Saturday, February 13, 2010


* Major offensive on Afghan Taliban Nato-led forces say they are making good progress hours after launching the biggest offensive in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.

* Clinton says Blair to 'intensify' work on Mideast peace Middle East envoy Tony Blair will "intensify" his work with US negotiator George Mitchell to broker peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

* 'Population swap as part of peace' Israel and a future Palestinian state should agree to land swaps which would make settlement blocks part of Israel proper and in return make certain Arab towns part of Palestine.

* Mullen to visit Jerusalem, TA In another sign of growing cooperation between Israel and the US ahead of a new round of sanctions on Iran, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen will arrive in Israel on Sunday.

* Collapse of the euro is 'inevitable': Bailing out the Greek economy futile, says FRENCH banking chief The European single currency is facing an 'inevitable break-up' a leading French bank claimed yesterday.

* U.S. official: We want to boost ties with Syria The decision to appoint a new U.S. ambassador to Syria reflects a growing interest in strengthening bilateral ties with the country.

* Ultraconservative jihadists challenge Hamas rule in Gaza Jihadi Salafis preach global jihad, or holy war, adhere to an ultraconservative form of Islam and are becoming a headache even for Hamas.

* Tension among Haiti's religions grows after quake Christian and Voodoo leaders put aside their differences for a moment Friday, joining hands under a canopy of tropical trees as some earthquake survivors on crutches and in wheelchairs mourned the more than 200,000 Haitians killed.

* Thousands flee Somalia fighting, says UN refugee agency Thousands of people have fled Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, since Wednesday.

* Hamas: Next war with Israel will be regional conflict Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal warned on Friday that should another war erupt with Israel, the majority of battles would not be contained to the Gaza Strip.