Tuesday, December 22, 2009


* Iran dismisses US deadline for nuke deal Iran's president has dismissed a year-end deadline set by the Obama administration for Teheran to accept a UN-drafted deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel.

* No peace in Mideast in next decade - Russian expert The Middle East peace process is unlikely to produce any tangible results in the next decade or two, a Russian expert for Arab studies at the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis said on Tuesday.

* Egypt defends Gaza wall Egypt's foreign minister has said that a controversial wall being built along the country's border with the Gaza Strip will defend it "against threats to national security".

* Abbas: No intifada on my watch Palestinian president 'makes no guarantees' if no accord reached with Israel by end of his term in June

* US ups funds for Israeli missile defense US President Barack Obama has signed a defense spending bill that includes $202 million in funds for Israel's missile defense programs, the White House announced.

* Carter apologizes to Jewish community Jimmy Carter asked the Jewish community for forgiveness for any stigma he may have caused Israel.

* First New U.S. L-3 Spy Plane Due in Afghanistan by Christmas The Air Force as soon as Christmas Day will deliver to Afghanistan the first of 24 new Hawker Beechcraft Corp. planes modified by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. to support ground troops with video, still images and eavesdropping.

* Ayalon: Strengthen Jewish Periphery or Risk Arab Autonomy Try Jews should be dispersed throughout the Negev and other peripheral areas in order to take control of area lands and counter Arab occupation.

* Charities urge EU ministers to visit Gaza A coalition of 16 aid groups has urged the EU's new foreign relations chief to visit Gaza as part of a new effort to end Israel's blockade of the strip.

* Bumper year for botanical finds Giant rainforest trees, tiny fungi and wild coffee plants are among almost 300 species that have been described by UK botanists for the first time in 2009.

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