- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2009

AL-BAATH (SYRIA)

Iran opens chemical complex

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the world’s largest petrochemical complex in southern Iran on the occasion of the Islamic Revolution’s 30th anniversary.

The complex can produce petrochemical products, including heavy and light polyethylene, and propylene used to manufacture plastic, industrial machinery, dyes, cables and textiles.

AS-SEYASSAH (KUWAIT)

Court upholds charge against shoe thrower

Iraq’s appeals court refused to alter the charges against journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who threw a pair of shoes at former President George W. Bush, from “attacking” to “insulting” a foreign head of state.

He will go on trial on Feb. 19 on charges of assaulting a foreign president. He faces a 15-year prison term if convicted.

AN-NAHAR (LEBANON)

Israel seizes ship, repatriates crew

Israel handed over eight Lebanese who were aboard the Brotherhood Ship, which sought to break the siege on Gaza, to the United Nations peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon last week.

The remaining 10 activists on the boat were expected be deported to their home countries.

AL-QUDS AL-ARABI (LONDON)

Egypt bans Hamas from taking money

Egyptian authorities last week banned a Hamas leader from taking more than $10 million into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border after authorities found the money when they searched the bags of the Hamas delegation that was in Egypt.

Sources said the money was deposited in an Egyptian bank before the Hamas officials were allowed to continue their trip to Gaza.

AL-BAYAN (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)

No agreement on stopping smuggling

Last week’s meeting of 10 Western experts in the Danish capital of Copenhagen failed to agree on a legal mechanism to prevent arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

Egypt, which was invited to attend the consultations called for by the United States, stayed away from the meeting. The talks, however, will resume in London in March.

• Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times

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