World Bulletin/News Desk
President Barack Obama appeared poised on Friday to pick former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as the next U.S. defense secretary and the announcement may come early next week.
Sources on Capitol Hill and in the national security community said all signs were pointing to Hagel as Obama's choice to replace current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The choice would likely set up a confirmation battle in the Senate over whether Hagel strongly supports key U.S. ally Israel. Gay rights groups have also complained about some of Hagel's past remarks, which were seen as disparaging to them.
However, if Obama were to back down from picking Hagel, it would be the second embarrassment for him, after his preferred candidate for secretary of state, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, withdrew from consideration in the face of determined opposition.
The White House insisted Obama had not yet made a final decision on Hagel, but a source close to the situation said the White House had signaled to Hagel's camp that he remained Obama's leading candidate for the post.
The source said the process was on track for likely nomination announcement on Monday or Tuesday.
It was not known whether Obama had finalized his decision or if Hagel had been directly informed. The source said Hagel's closest advisers had received "messages of reassurance" in recent days in the face of a campaign by Hagel's critics aimed at derailing his nomination.
Hagel has already faced an onslaught over his record on Israel and Iran led by some pro-Israel groups and neo-conservatives.
A Republican operative involved in the opposition to Hagel's nomination predicted he would have trouble getting confirmed by the Senate. "It's going to be a vicious fight," the operative said.
The fighters, who have vowed to "liberate" the area, captured the Quneitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad after fierce clashes
The Thai junta is reversing original policy of stopping all direct subsidies and is now helping to stabilize rubber prices and extending millions in loans.
The Ukrainian military said that more Russian soldiers had crossed the border into eastern Ukraine, entering the small town of Amvrosiyivka in five armoured infantry carriers and a truck.
Imran Farooq was stabbed to death in the British capital in 2010
Apart from clarifying the two issues in the IAEA's investigation, the U.N. agency wants Iran to agree on future steps to address other outstanding topics.
Britain's Metropolitan police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said "something like" control orders should be re-introduced to address the threat from homegrown fighters.
A U.N. spokesman confirmed there had been a "temporary disruption" to the process but declined to elaborate.
In his first public remarks since the start of the crisis, he did not say explicitly how the deadlock might be solved but said he was fully committed to democracy.
The group, which has recently made peace with the government in return for more autonomous powers in the Muslim-dominated Bangsamoro region, is said to be planning to launch the party once autonomy has been granted.
U.S. academic Steven Salaita's contract withdrawn by an American university, which brought the limitations of freedom of speech in the country.
Amir Hetsroni, a professor of communication at Ariel University in the occupied West Bank, dismissed claims that academic boycotts were merely 'anti-Semitic.'
UN investigators says "reasonable grounds" to believe Syrian government used chemical weapons on 8 occasions in April
Iran, Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France and the U.K. are all supplying arms to the Kurdish Regional Government forces.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire went into effect on Tuesday, bringing to a halt 51 days of relentless Israeli attacks on the blockaded coastal enclave.
The same wartime leaders are enshrined along with war dead at the more widely known Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, visits to which by Japanese leaders typically outrage China
Karzai responded to the NATO invitation by saying either his successor as Afghan president or a member of the current government would attend instead.