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.
18 out of 24 of the protesters have been released after earlier the activists had started a sit-in in Sanaa.
UN's most powerful body says killing of Japanese hostage Yukawa is 'a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers people face every day in Syria.'
More than 17,000 people took to the streets in Dresden, despite growing suspicion over the organizers of the right-wing populist PEGIDA.
Foreign Minister Borge Brende reiterates that 2 state solution is part of the Oslo process.
The vigilantes said they repulsed the attack on provincial capital Maiduguri after capture of Monguno by Boko Haram.
Four months ago, Obama hailed Yemen as a model for "successful" partnerships however earlier on Friday had said that some counterterrorism operations had been halted in the wake of the takeover.
Obama said the two countries had made progress on two issues holding up commercial civil nuclear cooperation, one of the major irritants in bilateral ties.
The kidnapping of Armel Ningatoloum Sayo follows the kidnapping earlier this week of a U.N. staff member and a French charity worker
Military says victim abducted by suspected kidnap-for-ransom gang with possible Abu Sayyaf links.
Hundreds of families were on Sunday trying to move into safer areas of Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Nigeria's northeastern Borno state
The death toll in pro-democracy protests in Egypt on Sunday climbed to 11, security sources said. Tight security in Cairo and other cities failed to contain protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Kerry's visit, in which he held talks with two candidates, highlights the stakes for Washington in what is expected to be Nigeria's closest election since its 1999 transition from military rule.
"We decided not to approve this government because it does not represent all the political classes and it breaks with the consensual way we have worked recently," Ennahda leader Sahbi Atig said
The Socialist Party denounced a Houthi attack earlier on a protest in capital Sanaa by a group of party student members.
Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Saturday the separatists planned to encircle Debaltseve, which has a population of around 26,000.
Dutch UN peacekeeping force was stationed six kilometers from Srebrenica during 1995 massacre.