a visit to Gaza.

* Kerry, Assad meet in Syria The United States and Syria are exploring the possibility of better relations after years of tension.

* Bibi: Let's join hands in unity gov't After the failure of his last-ditch effort to muster Kadima leader Tzipi Livni's support for a unity government on Friday, President Shimon Peres formally entrusted Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu with the task of building a coalition.

* What is behind Turkey's antagonism toward Israel? There are many different theories about Turkey's increasingly harsh criticism of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.

* Israel responds to Lebanon rocket A rocket fired from Lebanon has lightly wounded three people in northern Israel.

* Hamas: Israel picked 'most dangerous' politician to lead it A Hamas spokesman on Friday said Israel had picked the "most extremist and most dangerous" to lead the country.

Friday, February 20, 2009


* Iran holds enough uranium for bomb Iran has built up a stockpile of enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb.

* Netanyahu to form Israel cabinet Mr Netanyahu said Israel faced "great challenges" including the global economic crisis and what he said was Iran's wish to obtain nuclear weapons.

* Mitchell could support PA unity gov't US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell expressed support for Egyptian efforts to forge a Palestinian national unity government.

* PA wants new gov't to honor old pacts The Palestinian Authority's official spokesman, Nabil Abu Rodaina, responded Friday to President Shimon Peres' decision to charge Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu with the task of forming the next government.

* 'Processed uranium found at Syrian site' UN nuclear agency samples taken from a Syrian site suspected of being a secretly built reactor have revealed new traces of processed uranium.

* Clinton arrives for Chinese talks US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in Beijing for wide-ranging talks with China's leaders.

* Analysis: Turkey's shift toward Iran, Syria is no short-term blip Last weekend, a conference held under the title "Gaza the victory" took place at hotel near Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

* US will consider Russian missile defense concerns U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that Russian concerns will be taken into consideration as the Obama administration decides the fate of planned missile defense bases in Eastern Europe.

* Jews hail expulsion of Holocaust-denying bishop World Jewish leaders on Friday praised Argentina's decision to order the expulsion of an ultra-traditionalist Catholic bishop who caused an international furore by denying the full extent of the Holocaust.

* Iraqi cleric hopes elections will help push out US A prominent anti-American Shiite cleric said Friday he hopes recent provincial elections will help unite Iraqis to push out the United States.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


* Netanyahu PM bid wins key support Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel's right-wing Likud party, has won the backing of a leading far-right party for his bid to become PM.

* U.S. Plan: Ask Syria to Disarm Hizbullah United States Senator John Kerry said Wednesday that the new U.S. administration plans to take a new tack in the effort to disarm Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah.

* US faces fresh Afghan obstacles Kyrgyz MPs have voted to close a key US base supplying troops in Afghanistan, hours before Nato chiefs meet to study a US plea to boost troop levels.

* Dichter Warns Israel Faces Two New Arab States: Hamas and Fatah Israel faces the danger of a "three-state solution" with Hamas in control of Gaza and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority responsible for Judea and Samaria.

* Iraq's Kurds Call for U.S. Mediation With Baghdad The Kurds in the northern autonomous region of Iraq are worried that the U.S. forces will leave the country without intervening in resolving key disputes with the central Baghdad government.

* Pope tells Nancy Pelosi life must be protected Pope Benedict XVI received Nancy Pelosi, one of the most prominent abortion rights politicians in America, and told her Wednesday that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development."

* Financial crisis slowing enlargement, Prague warns Despite "fatigue" setting in amongst EU member states as a result of the ongoing economic crisis, the process of enlargement of the bloc should not be neglected.

* Clinton: U.S. Preparing for Possible Regime Change in North Korea The Obama administration and America's Asian allies are preparing for a possible regime change in North Korea.

* Iran envoy calls for global nuclear disarmament An Iranian enovy called on Thursday for global negotiations aimed at total nuclear disarmament.

* John Kerry leads congressional visit to Gaza Three congressional Democrats, including Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, visited Gaza on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


* Peres to consult parties on prime minister pick President Shimon Peres will begin consulting with all the parties on Wednesday on who should be the next prime minister.

* 'Syria building chemical weapons plant' Syria has been conducting extensive construction work on a chemical weapons facility in the country's northwest.

* IAEA: Iran, Syria must cooperate more International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday that Iran was still not cooperating enough.

* Obama to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he would send an additional 17,000 American troops to Afghanistan this spring and summer.

* Islam expert: Conflict seen as mainly religious Muslims view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran's showdown with the West as essentially a religious conflict.

* Clerics urge new jihad over Gaza At a weekend meeting in Istanbul, 200 religious scholars and clerics met senior Hamas officials to plot a new jihad centred on Gaza.

* Analysis: Amman caught between Hamas and Fatah An expected move by Jordanian parliamentarians to file a petition with the International Criminal Court at The Hague accusing senior Israeli figures of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead does not reflect the kingdom's official position.

* Czech lower house passes EU treaty The Czech Republic took the first step toward ratification of the EU's new set of institutional rules on Wednesday (18 February).

* Syria urges better ties with US President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has urged the US in a newspaper interview to engage in talks with Damascus and restore full diplomatic ties.

* Clinton seeks to improve US image with Muslims Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is continuing the Obama administration's efforts to rehabilitate America's image abroad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


* Israel launches covert war against Iran Israel has launched a covert war against Iran as an alternative to direct military strikes against Tehran's nuclear program.

* Nasrallah: Let's see what Lieberman's got Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah made his first comments on Monday about the results of last week's general election.

* Livni: Give up half of 'Land of Israel' Kadima leader tells convention of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem Israel must come forward with its own peace plan.

* Blair wins $1m leadership prize Former prime minister Tony Blair has won $1m (£697,000) for his leadership on the world stage.

* EU citizenship concept to be 'fleshed out' EU citizenship should mean freedom of movement, consular protection abroad and trans-national voting.

* Obama May Force Israeli Unity Coalition To Gain US Leverage US President Barack Obama may pressure Kadima prime ministerial candidate Tzipi Livni to enter into a coalition with Likud's Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu.

* New U.S. Administration Disappoints Israel As predicted by seasoned analysts both in the U.S. and Israel, it appears the Barack Obama administration and Israel could be heading on a collision course in several areas.

* EU neighbour Ukraine at risk of going bust Bank analysts predict that Ukraine is heading for a historic default on its national debt.

* Financial crisis tests European Commission authority EU economy commissioner Joaquin Almunia will this week name the first group of states to receive disciplinary action by Brussels for breaching the rules underpinning the euro.

* Race for 'God particle' heats up Europe's particle physics lab, Cern, is losing ground rapidly in the race to discover the elusive Higgs boson, or "God particle", its US rival claims.

Monday, February 16, 2009


* Defense establishment: Iran No.1 threat to Israel IDF chief presents defense minister with military's work plan for 2009, says Tehran near-nuclear capabilities, existing ballistic aptitude and terror contacts pose 'existential threat' to Israel

* World duped by Hamas death count Four weeks after the cessation of Operation Cast Lead, the IDF finally opened its dossier on Palestinian fatalities on Sunday for the first time.

* Russia to hold Mideast summit Russia will not invite Hamas or push a "Syrian track" at a Middle East peace conference it hopes to hold in Moscow by mid-year.

* Nuclear subs collide in Atlantic A Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in a collision with a French nuclear sub in the middle of the Atlantic, the MoD has confirmed.

* Arabs promise $1.5 billion to rebuild Gaza Arab countries have pledged nearly $1.5 billion to rebuild the war-torn Gaza Strip and more funds are expected to be promised at the international donors conference set for next month in Cairo.

* Irish poll shows swing in favour of Lisbon treaty A new poll has shown a swing in favour of the Lisbon treaty in Ireland as the main political parties argue about when would be the best time to hold a second referendum on the document.

* G7 provides few answers to economic crisis Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven industrialised nations (G7) met over the weekend in Rome to discuss the ongoing financial crisis and economic slowdown.

* Kadima okays Israel Beiteinu's demands; Bibi urges unity gov't Kadima accepted Israel Beiteinu's list of coalition demands and Avigdor Lieberman's party said it hoped Likud would soon follow suit.

* Pakistan Agrees to Islamic Law in Swat Region Pakistan government officials said they struck a deal to accept a legal system compatible with Shariah law in the violent Swat region in return for peace.

* Israel takes control of more West Bank land Israel has taken control of a large chunk of land near a prominent West Bank settlement, paving the way for the possible construction of 2,500 settlement homes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


* U.S., EU indicate they prefer Kadima-Likud unity government in Israel While the make-up of the next government remains a question mark in Israel, it appears that the United States and the European Union have already weighed in with a clear preference for a unity government.

* Economic crisis bigger threat than Al Qaeda, US says The economic crisis has topped Al Qaeda as the US' number one security risk.

* Turkey PM: Israel election results paint 'very dark picture' Turkey's fierce censure of Israel's offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip will not end its role as a peace mediator in the Middle East.

* Israel Thinks U.S. Waiting for Iran Elections to Choose Policy The elections pit Ayatollah Muhammad Hatami against current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

* Arab Sector Turns to Pan-Arabism, Communists Arab-Israelis are turning their backs on mainstream parties in favor of pan-Arab parties and the Communists.

* Israel, Iran liable to clash in 2009 over nukes, says U.S. intel chief Israel and Iran are liable to enter into a confrontation or a crisis sometime this year due to Tehran's progress in its nuclear weapons program.

* Iran to US: Chess is better than boxing When it comes to dealing with Iran, the country's parliamentary speaker said the United States would be better served taking up chess than continuing to box.

* G7 ministers focus on stabilizing world economy Finance ministers from the world's leading industrialized nations were holding their second and last day of meetings in Rome on Saturday.

* Saudi king dismisses 2 powerful religious figures In an apparent bid to reform the religious establishment, Saudi King Abdullah on Saturday dismissed the head of the feared religious police and a hard-line cleric who issued an edict last year .

* Iranian ship carried munitions supplies A ship suspected of carrying arms from Iran to Gaza had no weaponry aboard but carried material for making munitions.

Friday, February 13, 2009


* Results confirm Israeli deadlock The final results of Israel's general election have confirmed that neither of the two main parties can form a government on its own.

* Cyprus unloads suspect cargo on Iran ship Cyprus unloaded a cargo of banned weapons-related material on Friday off a ship from Iran found to be in violation of UN arms sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

* Global economy top threat to U.S., spy chief warns The new director of national intelligence told Congress on Thursday that global economic turmoil and the instability it could ignite had outpaced terrorism.

* Russia may finally get its ME summit While not enthused at this time about any international peace conference, Israel would prefer that - if one becomes inevitable - it be hosted by Russia.

* Hamas 'set for truce with Israel' A long-term truce between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel may be announced within days.

* N. Korea reportedly assembling advanced long-range missile North Korea appears to be assembling its most advanced long-range missile and could conduct a test launch this month.

* Israel: Two-thirds of Palestinians killed in Gaza fighting were terrorists Israel says that about two-thirds of the Palestinians who were killed in the Gaza fighting were members of terror organizations who took part in the fighting.

* Russian warship seizes 3 pirate ships off Somalia A Russian nuclear-powered warship has captured 10 pirates in three ships off the coast of Somalia.

* Israel warns of harsh response to any attack by Hezbollah Israel warned Hezbollah this week that it will respond harshly to any attempt to down an Israel Air Force jet over Lebanon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


* Military vote could help decide Israeli election Israel planned to announce on Thursday the final results of its gridlocked election after tallying soldiers' votes that could tip the balance in the ongoing battle to lead the country.

* U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb Little more than a year after U.S. spy agencies concluded that Iran had halted work on a nuclear weapon, the Obama administration has made it clear that it believes there is no question that Tehran is seeking the bomb.

* EU urges Israel to stick to peace process The Czech EU presidency has urged any future Israeli government to stick to the two-state solution on Palestine.

* Arabs Distressed by Islamic Revolution's Success Thirty years after the success of its Islamic revolution, the Iranian influence in the region may not have grown as much as the ruling clerics would have wished.

* White House: Obama to push peace process, regardless of Israel leader United States President Barack Obama intends to work toward Middle East peace regardless of who forms Israel's new government.

* Brussels seeks to regain lead on economic crisis The European Commission and Czech EU presidency on Wednesday (11 February) sought to stamp their authority on dealing with the current economic crisis.

* Pope condemns denial of Holocaust Pope Benedict XVI has told American Jewish leaders that any denial of the Holocaust is "intolerable", especially if it comes from a clergyman.

* Egypt cracks down on smugglers near Gaza Egyptian police arrested 40 suspected smugglers and seized goods in a new crackdown on smuggling into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

* Anti-Islamic film's maker faces UK ban A Dutch lawmaker who made a controversial film about Islam planned to travel to Britain on Thursday despite a ban on his entry.

* Abbas urges world to isolate Likud like it does Hamas Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has conducted an international campaign in recent weeks aimed at the diplomatic isolation of a right-wing government.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


* Israel rivals vie to head cabinet Leaders of the two main Israeli parties are seeking coalition partners to form a government after neither emerged the clear winner in early elections.

* Netanyahu declares: I will be next PM Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu declared that he would be Israel's next prime minister and promised to begin collation talks to form a new government.

* New U.S. approach to China not just economic The Obama administration plans to realign the United States' relationship with China by widening the focus beyond the economic concerns of the Bush years.

* Arabs fear rise of hard-right in Israel Arabs on Wednesday saw little hope for peace from whatever government emerges from Israel's inconclusive elections.

* German judges express scepticism about EU treaty Several of the eight judges in charge of examining whether the EU's Lisbon Treaty is compatible with the German constitution have expressed scepticism about the constitutional effects of further EU integration.

* Teheran denies running out of uranium Iran said Wednesday that it was not running out of raw uranium or seeking to buy uranium concentrate from abroad to sustain its ambitious nuclear program.

* NKorea moving missile equipment to site North Korea has been moving missile equipment to a launch pad in a further indication the country is taking steps toward test firing a long-range missile.

* China to build Mecca rail system China has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to build a new railway system linking the main sites of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Hajj.

* EU crisis summit 'on March 1' EU leaders will hold a special summit on the economic crisis in Brussels on March 1.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


* Turnout up amid tight Israel race Voting in Israel's general election has been higher than the record low turnout of 2006, despite poor weather and fears of voter apathy.

* Ahmadinejad says talks with US possible Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday the world was entering a "new era of dialogue".

* Sarkozy pays first visit to Iraq French President Nicolas Sarkozy has visited Baghdad for the first time, in a bid to rebuild ties and drum up business for French companies.

* Arabs split between vote and boycott Umm el-Fahm restaurant owner Atef Laham said on Tuesday he would be casting his vote for "an Arab party" for the first time in his life.

* Obama warning on Pakistan 'haven' US President Barack Obama has said his administration will not allow "safe havens" for militants in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

* Bullion sales hit record in rush to safety Investors are buying record amounts of gold bars and coins, shunning risky assets for the relative safety of bullion amid renewed fears about the health of the global financial system.

* Arabs fear rise of Israeli rightist bloc Arabs are following the Israeli elections with concern, fearing a rise in power of the Israeli Right.

* German court to begin hearing on EU treaty Germany's highest court will today (10 February) begin a hearing on whether the EU's Lisbon treaty undermines the country's own constitution.

* Pope to meet with umbrella group of US Jewry The furor between world Jewry and the Catholic Church appears to be on the mend .

* EU mulls extraordinary summit on financial crisis The Czech EU presidency is expected to call EU leaders for an informal meeting at the end of this month.

Monday, February 09, 2009


* Israel enters final campaign day Politicians in Israel are making their final appeals to voters before a general election on Tuesday.

* Olmert says no Israeli government would let Iran get nukes Israel will not allow arch-foe Iran to develop nuclear weapons, no matter what the political make-up of the Israeli government, said outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

* German leader calls pope about Holocaust denier The German chancellor called the pope Sunday, days after she demanded he clarify the Vatican's stance on the Holocaust after it lifted the excommunication of a bishop who denies six million Jews were killed.

* Islam group urges forest fire jihad AUSTRALIA has been singled out as a target for "forest jihad" by a group of Islamic extremists urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror.

* Netanyahu Warns Obama on Talks as He Challenges Livni Even before Benjamin Netanyahu finds out whether he will be Israel’s next prime minister, he is sending a message to President Barack Obama that he won’t be pushed around.

* Iran's Khatami to run for office Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami has ended months of speculation by announcing that he will run in June's presidential election.

* Chinese military tackles drought crisis The Chinese government brought out the big guns over the weekend to help fight its worst drought in 50 years.

* Palestinian poll: Hamas support drops A Palestinian poll conducted after Operation Cast Lead has found that 56% of residents in the Gaza Strip and 48.3% of Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem believe Hamas is leading them in the wrong direction.

* Televisions 'to be fitted in contact lenses within ten years' Televisions could be fitted into contact lenses within ten years, according to analysts.

* Horrifying video of militants beheading Polish engineer is released by Pakistani Taliban A shocking new video that appears to show Pakistani militants beheading a kidnapped Polish engineer has emerged.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


* Kadima Still Trailing Likud, But Margin is Narrowing The final polls before Tuesday’s national election show the Likud losing support to Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

* Palestinian PM pessimistic ahead of Israeli elections Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Saturday he does not expect the winner of next week's Israeli election to offer a "reasonable solution" to the Middle East conflict.

* Russia rattles sabres in Obama’s direction Russia may face a grim economic downturn but one would scarcely think so to judge by the sound of sabre-rattling emerging from the Kremlin.

* High stakes for Obama at weekend security conference The Obama administration is facing its first big international test this weekend as Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. heads to a conference in Europe.

* Iran: US must rethink policies for reconciliation Iran sternly dismissed decades of U.S. policies targeting Tehran and declared Friday that the new American administration had to admit past wrongs before it could hope for reconciliation.

* Iran: Sanctions made us stronger Iran has achieved breakthroughs in nuclear and space technology despite international sanctions against it.

* Mini-incident marks EU-Russia meeting An EU-Russia meeting designed to improve post-gas crisis ties went wrong on Friday (6 January).

* Biden calls for 2-state solution in Middle East US Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States would work to achieve a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

* New Challenge to Iraqi Poll Results Some Shi'ite religious parties in Iraq are refusing to accept defeat in last weekend's elections.

* Turkey probes IDF 'war crimes' in Gaza Turkish prosecutors said Friday that they were investigating whether Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity over the recent IDF offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Friday, February 06, 2009


* Pakistani court declares nuclear scientist free A Pakistani court declared disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan free on Friday.

* Iraq calm after election results Iraq remains peaceful following the announcement of provincial election results, which show strong support for Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's party.

* Tony Blair wins the race to be at President Obama's side It is a ritual as old as American superpower. Every time a new president enters the White House a stampede starts to rumble.

* UN Secretary General Visits Iraq United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi leaders.

* Top EU delegation in Moscow talks A high-powered EU delegation is visiting Moscow amid continuing strains over Russian gas supplies and last August's Georgia conflict.

* Swarm of caterpillars infests West Africa, menacing crops A bizarre swarm of caterpillars is munching its way through the forests, cocoa and coffee fields of Liberia.

* Political Divide Between Hamas, Fatah Deepens Hamas security men are back on the streets, directing traffic and trying to restore some semblance of law and order.

* Likud slips, but on course for win The Likud will win an unexpectedly close race but the right-wing bloc will easily defeat the Left.

* Sarkozy pledges 'results' at G20 economic crisis meeting EU countries should forge a common position on the need to reform and regulate the financial system.

* The escalating war of the summits Earlier this week, nine Arab foreign ministers met in Abu Dhabi.