Tuesday, December 22, 2015


* A Christmas Tree for the Devil - Earlier this month, the annual Christmas tree was adorned once again in Bethlehem as Palestinians gathered under the starlit pine in Manger Square, a reminder of the peace and light that Jesus brought to the world.

* Officials warn: Turkey not serious about warming Israel ties - Senior Israeli sources question Ankara's talk of Israeli rapprochement, as Turkey continues to host active Hamas terrorists.

* Iran's growing clout spurs Saudi action on Syria - Wary of an emboldened, aggressive Iran, Middle East's leading Sunni Arab power taking matters into its own hands in Syria.

* Islamic State conflict: Iraqi forces "move into Ramadi" - Iraqi forces are advancing into the centre of Ramadi, after launching a major assault to drive Islamic State militants from the city, officials say.

* US congresswoman: Jerusalem's archaeological discoveries prove historic Jewish ties - "Denying the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem is false," says Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East & North Africa.

* Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu agree to coordinate efforts against terrorism - PM and Russian president in phone call discuss Syrian crisis, extremists.

* Ankara will never abandon Palestinians, Turkish PM says - One Israeli official sought Tuesday to tamp down some of the initial optimism over reaching a deal.

* Shari'a law takes flight? Malaysian airline institutes Islamic law - Strict adherence to the tenets of Islamic law guide newly launched Asian airline.

* Newly crowned Miss Iraq receives threatening phone call: Join ISIS or else - Shayma Qassim, 20, receives threatening phone call after winning the first beauty pageant to be held in Iraq in 40 years.

* Migrant crisis: One million enter Europe in 2015 - The number of migrants and refugees crossing into Europe by land and sea this year illegally has passed one million, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.