Saturday, December 18, 2010


* U.S. military chief: We are 'very ready' to counter Iran Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, posing a threat to its neighbors, and the United States is "very ready" to counter Iran should it make a move.

* Barack Obama urges US Senate to pass new Start treaty President Barack Obama has renewed his call for US senators to ratify an arms control treaty with Russia before the Democratic-led Congress breaks up.

* Iraqi PM to Name New Cabinet Monday Iraqi officials say Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will name a new Cabinet Monday.

* US envoy Bill Richardson warns of Korea tinderbox An unofficial US envoy visiting North Korea has warned that the situation on the peninsula is a "tinderbox".

* North predicts 'disaster' if S.Korea drill goes ahead North Korea on Saturday predicted "disaster" if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire artillery exercise on a border island bombarded by the communist state last month.

* Iran's new FM to bolster ties with Saudi, Turkey Atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi officially took charge on Saturday as Iran's new foreign minister.

* Bolivia recognizes Palestinian state Bolivia announces Friday that it is officially and fully recognizing the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders.

* Ban Ki-moon names settlement freeze a top UN goal for 2011 The United Nations named improving the living conditions in the Gaza Strip and ending Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of its goals for 2011.

* 'Wikileaks: Spielberg movies banned by Arab League' After making a $1m. donation to Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Steven Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office.

* Christians flee central Iraq in thousands, UN reports The UN refugee agency says thousands of Iraqi Christians are fleeing from central provinces of the country.

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