09 Mar 14
One Week After Russia's Crimean Invasion, Us Imposes Travel Sanctions...Against Israelis
At the same time the US State Department is relaxing entry requirements to visa applicants with Islamist terrorist connections, and reassuring President Putin of Russia that any sanctions against travel to the US placed upon those responsible for Russia's invasion Ukraine will be limited to no more than a "few dozen" named individuals, it is dramatically increasing its rejection rate of Israelis seeking visas to visit the US.
Earthquake rocks Cuba, felt in Florida
A 4.7 magnitude earthquake rocked central Cuba a little after 7a.m. Sunday.
It happened in the northern part of Cuba, near Corralillo which is east of Havana.
Netanyahu says any peace deal with Palestinians at least a year away
Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu said any peace deal with the Palestinians would take at least another year to negotiate...
..."I think (the Kerry document)...is a possible path toward moving the talks forward. It will take us at least a year to exhaust these negotiations but I can't say that the Palestinians will accept this document, and I also have not seen it yet," he said.
We Christians live in fear in Syria
Today, the first Sunday of Lent, will see churches crowded across the globe. But here in Syria, where St Paul found his faith, many churches stand empty, targets for bombardment and desecration.
...Until the war began, Syria was one of the last remaining strongholds for Christianity in the Middle East...now our faith is under mortal threat, in danger of being driven into extinction...
Assange to SXSW: We're all being watched
From his sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with roughly a dozen police officers outside, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Saturday that everyone in the world will be just as effectively monitored soon -- at least digitally.
"The ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there and, arguably, will be there in the next couple of years," said Assange...
Iran tells EU's Ashton nuclear deal possible in months
The Iranian foreign minister has told the visiting EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, that a nuclear deal could come in the next four months.
Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks lasting more than an hour with Baroness Ashton, who is making her first visit to Tehran amid a thaw in relations.
"We can do it in four or five months and even shorter," Mr Zarif said.
Russia has miscalculated over Crimea incursion, says Hague
Russia has made a "big miscalculation" in entering Crimea, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
He told the BBC that Western countries could impose "far-reaching" economic sanctions if no diplomatic solution was reached between Russia and Ukraine.
Mr Hague also said European countries could reduce energy supplies from Russia and import more gas from the US.
Netanyahu Pushing White House for Pollard's Release
The ongoing push to free Jonathan Pollard from his US prison sentence is still active in Washington, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu revealed Saturday night.
"Pollard does not need to be in the hospital nor in a prison - he needs to be released." Netanyahu stated to Channel 10. Pollard has been hospitalized since last week, heightening concerns that the Israeli agent will not live to see his release. "He has paid his price...Israel was wrong to send him."
U.S.: No Need for PA to Recognize Israel
The United States believes there is no need for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of a peace agreement, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday.
Psaki, who spoke to the PA-based Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper, said, “The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state. However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”
Hollywood blockbuster 'Noah' faces ban in Arab world
Three Arab countries have banned the Hollywood film "Noah" on religious grounds even before its worldwide premiere and several others are expected to follow suit, a representative of Paramount Pictures told Reuters on Saturday.
EU's Catherine Ashton to begin landmark Iran talks
The EU's head of foreign policy, Catherine Ashton, is due to begin talks with Iranian leaders in Tehran.
It is her first visit to Iran and comes amid a thaw in relations with the West following last year's election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
On Sunday she is due to meet President Rouhani, speaker Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Ben Carson CPAC Speech: Gay People 'Don't Get Extra Rights'
Conservative Ben Carson let loose on gay marriage during his Saturday CPAC speech, reinforcing his belief in traditional practices.
"As you know, I am not a fan of political correctness," Carson told onlookers, drawing cheers. "I still believe that marriage is between a man and a woman."
China to 'defend every inch' of territory: foreign minister
China's foreign minister on Saturday said his country would vigorously defend its sovereignty, declaring there was "no room for compromise" with Japan over territory or history. "We will never bully smaller countries yet we will never accept unreasonable demands from smaller countries," Wang Yi told reporters.
Libya threatens to bomb North Korean tanker if it ships oil from rebel port
Libya threatened on Saturday to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tried to ship oil from a rebel-controlled port, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country's petroleum wealth.
08 Mar 14
Ship with Iran missile cargo escorted into Eilat port
The Klos-C and its Israeli Navy escort entered the port of Eilat Saturday afternoon after a voyage of three-and-a-half days following Israel’s interception of the ship off the coast of Sudan early Wednesday.
Putin mocks the West and threatens to turn off gas supplies
Vladimir Putin has mocked diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis as Russia threatened to disrupt European gas supplies by cutting off sales to Kiev over its unpaid debts.
The Russian president said through his official spokesman that, despite deep disagreements with the West, he did not want a confrontation over Ukraine to spiral into a “new cold war”.
Abbas: I will not recognize Israel as Jewish state
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state at a meeting with students in Ramallah, Israel Radio reported on Friday.
There is "no way" that he will agree to recognition, Abbas was quoted as saying by Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Huckabee: Time for government, not 'people of faith to scale back'
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) didn't disguise his presidential ambitions on Thursday, touting his socially conservative bona fides and blasting both President Obama and Hillary Clinton in his Conservative Political Action Conference speech.
"These are the things that I know. I know there is a God, and I know this nation would not exist had he not been the midwife of its birth. And I know that this nation exists by the providence of his hand, and if this nation forgets our God, then God will have every right to forget us," Huckabee said. "I hope that we repent before we ever have to receive his fiery judgment."
Netanyahu says peace deal would leave some settlements in Palestine
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday raised the possibility that some Jewish settlements would remain under Palestinian sovereignty if the two sides struck a peace deal.
"It is clear that some of the settlements will not be part of a (peace) deal," Netanyahu, wrapping up a visit to the United States, told Israeli television.
Crimea Base Incident Exposes Danger of Escalation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin is showing no signs of heeding western calls to ease the standoff in Crimea, where there were reports that armed attackers forced their way into a Ukrainian military base before withdrawing.
Saudi Arabia declares Muslim Brotherhood 'terrorist group'
Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.
An interior ministry statement also classified two jihadist groups fighting with the Syrian rebels - the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant - as terrorist groups.
The statement gave Saudis fighting in Syria 15 days to return.
Search on after Malaysia Airlines flight vanishes
A search is under way in waters between Malaysia and Vietnam after a Malaysia Airlines plane vanished on a flight to Beijing, with 239 people on board.
Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that flight MH370 had disappeared at 02:40 local time on Saturday (18:40 GMT on Friday) after leaving Kuala Lumpur.
It had been expected to land in Beijing at 06:30 (22:30 GMT).
Ukraine crisis: What’s the point of US military activity near Russia?
If stepped-up US military activity with NATO partners such as Poland and Lithuania seems like a paltry response to Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea province, there’s a reason for that.
The modest US show of force – a handful of jet fighters in Eastern European skies and a single warship to the Black Sea – is intended more to calm the nerves of former Soviet republics and satellites nervous about Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, regional experts say, than it is designed to send Russia into retreat with its tail between its legs.
Battle for Syrian rebel town erases Lebanon border
Sunnis and Shiites from Lebanon are streaming into Syria to take up arms on opposite sides of a fierce battle over a rebel stronghold — a fight that has effectively erased the border between the two countries and underlined how Lebanon is being sucked into the civil war next door.
China draws red line' on North Korea, says won't allow war on peninsula
China declared a "red line" on North Korea on Saturday, saying that China will not permit chaos or war on the Korean peninsula, and that peace can only come through denuclearization.
China is North Korea's most important diplomatic and economic supporter, though Beijing's patience with Pyongyang has been severely tested following three nuclear tests and numerous bouts of saber rattling, including missile launches.
07 Mar 14
Earthquake Today 2014: California, Oregon, Oklahoma Hit in Morning
Earthquakes today 2014 have hit California, Oregon and Oklahoma. But internationally, Greece, New Zealand, and Indonesia have suffered moderate quakes today as well. The surge of quakes for March 7, 2014 began in morning hours.
Dalai Lama offers historic prayer in U.S. Senate
The U.S. Senate opened Thursday morning with a prayer from an unusual guest: The Dalai Lama.
Though the upper chamber of Congress routinely opens with a prayer, it's usually from the Senate chaplain, historically a clergy member from a mainline Protestant congregation. (Current chaplain Barry Black is a Seventh-day Adventist, the first to hold the post.)
For Putin, the Ukraine is About More Than Just Territory
It was a little over 48 hours since enraged protesters based at Kiev’s Maidan opposition camp had driven Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from power, but the shockwaves were already being felt on the glitzy streets of central Moscow.
Small Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave, 3rd in 2 Days
The 25-foot-wide (8 meters) asteroid 2014 EC came within 38,300 miles (61,600 kilometers) of our planet at 4:21 p.m. ET (2121 GMT) today, NASA officials said. For comparison, the moon orbits Earth at an average distance of 239,000 miles (385,000 km).
Russian UN ambassador comes out swinging on leaked call
During that Feb. 26 call, Churkin says that the Estonian minister told Ashton the snipers who shot protesters and police in Kiev’s Maidan Square were hired by the Ukrainian opposition.
Under the headline: “Behind Ukraine snipers was not Yanukovych, but new coalition,” Voice of Russia reported what it said was the transcript of the conversation, which had clearly been intercepted by hackers or a foreign intelligence service bent on embarrassing the West and its NATO allies.