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World News
By Dr. Ezio Bonsignore

The signature on the final agreement between the US and Israel for the supply of a first batch of F-35A LIGTHNING II fighter aircraft (a.k.a. JSF) would seem to mark a very important turning point in the political, strategic and military relationship between the two countries. The reasons for this author’s use of a cautious conditional tense will become evident in what follows. (Full Story)

UNITED NATIONS - As Xinhua reports, China on Thursday called on all states to make joint efforts to advance the international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation process. (Full Story)
By Nicolas von Kospoth

After years of hot negotiations between the US and Israel for the “small print” of the purchase of the F-35 fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the Letter of Offer and Acceptance yesterday has been signed in New York. Issues such as pricing, industrial participation in the production as well as the integration of indigenous capabilities into the weapon system delayed Israel’s final decision in favour of the F-35. (Full Story)

Israel's Cabinet approved a controversial loyalty oath that requires new citizens to pledge allegiance to a "Jewish and democratic" state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the oath reflects the essence of the State of Israel. Critics countered that it would widen the existing gap between Jews and Arabs. (Full Story)
The leader of a small U.S. Christian church says he has called off his plan to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday. (Full Story)
KABUL, Afghanistan | Progress in Afghanistan has been faster than expected in some respects, and not as far along in others, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said here on Friday. (Full Story)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has launched the first direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly two years. Both sides agreed to a second round of talks to be held in the Middle East later this month.
  (Full Story)

Iran has released one of the three American hikers detained in the country for more than a year. A U.S. official says freed American Sarah Shourd's flight has taken off from Iran following her release from prison. She is expected to land in Oman, where Shourd's mother is waiting for her. (Full Story)
U.S. pastor Terry Jones  says he is reconsidering plans to burn Qurans on Saturday, amid concerns the event could spark violence by Islamic extremists around the world. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and religious leaders have reached out to the pastor, asking him to stop the event. (Full Story)
Sarajevo/Brussels - Mostar, the largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a Croat majority will face new and potentially dangerous strains if its leaders do not break a deadlock that has paralysed its government for nine months. (Full Story)
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