The world’s Catholics have a new Pope. And the people of Israel have a new government. For the latter, it has been a long, long wait.
It looks like the two-state solution is to be given another chance. May be a last chance. That itself might concentrate minds.
Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to say sorry for an 'offensive' cartoon on the recent Israeli elections published in the Sunday Times.
Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will use alternative sleeping arrangements during future flights, after spending tens of thousands of pounds of public funds on installing a customised bed for his recent trip to London.
Mr Netanyahu splashed out £82,000 on a customised sleeping cabin for a five-hour flight to attend the funeral of Margaret Thatcher last month, according to the Israeli TV's Channel 10.
The prime minister's office initially defended the decision, citing his busy schedule and his need to be fresh and alert for important meetings.
Officials said he had been unaware of the cost and has since ordered the bed to be cancelled on all future flights.
The controversy comes as the Israeli government seeks to implement austerity measures and tax increases.
Earlier in the year, Mr Netanyahu stopped buying ice cream from a Jerusalem parlour which was costing his office £1,760 a year, following revelations by an Israeli newspaper.
David Cameron has held talks with Benjamin Netanyahu in which he urged the Israeli Prime Minister to take action to get the Middle East peace process back on track.
The Prime Minister told Mr Netanyahu, who was in London for Baroness Thatcher's funeral, it was "essential" to improve the economic and security situation in the occupied territories.
Foreign Secretary William Hague had warned earlier this year that hopes for a two-state solution forged by Israelis and Palestinians were "slipping away".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher as a 'truly great leader' in a series of tweets:
PM Netanyahu: I send my most sincere condolences to Mrs #Thatcher's family and to the government and people of Great Britain.
PM Netanyahu: Margaret #Thatcher was a staunch friend of Israel and of the Jewish people.
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu has reached a coalition government deal according to his party spokesman.
Ex-Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni will head any future peace talks with Palestinians after agreeing to join Benjamin Netanyahu's next government.
Livni is seen as an effective advocate of a two-state solution with Palestine.
An official announcement is expected shortly.
Israeli President Shimon Peres has formally asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government after a majority of newly elected lawmakers recommended him to lead the country.
Mr Netanyahu has six weeks to form a governing coalition for what would be his third term as Israeli premier, but faces a challenge drawing secular and religious parties under one umbrella.
Mr Netanyahu said the government's next priorities should be to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, to deal with the stockpile of weapons in the region and to make peace with the Palestinians.
– Martin Ivens, The Sunday Times acting Editor
You will know that the Sunday Times abhors anti-Semitism and would never set out to cause offence to the Jewish people - or any other ethnic or religious group.
That was not the intention last Sunday. Everyone knows that Gerald Scarfe is consistently brutal and bloody in his depictions, but last weekend - by his own admission - he crossed a line.
The timing - on Holocaust Memorial Day - was inexcusable. The associations on this occasion were grotesque and on behalf of the paper I’d like to apologise unreservedly for the offence we clearly caused. This was a terrible mistake.
Sunday Times cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has issued a statement regarding the criticism he faced over a a cartoon published in the newspaper:
First of all I am not, and never have been, anti-Semitic.
The Sunday Times has given me the freedom of speech over the last 46 years to criticise world leaders for what I see as their wrong-doings.
This drawing was a criticism of Netanyahu, and not of the Jewish people: there was no slight whatsoever intended against them.
I was, however, stupidly completely unaware that it would be printed on Holocaust Day, and I apologise for the very unfortunate timing.
Yesterday News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch was forced to apologise for the cartoon, which he described as "grotesque" and "offensive".