Saturday, December 24, 2011


* Thousands gather to celebrate Christmas Eve in Bethlehem Thousands of pilgrims, tourists and local Christians gather in the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem on Saturday to celebrate Christmas Eve.

* Mashaal: Hamas Will Focus on Arab Spring-Style Protests Hamas will focus on holding Arab Spring-style mass protests against Israel.

* Moscow protest: Thousands rally against Vladimir Putin They passed a resolution "not to give a single vote to Vladimir Putin" at next year's presidential election.

* U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama—But Not Jesus The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama.

* Baghdad blasts: Hashemi accuses government over attacks Iraq's Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi has said Iraq's government was behind Thursday's series of bombings that killed nearly 70 people in Baghdad.

* Islamists battle for votes in rural Egypt Already they have won nearly a quarter of the vote, and now the election has moved to an area that is fertile territory for their blend of politics and religion.

* Oil price near $100 on global security concerns Oil prices rose above $100 a barrel Friday as worries over global security issues outweighed weak economic data in the U.S.

* Iran launches 10-day naval drill The Iranian Navy has launched a 10-day exercise east of the Strait of Hormuz, the official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.

* Thousands attend funerals for Syria bomb victims Thousands of mourners carrying Syrian flags and pictures of the dead took part in a mass funeral Saturday for 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings.

* Nuke expert: Time to attack Iran A former special adviser on Iran policy to the Obama Administration said that a US-perpetrated strike on the Islamic Republic on is the "least bad" option in dealing with its nuclear threat.