Saturday, March 21, 2009


* Iran's supreme leader Khamenei dismisses Obama overtures Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday dismissed overtures from US President Barack Obama, saying Teheran does not see any change in American policy toward its government.

* Police acts to foil PA festival in J'lem Police prevented several gatherings in east Jerusalem from breaking out on Saturday afternoon, in an effort to stifle the Palestinian Authority's intention of announcing Jerusalem a cultural capital of the Arabs, Israel Radio reported.

* Assad in Jordan for first time since '05 The Syrian president and the king of Jordan agreed on Friday that Arabs must achieve a unified stance in the face of regional challenges, according to a statement from the palace in Amman.

* Israel's Netanyahu gets more time Benjamin Netanyahu, the man expected to be Israel's next prime minister, has been given another two weeks to form a new government.

* UPDATE 2-Iran leader says world can't stop nuclear progress Iran has shown world powers they cannot block its nuclear progress, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday, but he made no mention of a new message by U.S. President Barack Obama to his country.

* Pope condemns sorcery, urges Angolans to convert Pope Benedict XVI appealed to the Catholics of Angola on Saturday to reach out to and convert believers in witchcraft who feel threatened by "spirits" and "evil powers" of sorcery.

* First Western tour group since 2003 visits Iraq Ancient ruins aside, two weeks of touring Iraq haven't been as satisfying as Tina Townsend Greaves had hoped.

* 'Hamas may decide to nab more troops' In June 2006, Hamas kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit because Israel refused to open the border crossing to the Gaza Strip, and now that Israel is refusing to release Palestinians in Israeli jails as part of a prisoner swap deal, the organization may have to resort to more kidnappings in order to get what it wants, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told an Australian paper in a report published on Friday.

* Peres offers New Year wishes to Iranians President Shimon Peres issued an audio greeting to the Iranian people, urging them to shake off the rule of "an oppressive and fanatical regime" and return to relations of peace and harmony with Israel, which, he recalled, the two countries enjoyed when the Shah was in power, until 1979. He called on the "noble Iranian people" to eschew the rhetoric of hate and even offered a greeting for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, in Persian.

* Space station unfurls solar wings Ten years after its construction began, the International Space Station now has full power capability.

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