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WikiLeaks: U.S. cable ties Saudis to Pakistan jihad

Cable ties Saudis to Pakistani jihadA U.S. diplomat in Pakistan accused Saudi and Gulf groups of bankrolling Islamic extremists in a cable revealed by WikiLeaks Sunday. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported Bryan Hunt, then consul in Lahore, sent the message to the State Department in November 2008, citing local officials and his visits to south Punjab.

Hunt wrote, "Financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith clerics in south Punjab from organizations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, ostensibly with the direct support of those governments."


Honduras ousted leader Zelaya signs deal for return

Manuel Zelaya returns to HondurasFormer Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted from power and forced into exile in 2009, has signed an agreement with his successor, Porfirio Lobo, which will allow him to return to the country.

The accord also paves the way for Honduras' re-entry into the Organisation of American States (OAS). Honduras was expelled from the OAS after Mr Zelaya was removed from power.The accord was negotiated by the Colombian and Venezuelan presidents.


What goes on behind the walls of Israel's Institute for Biological Research?

Ness ZionaA multimillion-shekel lawsuit recently filed in the Tel Aviv District Court by an employee of the Institute for Biological Research in Nes Tziona promises to provide a rare glimpse into what transpires behind the walls of one of Israel's most hush-hush institutions.

According to foreign reports, it also develops chemical and biological weapons. One of these reports said institute scientists had developed the poison that was meant to have eliminated Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal in the botched Mossad attack against him in Amman in 1996.


Swiss vote to keep assisted suicide, projections suggest

EXIT is Switzerland's biggest assisted suicide organizationVoters in Zurich, Switzerland, have rejected proposed bans on assisted suicide and "suicide tourism", early projections suggest. The projections showed voters had heavily turned down both initiatives, Swiss news agency SDA reported.

About 200 people commit assisted suicide each year in Zurich, including many foreign visitors. It has been legal in Switzerland since 1941 if performed by a non-physician with no vested interest in the death.


WikiLeaks: U.S. saw Israeli firm's rise in Latin America as a threat

Israeli Foreign MinistryA security company led by the former head of operations for the Israeli military made such inroads into Latin America a few years ago that U.S. diplomats saw it as a security risk and moved to thwart the company's expansion, U.S. diplomatic cables show.

The diplomats' efforts were made easier when an interpreter for the Israeli firm, Global CST, was caught peddling classified Colombian Defense Ministry documents to Marxist guerrillas seeking to topple the state, one cable said.


Obama considers new Syrian sanctions as crackdown tightens

Obama considers new Syrian sanctionsThe White House is considering new sanctions against Syria amid a crackdown by that country’s government against pro-democracy demonstrators. Syria is one of only four countries on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List and is already subject to heavy sanctions, limiting U.S. options.

As a result, new sanctions are expected to focus on the assets of Syrian officials close to President Bashar al-Assad. Such a strategy would mimic actions taken by the U.S. against Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.


Israel's wall cements psychological divide between Arab, Jew

Israel's 'security barrier' Nearly eight years after it was first erected, the controversial wall snaking through verdant fields and dusty hillsides has become a permanent fixture of the landscape. It has also cemented a psychological divide between Israelis and Palestinians, undermining the prospects for lasting peace that could not only end hostilities but boost economic prosperity.

"Since they built it, Israelis don't see the Pales­tin­ians and they don't want to see the Palestinians. And there is a new generation growing up in the West Bank, and they don't even know Hebrew," says Gal Berger, who covers Palestinians for Israel Radio. "That's a problem for the long term. There's growing alienation."


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