Pope leaves Israel

TEL AVIV: Pope Benedict XVI on Friday left Israel at the end of an eight-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land that also took him to Jordan and the occupied West Bank. Benedict flew out on Israel’s national carrier El Al from Ben Gurion airport outside of Tel Aviv at the end of his first official visit to the Holy Land. During his pilgrimage, Benedict appealed for peace in the land revered by the world’s three main monotheistic faiths, denounced anti-Semitism, and slammed the Holocaust as “brutal extermination.” He pleaded with passion for Palestinians, saying they deserved a homeland of their own and had the right to live in dignity, without restrictions on movement.

Nobel panel opposes

OSLO: The imprisonment of Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is “totally unacceptable”, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Friday in a rare open letter. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee protests strongly against the way in which the government of Myanmar has treated Aung San Suu Kyi,’ the head of the committee Thorbjoern Jagland said in a letter to Myanmar’s ambassador in London. Myanmar’s regime has kept the opposition leader in detention for most of the last 19 years. — AFP