The top 8 headlines you might have missed / Haaretz Newsline, May 29
From securing Assad's chemical weapons to hints of Israeli involvement in the Flame computer bug; Haaretz.com brings you the top headlines from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.
The Syrian opposition has plans to take control of the Assad regime's chemical weapons depots and secure them in the first hours after the regime collapses, a senior figure in the opposition told Haaretz. Opposition leader, a former senior officer in the Syrian Army, said that in preparation for the day Assad’s regime is toppled, rebel groups are dealing with planning a new constitution, elections and the restoring of security.
Western countries announced on Tuesday that they are expelling Syrian diplomats, in the wake of the bloody massacre by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces over the weekend. The Western countries include France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and Canada. The announcements came amid increasing efforts to pressure Assad to end the bloodshed in Syria.
Germany’s President Joachim Gauck said on Tuesday he is “very concerned about Iran’s nuclear program.” During a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Gauck added that Iran is not only threatening Israel, but is also a potential threat to the region and to Europe.
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted on Monday at possible Israeli involvement in the Flame computer virus. The malware, uncovered on Monday, was designed to collect and delete sensitive information. The virus had infected mainly computers in Middle Eastern countries. Internet security company Kaspersky Lab said the virus holds resemblance to Stuxnet worm and called it the “most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed.”
On Tuesday, Iran warned Western countries that pressuring Tehran with sanctions while engaging in nuclear talks would jeopardize chances of reaching an agreement. Tehran says it is only interested in using nuclear power for generating electricity and other peaceful projects.
The High Court of Justice upheld the a 2008 law allowing state investigators to obtain information about citizens' telephone, e-mail and text message use, on Monday. However, the judges imposed restrictions on the collection of information under the law, popularly known as the "Big Brother Law," specifying it can only be used in investigations of specific suspects or victims, not "fishing expeditions."
A contract between the Jerusalem municipality and CityPass, operator of the city’s light rail system, prohibits the train being stopped by roadblock. The meaning of the contract is that demonstration can no longer be held at Jerusalem’s Zion Square, which hosted protest rallies for decades.
Pop queen Madonna to draw some 4,000 tourists to Tel Aviv for the opening concert of “MDNA” tour. Fans pay up to NIS 2,400 for a VIP package that includes a seat in the VIP area, on-site parking, a hot meal and a private party.