Saturday, October 17, 2009


* Pakistan begins Taliban assault Fierce fighting has broken out as Pakistan's army launched an air and ground offensive against Taliban militants in the South Waziristan area.

* Netanyahu: Prepare for long struggle against Goldstone Gaza report Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Friday that Israel must prepare for a protracted struggle against a damning United Nations report on its winter offensive in Gaza.

* Jordan's king warns Israel on Jerusalem 'red line' Jordan's King Abdullah II warned Israel of "disastrous repercussions" if it crosses a "red line" on Jerusalem.

* Afghanistan awaits vote results The result of the presidential election in Afghanistan is due to be announced this weekend - two months after the poll marred by fraud allegations.

* Strained Israel-Turkey ties concern US American diplomats asked Turkish Foreign Ministry officials on Friday to work towards easing tensions with Israel.

* UN backs Gaza 'war crimes' report The UN Human Rights Council has backed a report into the Israeli offensive in Gaza that accuses both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes.

* Abbas says will announce election date on October 25 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that he will announce the date for the next general elections in the Palestinian Authority on October 25.

* UK, France to PM: Israel has right to self-defense British Premier Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overnight.

* Egypt: Fatah-Hamas deal deferred due to 'inappropriate conditions' Egypt announced on Saturday the latest postponement of a reconciliation agreement between rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah was due to "inappropriate conditions."

* Czech president says Lisbon too far gone to block The European Union's Lisbon reform treaty has progressed too far to stop.