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.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan spoke out on Friday on the US-Saudi alliance in Yemen and said Pakistan should be playing a lead role in the negotiation process rather than becoming a participant in the war.
American military chief holds talks with leading South Korean officials, but cancels planned media briefing.
Hasan Edmonds, a active member of the Illinois Army National Guard, planned to use his military training to fight for the terrorist organization, prosecutors said in a statement. Hasan Edmonds booked airline travel to depart Wednesday from Chicago and arrive in Cairo Thursday.
Palestinian man Maher al-Hashlamon, 30, was accused of stabbing and killing an Israeli woman in the southern part of the West Bank four months ago, Israel Public Radio said.
Drop is part of a campaign to deter potential recruits from joining the terror group.
Court says up to Thai gov’t whether family with Turkish passports will be sent to Turkey or China.
At least 108 people have been killed in various ground and air strikes carried out by the Syrian regime.
Saudi Arabia said the strikes were in response to calls by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi for military intervention to "save the people from the Houthi militias."
According to the victim's husband, Mounir, 33, the woman took her two daughters to school when she was faced by two young men.
Iraqi foreign ministry expressed Iraq's concern about the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Yemen's Hadi leaves Aden attend Arab summit, in Egypt under Saudi protection
Hezbollah sees Yemen strikes causing more Mideast tension
Troops from Chad and Niger pursued Boko Haram in Nigerian border area
U.S. special envoy says coalition "seriously degrading" ISIL in Tikrit
An alliance of Syrian opposition including Nusra Front have overun 17 defence posts around Idlib
Iraqi MP Aydin Maruf calls for arming of Sunni tribes to participate in Tikrit military operation against ISIL