Rejecting criticism, Netanyahu says Iran deal ‘deeply flawed’

By Dan Williams TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Pushing back against President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he had presented a practical alternative in Washington to a “deeply flawed” nuclear accord being negotiated with Iran. Returning to Israel after addressing the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu voiced satisfaction with the speech that Obama said had offered “no viable alternatives” to an international deal being worked out with Tehran. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry added his own criticism on Wednesday after three days of talks in Switzerland with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Jawad Zarif, saying that “simply demanding that Iran capitulate is not a plan”. “The deal currently on the table is deeply flawed,” Netanyahu said upon landing in response to the criticism.

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French warrants for 3 suspects in 1982 Jewish restaurant attack

Rescuers give first aid to the wounded on August 9, 1982 after the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaruant in Paris was attackedFrance has issued international arrest warrants for three men suspected of involvement in a deadly attack on a Jewish restaurant in Paris in 1982, a judicial source told AFP on Wednesday. The naming of the three suspects, who now live in Jordan, Norway and the West Bank, marks the first breakthrough in more than three decades of investigation into the attack on the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant, that left six people dead and 22 injured. The attack began around midday on August 9, 1982 when a grenade was thrown into the busy restaurant in the Marais district, a popular largely Jewish neighbourhood in the centre of Paris. Overall, between three and five men are thought to have taken part in the attack, which was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organisation, a Palestinian militant group.


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Police arrest suspected German IS member at Duesseldorf airport

German police on Wednesday arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of joining Islamic State and fighting with the militants in Syria, the Federal Public Prosecutor said. He is suspected of undergoing weapons training with IS and planning attacks, after traveling through Turkey to Syria in March 2013 and joining the group by October. He returned to Germany at the start of 2014 but returned to Syria in July 2014. Like many European countries, Germany is seeing a steady stream of its citizens traveling to Syria to join jihadists operating there.

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Concern grows for civilians as noose tightens around Tikrit

Iraqi government forces and allied militias take up positions in the northern part of Diyala province, as part of an assault to retake the city of Tikrit from jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group, on March 4, 2015Concern mounted over the fate of civilians in Tikrit where Iraqi forces were trying to trap Islamic State group jihadists on the third day of a huge offensive to retake the city. Around 30,000 security forces and allied fighters launched Monday the biggest anti-IS ground operation yet in Iraq, closing in on Tikrit from at least three directions.


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Israel says doubling water supplies to Gaza

Israel will increase the volume of water it provides to Gaza from five to 10 million cubic metres (175 to 350 million cubic feet) per annumIsrael is to double the amount of water it channels annually to Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip, a defence ministry body said Wednesday. A humanitarian crisis has gripped Gaza since a July-August war with Israel, which controls most of the territory's resources, its imports and exports as well as the movement of people. The body responsible for coordinating Israeli government activity in the Palestinian territories, COGAT, said it is to increase the volume of water it provides to Gaza from five to 10 million cubic metres (175 to 350 million cubic feet) per annum, beginning within days. The severe water shortage was due to excessive overuse of groundwater resources along the coast of Gaza, she said.


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Ukraine crisis prompts EU to shake up stance on neighbors

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union launched a review of the way it handles neighboring nations on Wednesday after its policy of offering closer ties to former Soviet republics led it unwittingly into confrontation with Russia. The EU’s executive Commission also began work on a new immigration policy, which will offer expanded opportunities for legal migration as a way of reducing a wave of illegal migrants that has led to thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean sea. The European Neighbourhood Policy was introduced in 2003 to enable the EU to develop better relations with all the countries that surround it, including former Soviet republics as well as North African and the Middle Eastern states.

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Despite US rift, experts see poll boost for Netanyahu

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves following his address to a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015 at the US Capitol in Washington, DCIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's blistering attack on a US push for a nuclear accord with Iran soured ties with Washington but could boost his prospects in elections this month, experts say. Netanyahu, seeking re-election on March 17, infuriated the White House with his address Tuesday to US Congress, where he laid out Israeli concerns at an emerging world deal with Iran on its nuclear programme. US President Barack Obama, who refused to meet Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, dismissed the speech as containing "nothing new" and no "viable alternatives" to the US-led negotiations with Iran. At home, Netanyahu's speech was criticised by opposition parties seeking to unseat him at the upcoming elections as a threat to ties with the powerful American ally.


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