Friday, May 08, 2009


* Pope begins Mid-East pilgrimage Pope Benedict XVI stressed his "deep respect" for Islam as he arrived in Jordan to begin a Middle East visit.

* Netanyahu can be a peacemaker, says Quartet emissary Blair Quartet emissary Tony Blair on Thursday offered a strong endorsement of Binyamin Netanyahu's capacity to achieve peace.

* Moscow show of strength hides critical military weakness The march through Red Square by thousands of troops ahead of tanks and nuclear missile launchers sent an unambiguous message of Russian military might.

* Jerusalem worried over breakdown of U.S.-Israel cooperation under Obama Senior officials in Jerusalem expressed concern recently over the sharp decline in the coordination between Israel and the United States.

* 'Lieberman sees Europeans as cowards' A day after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrapped up his first diplomatic trip to Europe with a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, German lawmakers on Friday said the visit left them somewhat disappointed.

* EU launches 'Eastern Partnership' The European Union has launched a plan to forge close political and economic ties with six former Soviet republics in exchange for democratic reforms.

* Palestinians seek papal pressure on Israel Palestinian officials are using Pope Benedict XVI's visit next week to spotlight their disputes with Israel.

* US denies Israel access to F-35 computer A refusal by the United States to allow Israel to repair computer systems in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is at the heart of disagreements between the Defense Ministry and the Pentagon.

* US slams Hizbullah actions in Egypt US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on Thursday night echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's condemnation of Hizbullah for its "unwarranted interference" in Egypt's affairs.

* Pakistan Presses ‘All-Out’ Assault on Taliban in Swat Pakistan troops backed by fighter jets and military helicopters battled Taliban militants in the Swat Valley.