Israel claimed responsibility for Wednesday's killing in Gaza of a Palestinian militant from a splinter group that Hamas is trying to rein in.
Male orangutan Tuan examines a carved pumpkin at the animal park Hagenbeck in Hamburg, northern Germany. Two days ahead of Halloween the eight orangutans in the park received pumpkins from their keepers.
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is visiting Lebanon, wants to lead a regional 'axis of resistance.' But Iranians are focused on economic and political problems at home.
Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have steered clear of North Waziristan, allowing the area to become a haven for militants. Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt. “It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir. New alliances between militant commanders in Waziristan have turned this area into a dangerous labyrinth, from which fighters can launch suicide attacks in Pakistan or missions against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “It's an international war which has engulfed us,” says Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, an influential tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The volcano is in Afghanistan but it erupts in our tribal areas.” For Marjan Wazir, peace won't be found through military operations or drone attacks, but in negotiations at what he calls “real” jirgas (tribal assemblies). “My elders would always tell me a story that if a woolen blanket gets leeches, you don’t put to fire the whole blanket. You pluck them out with care.” Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:
Gaza Strip's Chairman Arafat Gift Shop sells souvenirs that span the Palestinian political spectrum, even if there are no visitors to buy them.
Once the heart of the intifada, Jenin is today lauded as a model of cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces. Israeli Jews may soon be allowed to shop here again, bringing $3 million per weekend.
Some Israelis argue that an 'Iranophobia' holds unnecessary sway over Israeli thinking about a wide range of problems, from rearming of Hezbollah to the 'terrorist' activists aboard the Gaza flotilla. Should Israel see less of a threat in Iran?
In Kolkata, India, on Wednesday, Tibetan exiles take part in a candlelight vigil to mark the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation.
A young Palestinian woman paints a mural to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Israeli offensive in Gaza on Dec. 29. Israel launched the three-week long offensive on Dec. 27, 2008, to end years of rocket fire from Gaza toward Israeli border towns. About 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, along with 13 Israelis.
Gaza militants vowed counterattacks for Israeli air strikes, one day after Hamas-brokered deal to stop rocket attacks.