The Top 8 Headlines You Might Have Missed / Haaretz Newsline, March 6

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Israeli officials are keeping quiet on Wednesday after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, unlike the United States and other countries that have reached out to Caracas.

The United States warned Iran on Wednesday that it faces further international isolation and pressure if it fails to address United Nations nuclear watchdog concerns about its atomic activity, which the West fears has a military purpose.

Australia's foreign minister on Wednesday confirmed for the first time that a dual Australian-Israeli citizen who died in a maximum-security Israeli prison had been working for Israel's government, but stopped short of confirming he worked for the Mossad security service.

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently moving toward forming a coalition government that does not include Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish political parties, ultra-Orthodox institutions stand to lose huge sums of state funding.

Two weeks ahead of Obama's planned trip to Israel, a week after Chuck Hagel was confirmed as U.S. secretary of defense, and just days after speaking at AIPAC's annual conference, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren was a guest on Tuesday's The Colbert Report.

One million people have fled Syria's civil war, piling pressure on the country's neighbors who are struggling to support them, the United Nations refugee agency said on Wednesday.

Israel Defense Forces officials want to replace the army's current gas masks with ones geared for a chemical attack. The masks currently used by combat units resemble those the Home Front Command distributes to Israeli civilians. 

Inside the hall of the General Assembly at the United Nations building in New York, it seemed at times that either the messiah had arrived or the world had turned inside-out Bizarro, like in the Superman comics: Rita, one of Israel’s most popular performers, was singing in Farsi and Hebrew; Israelis were dancing in the aisles: diplomats from around the world were clapping and begging for more; Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor was the hero of the day; Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said “shalom” and General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic, it turned out, hails from a family of Righteous Gentiles.

A Syrian family who fled their home from Aleppo register, at UNHCR center in Lebanon, March 6, 2013.Credit: AP

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