Saturday, May 30, 2009


* US 'opposes' nuclear North Korea The US "will not accept" a nuclear-armed North Korea, Defence Secretary Robert Gates has told an Asian summit.

* 'Abbas wants US to oust Netanyahu' Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not resume negotiations with Israel unless the Netanyahu government agrees to a complete settlement freeze.

* Pakistan army 'regains' Swat city The Pakistan military says it has regained control of the largest town in the Swat valley from the Taliban.

* Hamas says disappointed with Abbas-Obama meeting Spokesman for Islamist group says implementation of Road Map for peace plan will turn PA into Israeli armed wing.

* EU Parliament Elections Loom as Political Bellwether The European Union's legislature, accustomed to toiling in obscurity, will be thrust into a rare spotlight next week as its elections gauge voter anger.

* 'Iran will gladly give Hizbullah arms' Leading up to Lebanese elections on June 7, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah called Friday for unity in the country.

* Russia opens WMD disposal plant Russia has opened a facility in the Ural Mountains that will decommission vast stocks of its chemical weapons.

* Moussa: Halt all settlement construction Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said Friday it will become impossible to establish a Palestinian state unless Israel halts settlement construction in the West Bank immediately.

* Chávez Seeks Tighter Grip on Military The efforts of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela to strengthen his hold on the armed forces have led to high-profile arrests and a wave of reassignments.

* White House: Obama Speech to Engage Muslim Community White House officials say U.S. President Barack Obama will emphasize his "personal commitment" to improving U.S. relations with Muslims around the world.

Friday, May 29, 2009


* Chinese ships 'quit Korea waters' Chinese fishing boats are reported to be leaving the tense inter-Korean border in the Yellow Sea after North Korea's threat of military action.

* Obama says Israel must stop settlement construction Gingerly trying to advance Mideast peace, US President Barack Obama on Thursday challenged Israel to stop settlement construction in the West Bank on the same day the Israelis rejected that demand.

* Obama 'confident' on two-state solution US President Barack Obama says he is confident that Israel will recognise that a two-state solution is in the best interests of its security.

* PA official: Abbas expects US pressure to push out Netanyahu Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not resume negotiations with Israel unless the Netanyahu government agrees to a complete settlement freeze and publicly accepts a two-state solution.

* Allotting of Iraqi Oil Rights May Stoke Hostility Sheik Habih Shawqi Hamakan peered through his binoculars on a recent afternoon at a sight he considers, despite the rising columns of black smoke that blot out the sun, pure beauty.

* Hizbullah builds up its might No longer a purely guerrilla organization, Hizbullah is engaged in a huge political battle that culminates in the June 7 elections.

* Nuclear Aims By Pakistan, India Prompt U.S. Concern Sometime next year, at a tightly guarded site south of its capital, Pakistan will be ready to start churning out a new stream of plutonium for its nuclear arsenal.

* US to set out cyber security plan US President Barack Obama is to set out plans for securing American computer networks against cyber attacks.

* Sarkozy cancels Sweden visit over Turkey French President Nicolas Sarkozy has cancelled a visit to Sweden scheduled for next Tuesday (2 June) in order to avoid a clash on the question of Turkey's EU membership.

* Parashat Shavuot: Joy to the world Why do we read the Book of Ruth on Shavuot? What is the relationship between the giving of the Torah and the festival of first fruits in the Temple - the two names for Shavuot?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


* 'Iran ups uranium enrichment capacity' Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country has boosted its capacity to enrich uranium.

* Alert level raised on North Korea South Korean and US troops have gone on higher alert after North Korea said it was scrapping the treaty that halted the Korean War more than 50 years ago.

* Settler rabbis: Don't evacuate outposts Religious leaders headed by the head of the Judea and Samaria Rabbis' Committee, Rabbi Dov Lior, gathered Wednesday at an unauthorized outpost slated for removal.

* No exception on Israeli settlement: Clinton US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said there must be no exceptions to President Barack Obama's demand that Israel stop its settlement activity.

* Is Abbas still relevant to the peace process? If ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the analysts tried to assess the intensity of the confrontation with U.S. President Barack Obama.

* Israel rejects US call over settlement work Israel will continue to allow some construction in West Bank settlements despite US calls for a freeze on its work.

* Abbas to urge Obama: Push pan-Arab peace plan Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be pushing United States President Barack Obama on Thursday to facilitate peace with Israel.

* EU sketches out conditions for upgrade with Israel The EU will at a meeting with Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman next month sketch out three conditions for upgrading relations.

* Fresh blasts hit Pakistani city At least ten people have been killed in two separate attacks in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

* Strong quake jolts Honduras, at least one dead A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked Honduras on Thursday, killing at least one person whose home collapsed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


* Raad Salah: Netanyahu will Try to Rebuild the Jewish Temple Sheikh Raad Salah, leader of the Northern Wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, believes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will try to rebuild the Jewish Temple.

* N Korea threatens military action North Korea says it has abandoned the truce that ended the Korean war, amid rising tension in the region.

* Jordan summons Israeli ambassador on bill Jordan's foreign minister summoned Israel's ambassador Tuesday to protest a proposal National Union MK Arye Eldad made in the Knesset last week.

* Abbas to press Obama on settlements Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday he would focus on Israel's refusal to stop the building of settlements.

* Ya'alon: 'Palestinian entity cannot be formed' Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, who is very close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, ruled out the creation of any "Palestinian entity".

* Russia fears Korea conflict could go nuclear Russia is taking security measures as a precaution against the possibility tension over North Korea could escalate into nuclear war.

* Number of Europeans keen to vote in EU elections increases The number of people intending to vote in the European Parliament elections next week has increased.

* Somali radical takes over militia The head of Somali Islamist armed group Hisbul-Islam has passed the leadership to radical cleric Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on the US terror list.

* Obama adds Saudi Arabia to Mid-East agenda US President Barack Obama's foreign tour next week will include a stop-off in Saudi Arabia, his spokesman said in a late addition to the schedule.

* Netanyahu: Arab states should normalize Israel ties now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday urged Arab countries to make immediate moves toward normalizing ties with Israel.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


* North Korea 'will pay' over tests North Korea will "pay a price" for the nuclear and missile tests it has carried out in recent days.

* EU-Israel relations set to stay in limbo The EU is unlikely to upgrade relations with Israel when its foreign minister comes to Brussels in June, after a six month break in normal bilateral relations.

* PA minister: Hand Temple Mount over to global Islamic group The newly appointed minister for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian Authority cabinet, Hatem Abdel Khader, has released a statement Monday noting that he favors transferring control of the Temple Mount to the 57-member Islamic Conference Organization.

* Muslim nations link better ties with Israel to peace Muslim countries meeting in the Syrian capital criticized Israel on Monday but said they were open to better ties with the Jewish state.

* Pope urges China reconciliation The Pope has told Chinese Catholics of the officially tolerated Patriotic Church and those who worship secretly to take steps towards reconciliation.

* The Jihadist's guide to the galaxy "I see 16, 17-year-olds who have been indoctrinated on the Internet turn up on the battlefield," says US Army Brigadier-General John Custer.

* Obama Set to Create A Cybersecurity Czar With Broad Mandate President Obama is expected to announce late this week that he will create a "cyber czar," a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation's government-run and private computer networks.

* France Opens First Military Bases in the Gulf President Nicolas Sarkozy opened France’s first military facilities in the Gulf on Tuesday.

* Iran's Presidential Election Campaign Heats Up The four contenders in Iran's presidential election campaign have been criss-crossing the country in an effort to gain support ahead of the June 12 vote.

* Medvedev's Grim Prognosis on Russian Economy Months of infighting between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev over Russia's budget ended on Monday - with Medvedev on top.

Monday, May 25, 2009


* Outrage over N Korea nuclear test There have been expressions of international outrage after North Korea said it had successfully carried out an underground nuclear test.

* Report: Iran dispatches six warships to international waters Iran has sent six warships to international waters, including the Gulf of Aden, to display its ability to confront any foreign threats, its naval commander was quoted by a local news agency as saying on Monday.

* Iran Hosts Regional Summit Meeting Iran hosted its first three-way summit meeting on Sunday with Pakistan and Afghanistan to discuss cooperation on regional issues, the latest sign of Iran's emergence as the regional power.

* Arab League Throws Cold Water on Pan-Muslim Peace with Israel U.S. President Barack Obama's plans for a regional peace between Muslim countries and Israel received a jolt Saturday with Arab League secretary Amr Mussa's rejection of the reported offer of Jordan's King Abdullah II for a pan-Muslim peace with Israel.

* 'Home front drill scenario not fiction' The upcoming home front drill, Turning Point 3, is based a scenario in which "a combined missile and rocket attack on Israel from all sides combined with terror attacks from within," and is "not a fictional scenario,", Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilan'i told members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

* 'Israel won't yield to U.S. demands, won't halt settlement construction' Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke to Channel 2 on Saturday about the meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama, held earlier this week, saying that Israel's government will not allow the U.S. to dictate its policy, and that "settlement construction will not be halted."

* Netanyahu defies Obama on Israeli settlement freeze Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed U.S. calls for a full settlement freeze in the occupied West Bank and vowed not to accept limits on building of Jewish enclaves within Jerusalem.

* Settlers: Outposts to double themselves Rightists, Hilltop Youth prepare new plan of action aimed at struggling against evacuation of illegal West Bank outposts.

* Church enters the fray in European elections The Christian church has in the UK, Austria and Poland spoken out against far-right parties in the EU elections, while in Sweden a fringe movement calling for internet freedoms is gaining ground.

* First Quarter Was New Low for World's Developed Economies The economies of the developed world turned in their worst quarterly showing ever in the first three months of 2009, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Monday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


* 'Israel's a major obstacle to ME peace' Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday called Israel the "major obstacle" to peace in the Middle East and warned that a failure of negotiations would open the way for more "resistance" in occupied lands.

* Ahmadinejad: No talks on nuke program until after elections Talks on the Iranian nuclear program will have to wait until after the country's presidential elections on June 12, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday.

* Viewpoint: EU-Russia summit falls short of increased trust The latest European Union (EU)-Russia summit has not radically increased mutual trust mainly due to the EU Eastern Partnership project involving six post-Soviet countries.

* Pakistan army 'in Taliban city' Fierce fighting is taking place between Pakistani troops and Taliban militants in Mingora, the main city in the militant-controlled Swat valley.

* EU seeks to extend global reach The choices made by voters in next month's European Parliament elections will have an influence - albeit indirect - on EU foreign policy.

* Obama won't present Mideast peace plan in Cairo The White House denied on Friday that details of a new Middle East peace plan will be publicly revealed by President Barack Obama during his upcoming trip to Cairo next month.

* Iran's Ahmadinejad rallies supporters Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun the campaign for June's presidential election with a defiant speech against Iran's enemies.

* WHO chief warns H1N1 swine flu likely to worsen The world must be ready for H1N1 swine flu to become more severe and kill more people, World Health Organization chief Dr. Margaret Chan said on Friday.

* Viewpoint: EU-Russia summit falls short of increased trust The latest European Union (EU)-Russia summit has not radically increased mutual trust mainly due to the EU Eastern Partnership project involving six post-Soviet countries.

* Russia, Jordan sign nuclear cooperation agreement Russia and Jordan have signed a nuclear energy cooperation agreement, according to media reports in Moscow over the weekend.

Friday, May 22, 2009


* Netanyahu: Jerusalem holy sites will remain Israeli forever Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Thursday that all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.

* Mullen: Iran with nukes 'calamitous' Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said Thursday that the consequences of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon would be "calamitous".

* IAF holds drill simulating all-out war Israel Air Force squadrons took part in a large scale drill simulating war on all fronts over the past four days.

* French official says Jerusalem is the capital of two states One day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed never to divide Jerusalem, and pledged to keep the capital united under Israeli sovereignty, the French harshly condemned the comments.

* 'Israel plans to kill Hassan Nasrallah' Israel is plotting to assassinate Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah, and its upcoming home front drill is in fact a general rehearsal for the anticipated repercussions of the targeted killing.

* Right seeking alternatives to 2-states It is not an uncommon occurrence when plans to solve the conflict with the Palestinians are presented in the Knesset, but it is unprecedented when several diplomatic alternatives are raised in one afternoon by the Right.

* Russia alarmed over new EU pact Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned the European Union not to turn a proposed partnership with former Soviet countries against Moscow.

* '1 in 4 Israelis would consider leaving country if Iran gets nukes' Some 23 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon.

* Pakistani troops encircle Taliban base in Swat Troops are encircling Taliban militants in their mountain base as well as the main town in the Swat Valley.

* Bill to 'fortify Jerusalem' would require 80 MKs to change capital's boundaries On the anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, MKs from five factions representing both the coalition and the opposition submitted a bill on Thursday that would require a supermajority vote within the Knesset.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


* NY police: Terror suspects aimed for 'jihad' Four men arrested after planting what they thought were explosives near a synagogue and a Jewish center.

* Russia could deploy missiles near Poland: Officer Russia could deploy its latest Iskander missiles close to Poland if plans to install U.S. Patriots on Polish soil go ahead.

* 'We reserve operational freedom on Iran' Israel will not let Iran attain nuclear weapons capability, said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's National Security Adviser Uzi Arad on Thursday.

* Clinton to PM-No more settlement construction Sharp differences emerged between the US and Israel over the settlement issue on Wednesday .

* Nasrallah: US and Israel plotting Iran-Sunni strife Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday accused the United States and Israel of trying to foment strife between Sunni Arab countries and Shi'ite Iran.

* PA officials 'surprised' by US Middle East plan Palestinian Authority officials said on Wednesday that they had been "surprised" to hear about US President Barack Obama's new peace plan from the Israeli media.

* Israeli Arabs blast plan for PA to cede Temple Mount sovereignty The northern branch of the Islamic Movement blasted Thursday a proposal for the Palestinian Authority to relinquish sovereignty over the Temple Mount in exchange for international Islamic control of the site.

* EU sets low expectations for Russia summit EU envoys at a summit in the Russian Far East on Thursday (21 May) and Friday will voice worries over energy security and trade tariffs.

* Up to 200,000 Pakistanis stranded in Swat Up to 200,000 civilians have been stranded by a Pakistani army offensive against Taliban militants in the Swat valley.

* Iran claims missile test with Europe in range Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed to have sucessfully tested another ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


* Israel PM Netanyahu 'ready for peace talks' Israel is ready "to immediately begin" peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria, PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said after returning from the US.

* Jerusalem's population hits 760,800 Despite the trend of emigration from the capital, the population of Jerusalem increased by 1.8 percent to reach 760,800 during 2008.

* Israeli settlers reject Obama call to halt building Jewish settler leaders on Tuesday shrugged off U.S. President Barack Obama's call for Israel to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

* Ayalon: Iranians are playing with fire "The Iranians are playing with fire," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Army Radio on Wednesday.

* Turkey receives reassurance on EU membership bid The European Commission as well as the current and upcoming EU presidencies on Tuesday (19 May) reassured Turkey that it is negotiating for full membership of the European Union.

* CIA head: J'lem knows not to attack Iran CIA director Leon Panetta on Wednesday said that Jerusalem knew it needed to coordinate its strategy on Iran with other nations.

* Iran tests missile with range that can hit Israel Iran test-fired a new missile Wednesday it claimed had a range capable of reaching Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East.

* Deputy PM: 'Jerusalem Will Not be Divided' "Jerusalem will remain Israel's eternal capital forever." So stated Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom on Wednesday.

* Russia halts plans for Syria fighter sale Russia has halted plans to sell MiG-31 fighters to Syria because of pressure from Israel.

* Gloves come off in EU election campaigns EU election campaigning is beginning to get ugly, with legal challenges over media abuses launched in France and Italy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


* Abbas swears in new PA government Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday swore in a new government comprised mainly of members of his Fatah Party.

* Ethiopia troops 'back in Somalia' Ethiopian military forces have crossed back into Somalia, four months after leaving.

* PM praised, chided after Obama meet A day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama, the Israeli political arena was split.

* Netanyahu to brief US leaders on peace plan Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to outline his vision for Middle East peace when he visits Capitol Hill in Washington.

* 'No peace while Hamas rules Gaza' Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday morning that there was "no chance for an effective peace process so long as Hamas rules the Gaza Strip."

* Scientists hail stunning fossil The beautifully preserved remains of a 47-million-year-old, lemur-like creature have been unveiled in the US.

* Restrictions on Jerusalem Day Marchers Jews celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem this Thursday and Friday will not be allowed to conduct their flag-waving march through the Old City’s Lions’ Gate.

* 'Ethiopian aliyah must be made part of school curriculum' Israelis of Ethiopian descent approached the Education Ministry and demanded that the story of the community's immigration to Israel be included in history textbooks used in schools.

* China lies at heart of Europe's recovery, says Brussels European commissioner for external relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner highlighted the central role China will play in Europe's economic recovery.

* Russia, US Begin Talks Over New Arms Control Pact Negotiations between Russia and the United States on a new agreement to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons opened Tuesday in Moscow.

Monday, May 18, 2009


* Netanyahu and Obama begin key talks in US Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has begun his first meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House.

* China ready to join US as world power David Miliband described China as the 21st century's "indispensable power" with a decisive say on the future of the global economy, climate change and world trade.

* Peres: Assad, PM should start talking If Syrian President Bashar Assad is genuinely interested in peace, he should come to Israel to open direct talks.

* Hamas wants acceptance without changing ideology Leaders of Hamas have begun reaching out to the West with conciliatory words, saying the Islamic militant group wants to be part of a Mideast solution and raising the possibility they would someday accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

* Pakistan Is Rapidly Adding Nuclear Arms, U.S. Says Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency.

* Iraq deal to revive gas pipeline A consortium of oil companies plans to revive a project to supply Europe with gas from northern Iraq.

* Make United Jerusalem a Reality Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin believes that Israel must take action now in order to make “united Jerusalem” a reality, and not merely a slogan.

* Peres to Assad: Don't be shy Syrian President Assad should not by shy, embark on direct talks with Israel if he truly wants peace.

* WHO annual meeting dominated by swine flu Swine flu and the possibility of a vaccine topped the agenda Monday as the World Health Organization opened its annual meeting amid concern that the virus continues to spread - and kill - around the globe.

* Rumsfeld mixed Bible with intelligence for Bush Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld routinely used militaristic passages from the Bible on the cover pages of White House intelligence documents.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


* ElBaradei: Israel would be 'utterly insane' to attack Iran Israel would be "utterly insane" to attack Iran, outgoing International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said.

* Ayalon: Assad doesn't want actual peace Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Saturday slammed comments by Syrian President Bashar Assad that his country is interested in peace with Israel.

* US officials: Mitchell may visit Syria US officials revealed on Friday that President Barack Obama's special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, is laying plans to visit Syria.

* 'Inaction on ME conflict not an option' King Abdullah II spoke a day after he pressed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

* Blair hopeful for two-state solution Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told Congress on Thursday there is no workable alternative to a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

* Europe in deepest recession since War as Germany suffers The declaration was made as it emerged that Europe's biggest economy has now suffered a worse "lost decade" than Japan and is deeper in recession than any other major economy.

* China's yuan 'set to usurp US dollar' as world's reserve currency The Chinese yuan is preparing to overtake the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, economist Nouriel Roubini has warned.

* Netanyahu 'won't back Palestinian state' in US Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will refuse on his trip to Washington to back the formation of a Palestinian state.

* Islamic Movement: Zionist sun will set Movement's vice-chairman tells Nakba Day rally in Kfar Kana 'wars and conflicts are not won with F-16 planes and Merkava tanks'.

* Benedict XVI: Peace is possible Pope Benedict XVI assured his followers in the Holy Land that peace is possible, as he ended his Mideast visit Friday.

Friday, May 15, 2009


* IAEA chief says Mideast 'ticking bomb' The number of potential nuclear weapons states could more than double in the next few years unless major powers take radical steps towards disarmament.

* At end of Mideast trip, pope says peace is possible Pope Benedict XVI assured his followers in the Holy Land that peace is possible, as he ended his Mideast visit Friday by putting aside the contentious issues he has confronted.

* Israel: U.S. will know before any Iran strike Israel has acceded to American demands by pledging to coordinate its moves on Iran with Washington and not surprise the United States with military action.

* Fear causes Abbas to delay new gov't Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was forced this week to postpone the formation of a new government.

* Tony Blair: Iranian Threat and Two-State Solution are Contingent Tony Blair, Mideast envoy of the Quartet, told the United States to push Israel and Arabs for a two-state solution as soon as possible.

* Egypt finds huge Sinai munitions cache Egyptian security forces uncovered an immense munitions cache near the Israeli border.

* European satellites to explore origins of universe The European Space Agency on Thursday launched a telescope and spacecraft on a mission set to explore the creation of the universe.

* Thousands flee Pakistan fighting Thousands of people are streaming into camps seeking refuge from the conflict between Pakistan's army and Taleban rebels in the country's north-west.

* Shuttle snapped up against sun NASA'S space shuttle Atlantis has been caught in a stunning snap silhouetted against the sun.

* Netanyahu to Meet Obama as U.S. Priorities Shift The last time Benjamin Netanyahu met an American president as Israel’s new leader, in 1996, it did not go well.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


* IAF practicing MIG-29/F-16 dogfights Israel Air Force test pilots are flying MIG 29 jets and conducting dogfights against the IAF's F-16 fighters.

* PM turns down Abdullah's request that he endorse 2 states Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a meeting Thursday with Jordanian King Abdullah II and promised that he would pursue peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

* Coming Up: 3 New Anti-Missile Systems in 4 Years Israel will have three different levels of missile defense systems within the next four years, according to a high level military assessment.

* 40,000 join pope at Nazareth mass An estimated 40,000 people greeted Pope Benedict XVI on Mount Precipice in Nazareth before he presided over a mass on Thursday morning.

* Iron Dome to be deployed in 2010 Israel will have operational missile defense systems on three different levels within four years.

* PMW: Jordanian Media Report 'Jews Descend from Pigs' Jordanian media last week quoted Egyptian clerics who declared that Jews are the descendants of pigs -- the only point of debate was whether they are direct descendants or not.

* Syrian official: Israel must return Golan Heights Syria's new ambassador to Turkey says Israel must commit to returning the Golan Heights before Damascus resumes indirect peace negotiations with the country.

* Netanyahu urges Pope: Sound your moral voice against Iran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday asked Pope Benedict XVI to condemn the anti-Semitic declarations of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

* Thousands of Palestinians mark Nakba Day: We want to return to our homes Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon on Thursday marked Nakba Day – or the "catastrophe" of Israel's inception.

* In Iraq, an exodus of Christians Iraq has lost more than half the Christians who once called it home, mostly since the war began.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


* Egypt refusing to sign WMD treaties Egypt is refusing to sign treaties prohibiting biological and chemical weapons, a week after it was reported that weapons-grade uranium was found in Egypt.

* Pope calls for Palestinian state Pope Benedict XVI has offered his support for the Palestinians' right to a homeland, as he continues a Middle East tour in the West Bank.

* 'Ahmadinejad's popularity rises in Iran' President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's popularity has grown among Iranian voters.

* Pakistan conflict map A map produced by the BBC suggests only 38% of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and surrounding areas is under full government control.

* Kremlin: Battles over energy may lead to wars A Kremlin policy paper says international relations will be shaped by battles over energy resources.

* Islamic Jihad: Don't recognize Israel Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Abdullah Ramadan Shallah said Palestinian recognition of Israel would be "more dangerous than the Nakba of 1948".

* Palestinians and Israeli Jews to reach equal number by 2016, data shows The Jewish and Arab populations in Israel and the Palestinian territories will reach an equal number by 2016.

* Hezbollah deputy chief: We actively support Hamas Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem said that the Lebanese militant group has been actively supporting Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

* India has high degree of interest in Afghanistan, Pakistan: US The US has acknowledged that India as a "great regional power" has a very high degree of interest in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

* Somalia 'worst drought in decade' Somalia is facing its worst drought for at least a decade, says the UN.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


* 'Iran deploys missiles in Persian Gulf' Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has deployed mobile ground-to-air and ground-to-sea missile batteries in the Strait of Hormuz and other areas in the Persian Gulf.

* King Abdullah of Jordan's ultimatum: peace now or it's war next year America is putting the final touches to a hugely ambitious peace plan for the Middle East.

* UN Security Council committed to 2-state solution The United Nations Security Council unanimously endorsed a statement Monday calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

* Japan to sign nuclear supply deal with Russia After two years of negotiations, energy-starved Japan is to sign a nuclear supply deal with Russia.

* Jordan's Abdullah woos Assad in peace push Jordan's King Abdullah II met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday in an effort to win support for a new push to reach a comprehensive peace.

* Lisbon Treaty strengthens role of religion says EU Securing a stronger consultative role for European religions in EU policy making is another good reason to support the Lisbon Treaty.

* Swine flu could hit one in three A third of the world's population could be infected with swine flu, expert projections suggest.

* Chief Rabbi to Pope: Tell the world Jews belong in Israel Israel's leading rabbis on Tuesday told Pope Benedict XVI that it was his duty to spread the message that the Jewish people belong in the Land of Israel.

* Pope visits Jerusalem holy sites Pope Benedict XVI is visiting sites in Jerusalem holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians on the second day of his visit to the Holy Land.

* Pakistan raids Taleban stronghold Pakistan's army says it has dropped troops by helicopter to tackle a Taleban stronghold as part of a broadening offensive in the north-west.

Monday, May 11, 2009


* Pope vows to fight anti-Semitism Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Israel on Monday, starting a historic five-day pilgrimage by calling for peace, an end to anti-Semitism, and freedom of worship and understanding between religions.

* Netanyahu: Peace talks will begin soon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in Sharm e-Sheikh that Israel wants to renew negotiations with the Palestinians as soon as possible.

* PA jails Hamas activist for coup plot In the first verdict of its kind, a Palestinian Authority court in Nablus sentenced a Hamas activist to 18 months in prison on charges of plotting to stage a coup against the regime of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

* Netanyahu-Obama meeting crucial to Middle East US President Barack Obama's meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu next week has become the acid test for the White House's commitment to peace in the Middle East, King Abdullah II of Jordan said.

* Blair: We've reached a moment of truth The Quartet's envoy Tony Blair observed that "you'd be nuts if you were naively optimistic" regarding the chances of a peacemaking breakthrough "after all we've been through over the years."

* Pakistan steps up Swat offensive Pakistan's military is stepping up an offensive against the Taleban, after a weekend in which it said it killed 200 militants in and near the Swat valley.

* Russia to host UN talks to revive Mideast peace Security Council chair calls open debate in hopes of adopting draft statement calling for "lasting peace in the region."

* Israel is quietly expelling young settler couples from West Bank The head of the municipal council of West Bank settlements accused the government on Monday of indirectly causing the "expulsion" of young Israelis from the territories.

* Ankara's closer ties with Muslim countries EU compatible EU accession remains Turkey's main priority after a cabinet reshuffle, with the country's new policy of forging stronger ties with Muslim neighbours seen as EU compatible despite concerns from the secularist oppposition.

* Pope Calls for Palestinian Homeland Pope Benedict has called for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict - a position that could put him at odds with Israel's new government.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


* Russia warns against 'adventures' The Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has issued a stern warning to any countries considering what he called "military adventures".

* Obama renews sanctions against Syria The Obama administration said Friday it is renewing economic and diplomatic sanctions on Syria.

* Iran president seeks second term Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered to fight for a second term in office in June's presidential vote.

* Pope expresses 'deep respect' for Islam Pope Benedict XVI expressed deep respect for Islam Friday and said he hopes the Catholic Church can play a role in Mideast peace.

* Battle for Jerusalem: PA Leader Prays near Ma'aleh Adumim Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad appeared at a protest tent near Ma’aleh Adumim on Friday.

* Rabbi Lau: No Need to Flatter the Pope -- or to Rebuff Him Israel's former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau explains Pope Benedict XVI's two "mistakes" and how he differs from the last pope.

* Netanyahu: Israel will never withdraw from Golan Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of Russian-language reporters Thursday that Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.

* Pope warns of misuse of religion Pope Benedict XVI has warned against the misuse of religion for political ends, in a speech to Muslim leaders on the second day of his visit to Jordan.

* Pakistani offensive sparks 'massive displacement' of civilians The United Nations' refugee agency warned Friday of a "massive displacement" of civilians as Pakistan's military broadens its offensive against Taliban militants.

* Obama to reach out to Muslims in Egypt speech US President Barack Obama will deliver a much anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Egypt next month.