1. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has retired from the Army and turned over control of the Pakistani military to General Ashfaq Kiyani. Kiyani has been to date loyal to Musharraf, a primary reason he was selected.
2. The Annapolis Summit talks begin today between Israel and the Palestinians with many of the region's nations in attendance, including Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
3. Riots in the suburbs of Paris continue after two Muslim teenagers were killed when the stolen moped they were riding collided with a police vehicle. French President Sarkozy has called the rioting unacceptable.
4. It is expected that the Lebanese parliamentary vote to determine its president, already delayed until this Friday, is expected to be delayed yet again, with the two sides - Hizballah and the March 14 anti-Syrians - no closer to a compromise candidate.
5. Iran has claimed a new missile, the Ashura, with a 1,200 mile range - long enough to strike Israel. It says the weapon has been tested, but with much of Iran's military development claims, its actual field readiness and effectiveness is questionable. The announcement could be premature and largely geared as a media play before the Annapolis talks, to which Iran was not invited.
6. Protests against Hugo Chavez and his moves to amend Venezuela's constitution to eliminate his term limits continue on the streets. A recent poll suggested Chavez's referendum would fail, but Chavez has vowed that it must not fail.
7. In what must be considered a major development in Iraq's Sunni-Shi'a reconciliation process, Iraq's Ayatollah Sistani has called for Iraqi Shi'a to protect their Sunni brothers. Sistani is seen as a rational competitor to Iran's radical Ayatollah Khameini for leadership and stewardship of the world's Shi'a ummah (community).
Why Iran and Hamas Want Annapolis to Fail - TIME
Ahmadinejad Says Annapolis Summit Was 'Failure,' Israel is Doomed - FOX
Arabs doubt Annapolis conference will bring peace - Reuters
Bush, Rice seeking 'road map monitor' - Jerusalem Post
Rice Pledges Urgent Annapolis Agreement Follow-Up - VOA
Gaza Protests of the Annapolis meeting opponents - ITIC
Police battle rioters in France - Detroit Free Press
Sarkozy Calls Riots Unacceptable - New York Times
French president vows to punish gun-toting rioters - AFP
Sarkozy holds riot crisis talks - BBC
Iaq's Ayatollah Sistani tells Shiites to protect Sunni brothers - Kuwait News Agency
US public opinion shifts on Iraq 'surge' - MSNBC
Security Improvements Pave Way for Iraqi Infrastructure Projects - AFPS
Venezuela's students lead anti-Chavez charge - CS Monitor
Poll says Chavez loses Venezuela referendum lead - Reuters
Chavez Vows Referendum 'Cannot Fail' - ABC
Venezuela's Chavez Remains Magnet for Controversy - VOA