Israel on Thursday threw a huge birthday bash to celebrate 60 tumultuous years during which the Jewish state made great strides forward but failed to achieve peace with its neighbours. Military air shows topped the programme with war planes being put through their paces even as a dark cloud hung over the political future of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Israel warned on Thursday it will retaliate against Hamas, blaming the Palestinian Islamist group for a deadly explosion of violence in the Gaza Strip that followed a month of relative calm. Israeli authorities said they temporarily shut down the Nahal Oz fuel terminal following Wednesday's attack.
Belly-flopping in the mud, tossing toilet seats and guzzling beer, average Joes celebrated the unrefined life of the American "redneck" at a wacky annual event initially held as a counterpart to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. A toothless man who calls himself "Freight Train" kicked off the event on Saturday.
Talk in Ernest Hemingway's former Havana watering hole often turns to the old man and the daiquiri and, at times, to the 45-year-old embargo that officially prevents Untied States fans from tippling to his memory in the Cuba he loved. ''We're not even supposed to be here,'' says New Yorker Neil Kok (47) raising his glass.