Obama
Preparations are in full force for the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama on March 20. Photo by Reuters
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The advance American delegation of about 50 people responsible for organizing U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Israel this month arrived in the country on Sunday evening. The PMO also unveiled a special mobile app to commemorate, track and promote the upcoming visit.

Based on the emerging picture of the new government, only four or perhaps five women will get ministerial positions, despite the significant increase in the number of female Knesset members. The same goes for ministers of non-Ashkenazi origin.

A Tel Aviv homeless shelter for drug and alcohol addicts bars entrance to HIV/AIDS patients in violation of the law but says the move is necessary due to concerns about needle sharing.

Ultra-Orthodox Knesset members have been coalition partners in most governments since Israel was founded in 1948, and in almost every government since Likud first came to power in 1977. However, the Haredi presence in the government that ended Sunday was greater than them all.

How did two African runners disappear from Jerusalem's marathon? Police suspect that the two young Ethiopian women who failed to cross the finish line planned their escape ahead of time. The current working assumption is that the women have made their way to southern Tel Aviv. Their passports are still being held by the race’s organizers.

The European Union is tightening sanctions against Iran, concerned about alleged violations of human rights in the country. EU foreign ministers, meeting Monday in Brussels, added nine people they said were "responsible for serious human rights violations" to the list of those subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze, bringing the number of people sanctioned in this way to 87. The foreign ministers also decided to freeze the assets of one "entity," meaning a company or organization.

The number of Israelis seeking kidney transplants abroad is plummeting, in the wake of a 2008 law meant to prevent organ trafficking. In 2007, 143 Israelis received kidney transplants abroad, but according to Health Ministry statistics, that number took a nosedive to 35 in 2011.

The Syrian government is reportedly using local militias known as Popular Committees to commit mass killings which are at times sectarian in nature, UN human rights investigators said on Monday.