Israel detains 2 Palestinians in Jerusalem ‘planning attacks’ for Al-Qaeda
Israel has arrested two Palestinians from East Jerusalem who were planning to carry out attacks for Al-Qaeda, with the help of foreign suicide bombers posing as Russian tourists, the Shin Bet intelligence agency said. The men were recruited by another Al-Qaeda agent in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported. Hamas Islamists governing Gaza rejected the spy agency’s account as “silly fabrications” and described it as an attempt to justify Israeli military strikes in the territory.
Syria govt, opposition to start talks in Geneva on Friday – UN
Delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition will start bilateral talks on Friday, Itar-Tass reported, citing the UN secretary-general’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky. UN chief Ban Ki-moon earlier met with representatives of the Syrian opposition. He will also meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.
German cyber crime watchdog knew of mass cyber theft
Germany’s cyber crime watchdog said on Wednesday it had learnt last month of the mass theft of 16 million digital identities through a criminal probe. The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said it required weeks of investigation before alerting the public, AFP reported. Cyber criminals stole email addresses and matching passwords, which could also compromise linked social media, shopping and other online services.
Assad ‘won’t step down’ – Syrian minister
President Bashar Assad will not step down, as demanded by some of the international powers, Syria’s Information Minister said on Wednesday. “Assad isn’t going,” AFP quoted Omaran Zoabi as saying on the sidelines of peace talks in the Swiss resort of Montreux. The Syrian opposition had just before called on the Syrian leader to hand over power to a transitional government.
Straujuma becomes Latvia’s first female PM
Latvian lawmakers have confirmed the country’s first government led by a female prime minister, Laimdota Straujuma. Sixty-four votes were cast in favor of the center-right government, while 27 were against on Wednesday, AP reported. Straujuma, 62, a long-time civil servant, is a compromise figure after Latvia’s president rejected several other candidates. She joined the senior coalition party Unity earlier this month to take the post. The previous government of Valdis Dombrovskis resigned in November after a supermarket roof collapse killed 54 people.
No role for Assad in Syria transition – Saudi FM
There can be no role in Syria’s transition for President Bashar Assad and those whose hands are “stained in blood,” Reuters quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal as saying on Wednesday. Speaking at an international conference on Syria in Switzerland, Prince Saud called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria, including Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They are backing the Syrian government against rebel forces.
US revokes Ukrainian officials’ visas for crushing protesters
The US has revoked the visas of several Ukrainian citizens who were allegedly linked to violent actions against the protestors in Kiev in November and December 2013. Their names were not disclosed due to US confidential policy. The US Embassy in Kiev said it is considering further sanctions against people responsible for violence in Kiev.
- Syrian Peace Talks Stuck Over Assad’s Future(acenewsservices.com)
- Syria: Al Qaeda Training Western Citizens for Terror Abroad(israelnationalnews.com)