Genesis 12:3 looms:
“Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about
photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state,” a source said. “The implication is that if Israel won’t give him something he can work with, then he’ll act on his own.”
Docked in its home port in Virginia rather than patrolling the waters of the Persian Gulf, the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman and its 3,360 officers and crew are this weekend on the front line of the latest conflict to embroil America.
The battleground is not military but budgetary, however, as the Truman's nuclear-powered might is shackled by a rancorous new fight between President Barack Obama and his Republican foes.
The two sides are locked into an apparently endless fiscal confrontation over radically different political and fiscal philosophies on the role of government. The resulting conflict over spending cuts and tax rises seems certain to dominate Mr Obama's second term in the White House.
With an impasse over a new deal to tackle the national debt, mandatory across-the-board US federal spending cuts of $85 billion kicked into effect this weekend.
The Pentagon has to find more than half of that money. And among the most controversial savings is delaying the Truman's deployment to the Middle East even as tensions there rise over Iran's nuclear programme.
The College of Cardinals will hold daily talks leading up to a conclave in which a new Pope will be chosen.
The election process comes after Pope Benedict XVI stepped down after nearly eight years in office leading the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
He was the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.
The first pre-conclave meeting on Monday morning is to be headed by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
Cardinals - known as the "princes" of the Church - will discuss future challenges to the Church and discreetly weigh up possible papal candidates.
The conclave - to be held in the Sistine Chapel - is expected to take place next week, though not all of the 115 cardinals involved have yet arrived in Rome.