Talks begin on naming head of new government
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin began consultations Sunday with representatives of the country's political parties as a prelude to naming the head of a new government, presumably incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu.
Although it is widely assumed that Netanyahu will continue as prime minister, it is up to the president to determine who will form a governing coalition, but he has no power to dictate its composition. Rivlin is expected to announce his decision this week.
Before last week's elections, Rivlin expressed a desire to see a unity government led by Netanyahu's conservative Likud Party and the more liberal Zionist Union, headed by Isaac Herzog. But after Likud's decisive victory at the polls, Netanyahu brushed aside that possibility. On election day, Netanyahu prodded his supporters to counter the "masses of Arabs" converging to vote, sparking widespread controversy.
The controversy lingered Sunday.
"This is the time to begin a process of mending and healing in Israeli society," Rivlin said. - L.A. Times
Rebels seize airmen
Syrian insurgents captured several government airmen after their helicopter crashed in a rebel-held area of northwestern Syria on Sunday, activists said. The Idlib Media Center and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the helicopter went down near Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib province. The aircraft experienced a technical malfunction and made an emergency crash-landing, according to the observatory. Syria's state news agency confirmed that a helicopter had crashed and said the authorities were looking for the crew. - AP
Antiterror law in works