Saturday, March 23, 2013


* Obama ends Middle East trip with visit to Petra ruins US President Barack Obama has ended his visit to the Middle East with a trip to the famous ruins of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.

* Xi Jinping: Russia-China ties 'guarantee world peace' Mr Xi, on his first official overseas trip as leader, has already met President Vladimir Putin.

* As Obama flies home, Kerry gets down to business US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders to further explore options for relaunching stalled peace talks after President Barack Obama's Mideast trip this week.

* Erdogan backtracks on understandings with Netanyahu Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to backtrack Saturday on understandings reached with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a dramatic US-brokered phone call.

* Dinosaur-killing space rock 'was a comet' Researchers in New Hampshire suggest the 180km-wide Chicxulub crater in Mexico was carved out by a smaller object than previously thought.

* Pope Francis visit Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo Newly elected Pope Francis has met his predecessor for lunch, the first time such a meeting has been possible for more than 600 years.

* Cyprus weighs big bank levy; bailout goes down to wire The island's finance minister, Michael Sarris, reported "significant progress" in talks with international lenders.

* What is the Free Syrian Army? An inside look Last month, I visited northern Syria three times with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

* Thousands of protesters, Islamists clash in Cairo Several thousand opponents of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood clashed with supporters of the Islamist group.

* 'Obama to Abbas: Don't go to ICC over settlements' US President Barack Obama asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Israel.