Wednesday, June 19, 2013


* US war games in Jordan send warning message to Assad Under the watchful eye of stern-faced American advisers, hundreds of U.S.-trained Jordanian commandos fanned across this dusty desert plain.

* Turkish police can't stop protests; Erdogan may deploy army, NATO's 2nd largest Turkey, unable to halt anti-government protests, has threatened to deploy the Army to restore order.

* Syria's Islamists seize control as moderates dither As the Syrian civil war got under way, a former electrician who calls himself Sheikh Omar built up a brigade of rebel fighters.

* Jews arrested for Temple Mount prayer Four Jewish Israelis were arrested at the Temple Mount Wednesday after praying in the Jerusalem compound.

* Quartet's Tony Blair: Nuclear Iran Worse Than Military Option Quartet envoy Tony Blair told Presidential Conference participants Wednesday that facing the prospect of a military confrontation with Tehran is a better option than having to grapple with a nuclear Iran.

* I will seek a demilitarized Palestinian state, says Netanyahu Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett's remarks that the two-state solution has reached a "dead end" prompts angry responses from both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli coalition.

* Saudi's Syria role driven by fear of Shi'ite 'full moon' Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief, Prince Muqrin, once told American diplomats the Middle East's so-called Shi'ite Crescent where the Muslim sect holds sway was "becoming a full moon" as Iranian influence spread.

* Hamas says its Iran ties worsen over Syrian civil war Hamas said on Wednesday its relations with financial backer Iran have suffered as a result of the Islamist group's support of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

* Fatah warns US against exerting pressure on PA to resume talks The Fatah leadership on Wednesday warned the US Administration against exerting pressure on the Palestinian Authority to resume peace talks with Israel unconditionally.

* Vatican to announce John Paul II 'miracle' The Holy See has yet to reveal what the miracle was or where and when it took place but Vatican sources said it would "amaze the world".