Saturday, May 18, 2013


* 'Israel prefers Bashar Assad to Islamist rebels' A weakened Bashar Assad is preferable for Syria and the whole region to a takeover by rebel forces increasingly ruled by Islamic extremists.

* Hamas training 37,000 teens, 15-17, in urban warfare Hamas has expanded military training of youngsters.

* Khamenei pressed Hizbullah in emergency meeting to do 'whatever it takes' in Syria Iran has pressed its main proxy for full combat troop deployment in Syria.

* France gay marriage: Hollande signs bill into law France's president has signed into law a controversial bill making the country the ninth in Europe, and 14th globally, to legalise gay marriage.

* S. Korea says N. Korea fires 3 short-range missiles North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles into its eastern waters on Saturday.

* 'Church of Scotland amends disputed Israel paper' The Church of Scotland revised a paper it had published rejecting Jewish scriptural-based rights to the land of Israel after it caused waves of controversy among the Jewish community in the UK.

* Syria's Nusra Front eclipsed by Iraq-based al-Qaida The most feared and effective rebel group battling President Bashar Assad, the Islamist Nusra Front, is being eclipsed by a more radical jihadi force.

* US: Russian missiles to Syria could embolden Assad The top US military officer on Friday condemned Russia's shipment of advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria.

* Will Israel destroy Russian missiles? The main reason for the heightened tensions on the northern front is Iran and Syria's interest to intensify and hasten the arming of Hezbollah.

* Erdogan: Peace Impossible Without Hamas-Fatah Unity Middle East peace will prove impossible without unity among Palestinian Authority Arab factions.