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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who do the territories belong to?

MFS - The Other News

                       Afternoon  Posting.

  • Syria Live Blog - May 31. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
  • Libya Live Blog - May 31. Here (Al-Jazeera). 

  • Yemen Live Blog - May 31 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan  today 5.1  ! Lots of activity in Turkey.More info here.

  • Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 124..Source : Here .

  • Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.

  • Fukushima Soil Sample News. ‘Bout Time and it Ain’t good.(NuclearHistory).Dont know what the US is doing with the samples it collected in March. However Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan hasnt been sitting on his hands:
Fukushima Debacle Risks Chernobyl ‘Dead Zone’ as Radiation in Soil Soars. By Yuriy Humber and Stuart Biggs – Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japan’s crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a “dead zone” remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded.
Soil samples in areas outside the 20-kilometer (12 miles) exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant measured more than 1.48 million becquerels a square meter, the standard used for evacuating residents after the Chernobyl accident, Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said in a research report published May 24 and given to the government.Radiation from the plant has spread over 600 square kilometers (230 square miles), according to the report. The extent of contamination shows the government must move fast to avoid the same future for the area around Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant as Chernobyl, scientists said. Technology has improved since the 1980s, meaning soil can be decontaminated with chemicals or by planting crops to absorb radioactive materials, allowing residents to return.“We need to finish this treatment as quickly as possible, within three years at most,” Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University in central Japan, said in a telephone interview. “If we take longer, people will give up on returning to their homes.”Soil samples showed one site with radiation from Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter about 25 kilometers to the northwest of the Fukushima plant, according to Kawata’s study. Five more sites about 30 kilometers from Dai- Ichi showed radiation exceeding 1.48 million becquerels per square meter.
When asked to comment on the report today, Tokyo Electric spokesman Tetsuya Terasawa said the radiation levels are in line with those found after a nuclear bomb test, which disperses plutonium. He declined to comment further.Japan’s government introduced a mandatory exclusion zone 20 kilometers around the plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that knocked out power leading to three reactor meltdowns. Kawata’s study didn’t include samples from inside the exclusion zone, where only government and Tokyo Electric staff may enter.The government in April ordered the evacuation of towns including Iitate, Katsurao and Namie that are outside the 20- kilometer zone after finding high levels of radiation.
“Basically, the way in which the current zones have been drawn up aren’t a concern in terms of the impact on health,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano. “Using Mr. Kawata’s report as a guide, we want to do what we can to improve the soil, so people can return as soon as possible.”While the area containing soil pockets over 1.48 million becquerels a square meter is smaller than around Chernobyl –600 square kilometers compared with 3,100 square kilometers — the level of contamination means soil needs to be cleaned or removed before residents can return, Kawata said in his report.“It might take about one or two years for people to return to land outside the 20-kilometer zone,” the University of Nagoya’s Iguchi said. “If we replace the soil, it is possible for people to return even inside the zone.”The “dead zone” around Chernobyl remains at 30 kilometers, Mykola Kulinich, Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan, said in Tokyo on April 26, the 25th anniversary of the disaster.Belarus, which absorbed 80 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl explosion, estimates that 2 million, or 20 percent of the population, was affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe, while about 23 percent of the country’s land was contaminated, according to a Belarus embassy website. About a fifth of the country’s agricultural land has been rendered unusable, which means some $700 million in losses each year, according to the website.Using crops was one solution being considered by Belarus with the idea that grains harvested from contaminated areas could then be processed to make ethanol. A study funded by a philanthropy arm of Heineken NV (HEIA) found that radioactive elements do not transfer into ethanol and this would allow Belarus to become a major supplier of the liquid used to dilute gasoline to the European Union.Read the full story here.

  • House Overwhelmingly Votes Down Increasing Debt Limit, 82 Dems Vote “No”!(Washington Examiner) — Eighty-two House Democrats joined every Republican in rejecting a bill to raise the federal debt ceiling to $16.7 trillion, and the measure failed by a vote of 97 to 318, with seven members (all Democrats) voting “present.”The Obama administration has argued for such a “clean” vote on the debt ceiling without strings attached (such as additional legislation to reduce the debt).Just last month, 114 Democrats signed a letter calling for a “clean” vote and Democratic Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also advocated one. But today, Hoyer announced he was advising his caucus to vote against the measure. Ultimately, just 97 Democrats voted for it, with 82 explicitly voting against it (on top of the seven “present” votes). A total of 10 members (six Democrats, four Republicans) did not vote.No doubt, this is political gamesmanship by the GOP meant to call the Democrats bluff and show that a stand-alone vote on the debt limit has no chance of passage. But it still is another demonstration that Democrats are reluctant to vote for anything that could open them up to criticism, even when it means voting for policies for which they had previously expressed support.Read the full story here.

  • "The Most 'Transparant' Administration evah"!Dangerous Precedent for Press.(RealClearPolitics).By Salena Zito.A little more than a week ago, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to fundraisers in two battleground-state cities, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.Neither stop included the White House press corps; requests by local media to cover the events were denied by the vice president's press office. The Democratic National Committee arranged the events for the Obama Victory Fund.A number of seasoned political reporters and former White House press-office staffers consider that lack of coverage a dangerous precedent."It would behoove the Obama administration to keep its promise of transparency even with fundraisers," agrees Jeff Brauer, a political history professor at Keystone College. "The United States is a democracy, after all."Having press coverage of fundraising events that feature the president or vice president matters for at least two reasons, Brauer explains."One, large amounts of taxpayer dollars are being used for personal security at such events. As with all tax dollars, they should be spent with accountability."Two, it is important for the public to know what the president and vice president are saying to donors. Is it the same message they are saying to the electorate at large?"Such knowledge helps citizens judge officeholders' authenticity and integrity.Several former and current White House correspondents see presidents choosing who covers them as a nightmare scenario. The correspondents also are agitated by Biden's refusal to be covered by local media, even if that means reporters cooling their heels outside an invitation-only fundraiser."What if something happened to him?" is the question they raise.All administrations want to bask in a warm glow. All members of the press want to protect democracy by keeping the public informed and holding administrations accountable.Late last month, the White House press office threatened to ban a San Francisco Chronicle reporter from pool reporting after she used a cell phone to record protesters heckling President Obama at a fundraiser."The administration must simply get used to the idea that some media outlets are going to be critical, and that is healthy in a democracy," says Brauer.John Adams did not learn that lesson. And it is no coincidence that he was the first one-term president and that his laws, such as the Sedition Act, were the death knell for his Federalist Party.Days before Biden was sworn in as vice president in 2009, he promised to be more open than his predecessor, Dick Cheney.Yet his official schedule more often than not lists meetings as "closed press" or shows no public events at all.You may not care what any vice president does. You may not care for the press, either. But you should care deeply about the fundamental right and obligation of the press to cover the vice president and president.Vice President Biden's comings and goings should not occur in an unobserved world that, to paraphrase Biden himself, is a big bleeping deal.Hmmmmm......Democracy or Dictatorship?Sounds more and more like meetings in the 1939 Germany.Read the full story here.

  • Related -White House Likely to Step Up Bullying of Reporters.(WhitehouseDossier).The Obama White House has long practiced the tactic of bullying reporters who write stories it doesn’t like.It’s a tactic, a form of suppression of speech by the openness administration. I’ve written about it before on this website..The appointment of Jesse Lee to a White House postion that involves responding to negative stories seems likely to formalize the strategy and signals that such behavior is likely to escalate as the campaign begins, not decline.While the tactic is done frequently, what’s rare is a mainstream media reporter with the guts to talk about it.But courage is something Julie Mason of POLITICO has to spare. She gives us an insight into exactly what’s going on.Hmmmm......"Thugocracy or Democracy"?Read the full story here.

  • REWARD OFFERED For Arrest and Conviction of Weinergate Hacker.(BigGovernment).On Friday night a a photo surfaced on Congressman Weiner’s yfrog account and in his verified Twitter timeline of a man in tight underwear with a bulging erection. The photo was sent to one of the many young attractive coeds who Rep. Weiner “follows” on Twitter for his news and entertainment. The image was immediately deleted. Rep. Weiner claimed his account was hacked but the upstanding Congressman has not contacted the FBI or Capitol Police. However, he did lawyer up.What you can do to help:The humble Rep. Weiner may want to play down this criminal action but now you can help. We (Gateway Pundit Truth Alliance) are offering a $200 reward for anyone who offers information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the Weinergate penis hacker.This is a cause we can all rally around. Hacking into a public official’s personal account is a crime and a national security threat. Be a patriot. Do your part.Help us find the Weinergate penis hacker.Read the full story here.

  • Related - Weinergate: Twitter User Dan Wolfe Denies Hacking Accusations; Welcomes FBI Investigation.(BigGovernment).“I hope he [Weiner] comes after me. Look up my IP. Nothing to hide here. I’d voluntarily hand anything they want over. Check me and my IP. Anything. I did not post that tweet.”Twitter user Dan Wolfe (known as @patriotusa76) has clarified several details concerning his involvement in the “Weinergate” scandal, insisting that a thorough investigation of the tweets in question will prove he did not compromise the verified Twitter account of Congressman Anthony Weiner (D, NY-9). In a series of direct messages on Twitter, Wolfe explains how he found the offensive image sent from Weiner’s Twitter account, his previous tweets about accounts followed by the Congressman, and his desire for law enforcement to investigate his online activity that night.Asked whether he followed Congressman Weiner or the recipient of the controversial tweet, Wolfe states he “wasn’t following either of them ever.” He named several other twitter uses who he regularly communicates with, explaining, “Our twitter group mentions him a lot because he appears in media a lot and says things we hate a lot. If he wasn’t saying anything, we wouldn’t comment.” Wolfe claims that on May 27th, the date the tweet went public, he navigated to the @RepWeiner account by clicking on Weiner’s username on a retweet in his Twitter stream. The tweet in question was the much-discussed one where Weiner announced the time of his upcoming appearance on the Rachel Maddow show with the hashtag #Thats545InSeattleIThink. “I found the 5:45 tweet weird,” Wolfe says.Describing his discovery of the lewd yfrog-image tweet, Wolfe states, “It was after [Maddow's] show and after the [Seattle] tweet that I had clicked on there– on his page, and he tweeted the pic to [redacted] and I clicked on it. I was shocked. I capped [screen captured] it. Capped the tweet, everything. That’s all. Then I RT [retweeted].” His retweet of Weiner’s account includes the same yfrog URL in screen captures and the TweetCongress archive of the original message. If Wolfe was not following both accounts, he would not have seen the tweet in his primary timeline, but if he was viewing Weiner’s profile, he would have seen the account’s latest tweets–even ones addressed to users Wolfe did not follow. By his admission of not following either account, Wolfe’s claim rests on a coincidence–that he was at the right place at the right time.The recipient of Weiner’s controversial tweet has returned to Twitter and refutes any claim that she has accused Wolfe of hijacking the @RepWeiner account. She also laments her continuing media attention: “I’m pretty sure it’s been 15 minutes; I’d like to fade back into oblivion now.” In the conflicting accounts and interpretations of the weekend’s events, one thing is clear: this mystery will be solved and the suffering of these two private citizens will cease most quickly with an official investigation of what IP address sent the controversial tweet from Congressman Weiner’s account.Hmmmmmm....."A tweet to far"?Read the full story here.

  • Canada - Quebec Muslim politician Amir Khadir is not pleased the royal newlyweds will be visiting calls them 'parasites'.(Yahoo). .Quebec politician Amir Khadir is not pleased the royal newlyweds will be visiting Montreal and Quebec City during their upcoming 9-day Canadian tour.Khadir, who is a member of Quebec's national assembly (MNA) and co-leader of Quebec Solidaire, referred to the royals as "parasites" in an interview with the Journal de Québec newspaper."What a waste of public money. All this to welcome those parasites," Khadir is quoted as saying in the article.A portion of the trip's cost will be covered by Quebec taxpayers.Khadir also told the newspaper that he doesn't mind laying out the red carpet for visitors with extraordinary ideas who have done remarkable things, but he finds it insulting to do so for those with royal blood.Prince William and his wife Kate chose Canada for their first international tour as a married couple. The pair will kick off their Canadian visit in Ottawa, landing on June 30, before heading to Montreal and Quebec City on July 2 and 3.Protests are already being organized by sovereignty group Réseau de résistance du Québécois (RRQ) to greet the royals in Quebec City."The Canadian people and the Quebecer people will pay for that [tour] and we strongly disagree with that," said RRQ spokesperson Julien Gaudreau.Another group, Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, is also planning peaceful demonstrations.Khadir told the Journal de Québec he is not ruling out joining protesters on the streets.In April, Quebec's International Relations Minister Monique Gagnon-Tremblay announced Quebec would pay a portion of the costs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit, although the amount was yet to be determined.When Prince Charles visited Montreal in 2009, it cost Quebec taxpayers $25,000.ADQ leader Gérald Deltell was quick to denounce Khadir's comments Tuesday, saying the remarks are "a great dishonour for us."Deltell said guests need to be treated with respect, regardless of any personal feelings about the role of the monarchy in Canada."You have to respect the tradition when you receive someone who is coming to your country," Deltell said.Hmmmmm.....But Amir Khadir has a lot more to hide.Read the full story here.

  • US Soldier In Afghanistan Survives With Unexploded rocket propelled granade Inside His Stomach.(Dailymail).A U.S. soldier has told the astonishing story of how he survived being impaled by an unexploded bomb which became lodged in his abdomen during an ambush in Afghanistan.In a moment of incredible human triumph, Private Channing Moss, 23, has walked to the podium to collect various awards including the Purple heart and the Medal of Valor since recovering from his ordeal.Private Moss was on patrol in Paktika Province in Eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, March 16, when his unit was attacked - likely by Al Qaeda or Taliban insurgents - in a mountainous region bordering Pakistan. Around 24 men from the 10th Mountain Division's Alpha Company were driving a convoy of five Humvee armoured vehicles and a pick-up truck, containing Afghan National Army troops, when they were hit first by gunfire and then by a hail of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).The pick-up truck exploded, killing two of the Afghan soldiers, and as the rockets struck Moss' Humvee, the gunner recalls being thrown against the wall of the vehicle.'I smelled something smoking and I looked down... and I was smoking,' he told ABC News in a documentary. The team called for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) via a helicopter based at Salerno, Afghanistan, but did not tell the crew that Moss had a live RPG lodged in his abdomen for fear that the crew would not want to transport him.The Black Hawk helicopter had to wait for the fighting on the ground to cease before they could land, which meant a long delay taking Moss outside of the 'Golden Hour' for trauma treatment that saves so many lives. When the helicopter landed the crew could see immediately what had happened to Moss and knew that he should not be rescued.The U.S. Army policy in such a situation states Moss should not have been transported because it could lead to the death of the four MEDEVAC crew members, three other wounded soldiers and the loss of a helicopter. However, the flight crew conferred and all agreed to take Moss, The Black Hawk crew flew him to the nearest field hospital at the Orgun-E base, but again the crucial unexploded detail of his injury was omitted. Once at the hospital the medical team, led by surgeons Major John Oh and Major Kevin Kirk, were confronted with the wound. 'It had fins coming out of the left side of his body and had a big bulge in the front of his right thigh,' said Maj. Kirk. Again, U.S. Army policy states that Moss should not be operated on because of the risk to medics and other patients.Moss' second major stroke of luck came when a bomb disposal expert, Staff Sgt. Dan Brown, was on the base. Brown explained the possible scenarios to the medical team, including the possibility that they could all become 'pink mist' if the grenade exploded, and they agreed to treat him  By this point Moss' heart had stopped due to massive blood loss and the medics had to administer epinephrine to restart the organ before they could operate. Sgt. Brown used a hacksaw to remove the RPG's tail fins and very slowly eased the rocket back out through the entry wound.Brown then walked the unexploded bomb out of the operating theatre to a bunker and detonated it.Moss was transferred to hospitals in Afghanistan and Germany en route to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, where he was reunited with his wife Lorena and his daughters Yuliana and Ariana, now six and four.Moss' internal organs were severely damaged and he had suffered a shattered pelvis, leaving him unable to walk. He had four major operations and years of gruelling physiotherapy that took him out of a wheelchair, onto a walking frame, and then to walking with a cane.But Moss' determination allowed him to walk to collect his purple heart. 'I wanted to walk and get my medal, I wanted to stand up, to let them know I fought hard to get where I came from,' he said. Moss has now recovered well enough to attend college in Georgia. The soldiers and medical team who helped save Private Moss were also honoured.Hmmmmm......."One of the finest armies" No THE Finest Army!Read and see (Video)the full story here.

  • THE day the rule of law died.President Obama’s Illegal War.(Britannica).In 2007 presidential candidate Barack Obama told Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe,
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
On March 19, 2011, President Barack Obama authorized military strikes on Libya to take out Libyan air defenses and protect rebels from attack. He told congressional leaders that the involvement would last “days, not weeks,” and he claimed the authority of the UN Security Council for his assault. But the UN can’t authorize American military intervention. As candidate—and senator and former professor of constitutional law—Obama understood in 2007, Congress must authorize the use of military force.
The administration offered various explanations of why it didn’t need authority from Congress. It had the authority of the UN. He “could reasonably determine that such use of force was in the national interest,” a rather sweeping justification for any exercise of presidential authority. And everybody’s favorite: It wasn’t war, it was “kinetic military action.” Gene Healy addresses many of these issues here.Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution vests in Congress the power to declare war. What about cases of imminent danger? The president may feel that there is no time to ask Congress about responding to an attack or an imminent threat. Well, in 1973 Congress tried to come up with a rule to deal with that eventuality. Over President Richard Nixon’s veto, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which provided that that the president can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or in case of ”a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” The resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days without an authorization for the use of military force or a declaration of war.
There was no imminent threat in Libya. In the first place, Libya posed no threat to the United States. No “threat to the nation” was at issue. And in the second place, people had been discussing military intervention since late February. President Obama had plenty of time to ask Congress for an authorization for use of military force if he wanted legal authority. He chose not to seek such authority, despite warnings from senior members of Congress like Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) that he should not proceed without congressional debate and authorization.Now the 60-day clock has run out. Even if we conceded the “national emergency” point, the president should have obtained congressional authorization within 60 days. Members of Congress from both parties are complaining.Presidents have never liked the War Powers Resolution and have tried to ignore it, in cases such as Ronald Reagan’s sending Marines into Lebanon and Bill Clinton’s bombing of Yugoslavia. But law professor Peter Spiro says, “President Obama has clearly violated the letter of the law,” and unlike his predecessors he’s “not even bothering to go through the motions.”Presidents have an obligation to obey the Constitution and the law. But one of the ways that separation of powers works is that each branch of government is supposed to jealously guard its prerogatives from usurpation by the other branches. Too often Congress ducks that responsibility, preferring to let presidents make decisions, make law, and make war without the involvement of Congress. As Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., explained in his book The Imperial Presidency, the expansion of presidential war-making power has been “as much a matter of congressional abdication as of presidential usurpation.”The president is derelict in his duty to obey the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. And Congress is derelict in its duty to assert its constitutional authority. And I’m still wondering what’s happened to the antiwar movement, which ought to be loudly protesting not just the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but the newborn war in Libya.Hmmmm.....Dictatorship has moved in and Congress applauds it!Read the full story here.

  • DisHonor killing? The Bizarre Case of Fatima Abdallah.(FaithFreedom).Why would a police department rule an almost obvious case of murder as an accidental death? Was it political pressure or has political correctness actually surpassed our judicial system?I have written many an article on Sharia in America. I have written on Dearborn, MI where Sharia takes precedent over our Constitution. I have written on Portland, ME where the District Attorney refused to investigate a bombing by a Muslim. I have written about so called “honor” killings and how our courts treat these murders differently due to Islamic culture.Now it seems that even murder can be covered up, called an accident and no one is even arrested, let alone charged.Tampa is a major city on the west coast of Florida. According to the 2010 Census it had a population of 335,709. The Tampa Police Department has grown from its inception in 1887 to over 1000 sworn officers and 350 civilian and support staff personnel today.The 2010 Census of the population of Tampa could have been 335,710 had it not been for the death of Fatima Abdallah on August 16, 2009.Fatima’s death is coming up on two years, so why is this just now coming to light? According to the Tampa Bay Tribune article from May 20,Florida Family Association, a conservative organization, is accusing the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office of mislabeling the death of a woman two years ago as an accident.The organization says it has enlisted a private investigator to look into the death of Fatima Abdallah, 48, who was found Aug. 16, 2009, at 8358 Old Town Drive, in the gated subdivision of Grand Hamptons.The organization thinks Abdallah was beaten to death, possibly in an honor killing. David Caton, the group’s executive director, said Abdallah was divorced and couldn’t have children. Women are typically victims of honor killings when they bring dishonor to a family.Caton worries that some law enforcement agencies in the United States have acquiesced to Shariah — Islamic law — when faced with legal controversies involving Muslims.“We don’t want to have cultural laws to form or shape how our laws are enforced in Florida,” Caton said.The organization on Thursday asked Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober to conduct a new investigation into Abdallah’s death. However, Tampa police said they reviewed the case Thursday and decided not to reopen it.Florida Family explains on their website that they are “an organization that is made up of thousands of supporters across America who share in the same goal of improving America’s moral environment.”I spoke with David Caton, Florida Family executive director about the Fatima Abdallah case. Caton and his organization have gone above and beyond, trying to get this case reopened.Regardless whether you agree or not with the biblical values of this organization, they are a non-profit that relies on public donations. I point this out because they, like any non-profit today, are hurting for lack of funds. Having seen an injustice they hired a private investigator to look into Fatima’s death.The Tampa Police Department and the Medical examiner determined that Fatima Abdallah died after she allegedly beat her own head against a coffee table and then on the floor until she died. Her death was ruled accidental and the case was closed.Actually, Tampa Police and the Medical examiner don’t agree, which is one of the problems with this case. Tampa Police concluded she beat her own head on the table repeatedly while the Medical Examiner says she fell and struck her head on the table and died.This goes much farther than the obvious ludicrousness that someone would commit suicide by beating their own head on a table. The inconsistencies in the police reports and statements, the 911 call report, the Tampa Fire Department medics and the Medical examiner are astounding.I come at this with a different perspective. Unbeknownst to most readers, I have a background in both the medical and investigative fields. I spent over 5 years with EMS as a Paramedic, 6 years as a Trauma nurse in an emergency room and spent several years as a mitigation investigator of capital punishment cases as a State employee. I have seen more crime scenes than I care to even think about and served as an expert witness on death penalty cases.I have read and re-read the all Tampa Police reports along with the 911 hardcopy call report, the Medical examiner report as well as the Private Investigators findings. I have examined all 158 Tampa Police photos from the crime scene and in my professional opinion this was an obvious case of murder, plain and simple.An anonymous email claimed that Fatima Abdallah is related to a high ranking member of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), this has yet to be confirmed, but then again…Read the full story here.

  • Israel was preparing a number of "surprises" for the ships that are expected to participate in the flotilla.(Jpost).The Israel Navy is prepared to intercept and take control of the ships participating in the new flotilla to the Gaza Strip, a senior Navy officer said Tuesday on the anniversary of the IDF operation to stop the Mavi Marmara that ended in the death of nine Turkish nationals."We will order the ship to stop, but if they don't, we are prepared to intercept and board the ship," a senior officer told reporters.The flotilla of 15 ships, organized by the Turkish humanitarian organization, IHH - which is outlawed in Israel due to its ties with Hamas, as well as The Free Gaza Movement - is planning to sail to the Gaza Strip in late June.The organizers are currently working to raise funds to purchase the necessary ships for the flotilla and the predictions are that it is possible that they will have to delay their launch date by several days and even weeks.The Israel Navy has been asked by the government to prepare an operational response to prevent the flotilla from breaking the sea blockade that Israel has imposed over the Gaza Strip. Under the blockade, Gazan fisherman are allowed to sail three kilometers off the coast of Gaza but no further. Ships are not allowed to enter waters that are twenty kilometers from the Gaza Strip.According to international maritime laws, however, the Israel Navy is allowed to intercept and take control of a ship that declares its intentions to sail to Gaza even before it enters the waters that are under the blockade. The Navy has been conducting training exercises in recent weeks in conjunction with the Air Force and in line with the lessons learned from last year's flotilla. Members of Israel Police and the Prison Service, who specialize in quelling civilian protests and violence, will participate in the operation to stop the flotilla together with the commandos from the Navy Flotilla 13, better known as the "Shayetet."The senior Navy officer said that Israel was preparing a number of "surprises" for the ships that are expected to participate in the flotilla.He said that soldiers were under order to use force to neutralize armed danger and neutralize attackers if necessary, but that in general, the objective and the goal would be to take over the ship non-violently and without casualties on either side.On May 31 2010, the Israel Navy stopped a Turkish flotilla and when commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara they were attacked by a group of mercenaries. In ensuing violence, nine of the mercenaries were killed, and a number of Israeli commandos were seriously wounded. In addition to military preparation, the Foreign Ministry is leading Israeli efforts to convince other countries to use necessary means to prevent the flotilla from departing to Gaza.Hmmmmm........Surprise?Read the full story here.

  • Obama's 'peace partners' Hamas: Withdraw Arab Peace Initiative; Article In Hamas Newspaper: Holocaust Is A Lie.(Memri).Hamas says that the Arab Peace Initiative Monitoring Committee's May 28 response to the speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the U.S. Congress was weak, and encouraged the Zionist occupation to continue its settlement and Judaization activity. Hamas said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas and the leaders of Arab countries must withdraw the Arab peace initiative and support the resistance of the Palestinian people's resistance to the occupation. In his column in the Hamas newspaper Falastin, 'Issam Shawer called for awakening from the illusion of peace with Israel and acting to remove "the Zionist occupation from every inch of Palestine... in all possible ways, including disproving their false version of history, from the lie of the Holocaust of six million Jews to the falsehood that Palestine is the land of their forefathers."Shawer also called on the PLO "to withdraw its mistaken recognition of the occupation state and its legitimacy, and to stress the Jews' right to exist in any country they choose except Palestine and the Islamic countries, except for the tiny minority of those who have local Arab roots." Read the full story here.

  • Turkey - The famous ‘Muslim-meter’ returns.(HurriyetDaily).In its May 26 issue, The Economist wrote: “[Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] is increasingly rude about the EU and has gone as far as to declare that Turkey no longer has a Kurdish problem. Even more controversially, he has taken to attacking Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main pro-secular opposition Republican People’s Party, for being an Alevi, a liberal branch of Shia Islam with 20 million adherents in Turkey – with the subtext that he is not ‘a real Muslim.’ In Turkey Sunni Islam and nationalism have long gone hand in hand,” in an article titled “Turkish sex scandals: Feeling blue.”Precisely. This is why every sensible constitution orders political parties to get their hands off religion in order to make elections a fair competition. But the political tradition Mr. Erdoğan comes from has the habit of producing votes out of religious sentiments, hence Mr. Erdoğan’s never-ending resentment over constitutional secularism.At every political rally in the last month Mr. Erdoğan reminded crowds of Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu’s Alevi identity, although the opposition leader has never revealed his religious beliefs. We simply do not know, but Mr. Erdoğan is certain about his rival’s choice of faith. Mr.. Kılıçdaroğlu comes from an Alevi family, but this does not make him an Alevi. He may have chosen to practice as a Sunni, have secretly become an apostate, an atheist or an agnostic, and that is no one’s business. But sadly, it’s essentially Mr. Erdoğan’s business.On Monday, Mr. Erdoğan, at another campaign rally, condemned Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu because the opposition leader had said, “he is not against imam schools” and “the number of such schools must be proportionate to the number of imams the country needs.” That is insane, an angry Mr. Erdoğan shouted, with the pious crowd booing Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu for prescribing just enough imam schools.With that speech, Mr. Erdoğan is telling the electorate he is a real Muslim and Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu is not, since a real Muslim would wish every pupil to attend imam schools. On the same day, the “bipartisan” (read: Justice and Development Party) parliament speaker, Mehmet Ali Sahin, expressed his dream that “one day an imam could be the acting president of Turkey.”Religion is the theme at the campaign rallies, and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party is not immune to accusations of not being “Muslim enough” either. A few days ago, the always angry Mr. Erdoğan accused Kurdish politicians of “burning Kurdish children to stop them from being Muslims.” So, like the main opposition, the Kurdish opposition is not “real Muslim” either. This is a most annoying ethos of the pious Turk who overtly or covertly believes only he and Muslims like him qualify as “real Muslims.” And this, despite the fact there are very strict commandments in the Quran that Muslims should avoid gauging other people’s “Muslimness,” for only Allah can judge.In 2007, when the then-Parliament speaker, now deputy prime minister, Bülent Arınç angrily remarked that his party’s opponents “merely wanted to block the election to the presidency of a Muslim,” he was speaking along the lines of the same thinking. In Mr. Arınç’s, or Mr. Erdoğan’s, or other Islamists’ thinking, previous Turkish presidents were not Muslim, Muslim enough or real Muslims.But at the same time this thinking is in serious contradiction with another oft-repeated line, one of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, folks’ favorite points of information: Turkey is 99 percent Muslim. For decades, the pious teased the less pious by calling them “ID Muslims only,” a reference to the ID cards that proudly showed the word Muslim in a small box. The less pious, according to the pious, were Muslims only because their IDs said so, in reality, they were not. And that is because they did not practice Islam in exactly the same was as the pious did.Now, Mr. Erdoğan calculates that he can cash in more votes by presenting Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu as an Alevi, someone who is not a real Muslim. He may be right. But this is one of modern Turkey’s most predictable elections anyway. So relax, Mr. Erdoğan. And remember real Muslims do not walk about with a Muslim-meter in their hands.Hmmmm.....“one day an imam could be the acting president of Turkey.”Erdogan is a product of the Imamhatip schools,so yes you have an Imam at the helm of the country next port :Turkey Iranian style.Read the full story here.

  • Iranian Majlis Bill: Arrest Westerners In Response To West's Arrest Of Iranians.(Memri).The Iranian Majlis National Security Committee is discussing a bill on arresting citizens of Western countries in response to the arrest of Iranian citizens in the West. The Iranians were accused of purchasing military equipment, circumventing the sanctions on Iran.Source.

  • Khamenei: America Submitting To Iran.(Memri).In a speech to cadets of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military academy, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that despite activity against the Islamic revolutionary regime in Iran in order to establish it in 1979, today the U.S. is in a situation of submission to Tehran. He said that the changes in the region were making it lose the regimes identified with it were the actualization of God's promises. He added that the events of "Nakba Day," May 14-15, signified the expected "final victory" of the Muslims over Israel.Hmmmm.....The 'submission' part might be right considering this President.Read the full story here.

  • Al-Azhar Sheikh: Egypt Won't Abandon One Inch Of Muslim Lands.(Memri).During his first meeting with Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ramadan Shalah and his deputy Ziad Al-Nakhala, who are visiting Egypt, Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb condemned statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel, and said that Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, is the red line for Al-Azhar and for 800 million Muslims that stand behind it. He added that Egypt will not abandon a single inch of the Muslim lands. Al-Tayeb stressed that Egypt is willing to help the Palestinians in their struggle against the Israeli plans that are supported by the U.S., to plunder the lands and places sacred to Islam, and praised Shalah's position on the issue of the Islamic Ummah. Shalah said that Al-Azhar is the spearhead of the defense of the Islamic holy sites, and praised it for its support of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian reconciliation. At a meeting between Shalah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas, the two discussed, inter alia, reinforcing the Palestinian reconciliation, the political arrests of Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank, and the struggle against the Israeli threats.Hmmmm......Never heard of Muslims or Palestinians 3000 years ago ,but the Jews were already long time there at that time.Read the full story here.

Beck's Video Vindication: Socialist Explain How They Worked With Muslim Brotherhood In Revolutions

MFS - The Other News

                       Morning  Posting.

  • Syria Live Blog - May 31. Here .(Al-Jazeera).
  • Libya Live Blog - May 31. Here (Al-Jazeera). 

  • Yemen Live Blog - May 31 . Here. (Al-Jazeera).

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan  today 5.1  ! Lots of activity in Turkey.More info here.

  • Japan - Latest official Situation Update No. 124.On 31.05.2011 at 03:03 GMT+2

    Conditions at Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear facility are deteriorating, with a sudden rise in the contaminated water level in tunnels at No.1 reactor, a halt to the cooling system at No.5 reactor, and fear of radiation spreading by an approaching storm. Japan’s Daiichi nuclear plant near Fukushima is facing yet more misfortune on Monday, with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) saying a breakdown has occurred at the No.5 reactor at Daiichi. A system used to cool the No.5 reactor and its fuel pool stopped working late Saturday causing core and fuel pool temperatures to rise. At a Sunday news conference, TEPCO noted the backup water-injection plan is in place, according to the Japan Times. A company official has stated the cooling breakdown would not lead to a rapid rise of temperatures which could endanger the reactor and its spent fuel pool. TEPCO also said radioactive water levels at the No.1, 2 and 3 reactors‘ tunnels and basements have increased appreciably over the weekend, believed to have been caused by heavy rainfall. During the 24-hour period from 7 a.m. on May 28, the basement water level at No.1 rose 1.1 centimeters, but the following 24 hours saw the water level spike 19.8 centimeters. Water at the No.2 reactor’s tunnel rose 6.2 centimeters during a 24-hour period over the weekend and the No.3 tunnel rose by 4.4 centimeters during the same period.Source : Here .

  • Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.

  • Bachmann"If [Obamacare is] allowed to stand we will never get our country back,".(Politico).Her formal announcement about whether she’ll run for president isn’t expected for a few weeks, but Rep. Michele Bachmann already has her sights set on President Barack Obama.Asked Monday night why she’d run for president rather than challenging Democrat Al Franken for his Senate seat, the Minnesota Republican’s answer focused where she’s put much of her energy in recent months: “Because we need a person who is going to stand up to Obamacare,” she said, according to The Washington Post.“You’ve got to be willing to take on our party, the other party and then explain it to the people,” she told Republicans in New Hampshire. “I know I can make the case to the American people and win them over to our side.”“Obama has to go and has to be replaced, but not just by anyone,” Bachmann said. “We need someone who is committed to taking that thing out,” she continued, referring to Obama’s health care law, “because it is the crown jewel of socialism, and if it’s allowed to stand we will never get our country back.”Read the full story here.

  • Where Obama is leading Israel.By CarolineB.Glick.(JPost).In the aftermath of US President Barack Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East, his supporters argued that the policy toward Israel and the Palestinians that Obama outlined in that speech was not anti-Israel. As they presented it, Obama’s assertion that peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians must be based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps does not mark a substantive departure from the positions adopted by his predecessors in the Oval Office.But this claim is exposed as a lie by previous administration statements. On November 25, 2009, in response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of Obama’s demand for a 10-month moratorium on Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the State Department issued the following statement: “Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”
In his speech, Obama stated: “The United States believes... the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”That is, he took “the Palestinian goal” and made it the US’s goal. It is hard to imagine a more radically anti-Israel policy shift than that.And that wasn’t Obama’s only radically anti-Israel policy shift. Until his May 19 speech, the US agreed with Israel that the issue of borders is only one of many – including the Palestinians’ rejection of Israel’s right to exist, their demand to inundate Israel with millions of foreign Arab immigrants, their demand for control over Israel’s water supply and Jerusalem – that have to be sorted out in negotiations. The joint US-Israeli position was that until all of these issues were resolved, none of them were resolved.The Palestinians, on the other hand, claim that before they will discuss any of these other issues, Israel has to first agree to accept the indefensible 1967 boundaries as its permanent borders. This position allows the Palestinians to essentially maintain their policy of demanding that Israel make unreciprocated concessions that then serve as the starting point for further unreciprocated concessions.It is a position that is antithetical to peace. And on May 19, by stipulating that Israel must accept the Palestinian position on borders as a precondition for negotiations, Obama adopted it as US policy.SINCE THAT speech, Obama has taken a series of steps that only reinforce the sense that he is the most hostile US president Israel has ever faced. Indeed, when taken together, these steps raise concern that Obama may actually constitute a grave threat to Israel. Friday’s Yediot Aharonot reported on the dimensions of the threat Obama may pose to the Jewish state. The paper’s account was based on administration and Congressional sources. The story discussed Obama’s plans to contend with the Palestinian plan to pass a resolution at the UN General Assembly in September endorsing Palestinian statehood in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.According to Yediot, during his meeting with Obama on May 20, Netanyahu argued that in light of the Palestinians’ automatic majority support at the General Assembly, there was no way to avoid the resolution.Netanyahu reportedly explained that the move would not be a disaster. The General Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed the PLO’s declaration of independence in 1988.And the sky still hasn’t fallen.According to Yediot, Mitchell recommended that Obama work with the Europeans to draft a series of anti-Israel resolutions for the UN Security Council to pass. Among other things, these resolutions, which Mitchell said would be “painful for Israel,” would include an assertion that Jewish building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria is illegal.That is, Mitchell recommended that Obama adopt as US policy at the Security Council past Palestinian demands that Congress forced Obama to reject just months ago at the Security Council. The notion is that by doing so, Obama could convince the Palestinians to water down the even more radically anti-Israel positions they are advancing today at the UN General Assembly that Congressional pressure prevents him from supporting.Since General Assembly resolutions have no legal weight and Security Council resolutions do carry weight, Mitchell’s policy represents the most anti-Israel policy ever raised by a senior US official. Unfortunately Obama’s actions since last week suggest that he has adopted the gist of Mitchell’s policy recommendations.First there was his speech before AIPAC. Among other things, Obama used the international campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist as a justification for his policies of demanding that Israel capitulate to the Palestinians’ demands, which he has now officially adopted as US policy.As he put it, “there is a reason why the Palestinians are pursuing their interests at the United Nations. They recognize that there is an impatience with the peace process – or the absence of one. Not just in the Arab world, but in Latin America, in Europe, and in Asia. That impatience is growing, and is already manifesting itself in capitals around the world.”From AIPAC, Obama moved on to Europe. There he joined forces with European governments in an attempt to gang up on Israel at the G8 meeting.Obama sought to turn his embrace of the Palestinian negotiating position into the consensus position of the G8. His move was scuttled by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who refused to accept any resolution that made mention of borders without mentioning the Palestinian demand to destroy Israel through Arab immigration, Israel’s right to defensible borders, or the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist.If Harper had not stood by Israel, the G8’s anti-Israel resolution endorsing the Palestinian negotiating position could have formed the basis of a US-sponsored anti-Israel Security Council resolution.Israelis planning their summer trips should put Canada at the top of their lists.THE FINAL step Obama has taken to solidify the impression that he does not have Israel’s best interests at heart, is actually something he has not done. Over the past week, Fatah leaders of the US-backed Palestinian Authority have made a series of statements that put paid any thought that they are interested in peace with Israel or differ substantively from their partners in Hamas.At the Arab League meeting in Qatar on Saturday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian state “will be free of all Jews.”Last week the US-supported Abbas denied the Jewish connection to the land of Israel and claimed absurdly that the Palestinians were 9,000 years old.Equally incriminating, in an interview last week with Aaron Lerner from the IMRA newsgathering website, Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said that now that Hamas was the co-leader of the PA with Fatah, responsibility for continuing to hold IDF St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit hostage devolved from Hamas to the PA. And the PA would continue to hold him hostage.Shaath’s statement makes clear that rather than moderating Hamas, the Fatah-Hamas unity deal is transforming Fatah into Hamas.And yet, Obama has had nothing to say about any of this.Obama’s now undeniable antipathy for Israel and his apparent willingness to use his power as American president to harm Israel at the UN and elsewhere guarantee that for the duration of his tenure in office, Israel will face unprecedented threats to its security. This disturbing reality ought to focus the attention of all Israelis and of the American Jewish community. With the leader of the free world now openly siding with forces bent on Israel’s destruction, the need for unity has become acute.MADDENINGLY, HOWEVER, at this time of unprecedented danger we see the Israeli media have joined ranks with Kadima in siding with Obama against Israel in a joint bid to bring down Netanyahu’s government. Yediot Aharonot, Maariv, Haaretz, Channel 2, Channel 10, Army Radio and Israel Radio’s coverage of Netanyahu’s visit and its aftermath was dominated by condemnations of the prime minister, and praise for Obama and opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who called for Netanyahu to resign.The fact that polling data showed that only 12 percent of Jewish Israelis regard Obama as pro-Israeli and that the overwhelming majority of the public with an opinion believes Netanyahu’s visit was a success made absolutely no impression on the media.With the notable exceptions of the Zionist Organization of America and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting in America (CAMERA), leaders of American Jewish organizations have refused to condemn Obama’s anti-Israel positions.Their silence becomes all the more enraging when placed against the massive support Israel receives from rank-and-file American Jews. In a survey of American Jews taken by CAMERA on May 16-17, between 75% and 95% of American Jews supported Israel’s position on defensible borders, Jerusalem, Palestinian “refugees,” Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist and the right of Jews to live in a Palestinian state.The refusal of most American Jewish leaders, the Israeli media and Kadima to condemn Obama today makes you wonder if there is anything the US president could do to convince them to break ranks and stand with Israel and with the vast majority of their fellow Jews. But it is more than a source of wonder. It is a reason to be frightened. Because Obama’s actions over the past two weeks make clear to anyone willing to see that in the age of Obama, silence is dangerous.Hmmmm....Since the days of Nazi Germany and Hitler the threat towards the Jewish people has never been greater than now,will the World betray them once more?Read the full story here.

  • "You've Got Mail".A UN Resolution to Recognize a Palestinian State within the "1967 Borders" Would Be Illegal.(Jcpa).•The following is a letter drafted jointly by lawyers of the Legal Forum for Israel and by Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
•The letter is directed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and signed by jurists and international lawyers from around the world.
•The letter cautions the Secretary General as to the inherent illegality and harm to the UN and to the Middle East peace process which would be caused by the adoption of a resolution declaring a Palestinian state and determining its borders.May 25, 2011
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon,
 Secretary-General of the United Nations,
1st Avenue and 44th St.
New York, NY 10017
Re: The Proposed General Assembly Resolution to Recognize a Palestinian State "within 1967 Borders" - An Illegal Action
We, the undersigned, attorneys from across the world who are involved in general matters of international law, as well as being closely concerned with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, appeal to you to use your influence and authority among the member states of the UN, with a view to preventing the adoption of the resolution that the Palestinian delegation intends to table at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly, to recognize a Palestinian state "within the 1967 borders." By all standards and criteria, such a resolution, if adopted, would be in stark violation of all the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as contravening UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and those other resolutions based thereon.
Our reasoning is as follows:
  1. The legal basis for the establishment of the State of Israel was the resolution unanimously adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, affirming the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical area of the Land of Israel. This included the areas of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, and close Jewish settlement throughout. This was subsequently affirmed by both houses of the U.S. Congress.
  2. Article 80 of the UN Charter determines the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations). Accordingly, the above-noted League resolution remains valid, and the 650,000 Jews presently resident in the areas of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem reside there legitimately.
  3. "The 1967 borders" do not exist, and have never existed. The 1949 Armistice Agreements entered into by Israel and its Arab neighbors, establishing the Armistice Demarcation Lines, clearly stated that these lines "are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto." Accordingly, they cannot be accepted or declared to be the international boundaries of a Palestinian state.
  4. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) called upon the parties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and specifically stressed the need to negotiate in order to achieve "secure and recognized boundaries."
  5. The Palestinian proposal, in attempting to unilaterally change the status of the territory and determine the "1967 borders" as its recognized borders, in addition to running squarely against Resolutions 242 and 338, would be a fundamental breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in which the parties undertook to negotiate the issue of borders and not act to change the status of the territories pending outcome of the permanent status negotiations.
  6. The Palestinians entered into the various agreements constituting what is known as the "Oslo Accords" in the full knowledge that Israel's settlements existed in the areas, and that settlements would be one of the issues to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. Furthermore, the Oslo Accords impose no limitation on Israel's settlement activity in those areas that the Palestinians agreed would continue to be under Israel's jurisdiction and control pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.
  7. While the Interim Agreement was signed by Israel and the PLO, it was witnessed by the UN together with the EU, the Russian Federation, the U.S., Egypt, and Norway. It is thus inconceivable that such witnesses, including first and foremost the UN, would now give license to a measure in the UN aimed at violating this agreement and undermining major resolutions of the Security Council.
  8. While the UN has maintained a persistent policy of non-recognition of Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem pending a negotiated solution, despite Israel's historic rights to the city, it is inconceivable that the UN would now recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, the borders of which would include eastern Jerusalem. This would represent the ultimate in hypocrisy, double standards, and discrimination, as well as an utter disregard of the rights of Israel and the Jewish People.
  9. Such unilateral action by the Palestinians could give rise to reciprocal initiatives in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) which could include proposed legislation to declare Israel's sovereignty over extensive parts of Judea and Samaria, if and when the Palestinians carry out their unilateral action.
It appears to be patently clear to all that the Palestinian exercise, aimed at advancing their political claims, represents a cynical abuse of the UN Organization and of the members of the General Assembly. Its aim is to bypass the negotiation process called for by the Security Council. Regrettably, this abuse of the UN and its integrity, in addition to undermining international law, has the potential to derail the Middle East peace process. We trust that you will use your authority to protect the UN and its integrity from this abuse, and act to prevent any affirmation or recognition of this dangerous Palestinian initiative.Signed by jurists and international lawyers. Source .

  • White House pushing churches to be 'Palestinian green'?(WND).The "greenest" church on the planet? Scripture as it relates to the Palestinians? Fighting American "racial injustice"? Meet the latest addition to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a White House group already replete with advocates for using religion to advance "social justice." In January, Obama named to his faith council Lynne Hybels, a leader of Willow Creek Church, an inter-denominational, multi-generational megachurch located in a Chicago suburb. The church is led by Hybels' husband, Bill, a social justice advocate who created the Global Leadership Summit, an international Christian group. Lynne Hybels' official title at Willow Creek Church is Advocate for Global Engagement. She is also a regular contributor to the progressive Sojourners magazine, the publication of a ministry by the same name professing a devotion to the pursuit of "social justice." Sojourners was founded by Jim Wallis, who is also a member of Obama's faith council. Hybels and her husband are deeply involved in Sojourners initiatives and participate in the ministry’s events.Hybels is a regular traveler to the Middle East. In March, she keynoted a conference in Bethlehem called "Christ at the Checkpoint: Theology in the Service of Peace and Justice." She wrote about the experience in a Sojourners magazine article entitled, "Jesus-Focused Conversations in Occupied Bethlehem." According to its own description, the Bethlehem conference was meant to "equip the global church to understand Scripture as it relates to the Palestinian context, and to discuss the theological importance of Peace and Justice in an Evangelical context." One year earlier, she signed a letter to Obama, entitled, "Christians Support Bold Action for Holy Land Peace Campaign" calling for an immediate deal to create a Palestinian state. The letter urged U.S. engagement with a "Palestinian unity government," a reference to a unity deal the Palestinian Authority had inked with the Hamas terrorist organization. The letter had one sentence noting Palestinian rocketing on Israeli towns, but the majority of the text decried purported Israeli actions, including settlement growth , as "rapidly diminishing any possibility for the creation of a viable Palestinian state." The letter demanded an immediate end to the Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel has said the blockade is necessary to ensure Hamas cannot rearm itself. A review of Hybels' Sojourners magazine articles finds a focus on issues of race and the Middle East. Titles include, "An Apology to My Muslim Friends," and "Racial Reconciliation: A Necessary Conversion." In the latter article, Hybels wrote against what she deemed the "reality" of ongoing "racial injustice" in the U.S. "In 2001, my husband Bill was jolted out of racial complacency," she related. "Through books he read and conversations he had with African-American pastors, he was broken by the reality of ongoing racial injustice in the U.S." Continued Hybels: "He describes it as having a kind of 'second conversion,' where the scales fell off his eyes and he suddenly saw with horrible clarity of something that broke the heart of God and ought to break his heart." In one article, Hybels argued the church should be used to fight so-called global warming. In a blog posting entitled, "Beyond Charity: Living a Life of Compassion and Justice," Hybels writes at Sojourners: "The battle against injustice is a tough and ugly war. While I am proud that Willow has entered that war, the truth is we have just begun to fight. … "I look forward to the day when we as a church will be known for being the greenest church on the planet, not just because we enjoy the beauty of God's creation, but because we know that climate change is a justice issue," she wrote. Indeed, her church is at the center of using faith to fight so-called social justice. Hybels herself established a church board for Middle East engagement. She writes on her website she is an advocate for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." With her husband, she addressed a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees in October 2009, arguing for comprehensive immigration reform.Hybels and Wallis are the latest in a list of progressives to grace Obama's faith council. WND reported Eboo Patel, also a member of the White House faith council, declared that everything he was taught about Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson and American "fairness" and "equality" was wrong. WND also reported Patel, a Muslim activist from Chicago, compared al-Qaida to what he called Christian "totalitarians" in the U.S. and Jewish "totalitarians" in Israel. Earlier, WND reported Patel is deeply tied to Weatherman terrorist group founder Bill Ayers. Also, Patel blasted what he called the "myths" of America – describing them as beliefs that the country is "a land of freedom and equality and justice." Hmmmmm......More "Change"?Read the full story here.

  • Iran Temporarily Denies Merkel Overflight Rights.(Spiegel).Iran temporarily denied Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane overflight rights during her flight to India. The plane had to circle over Turkey for two hours before being given permission to enter Iranian airspace.For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it should have been a routine trip abroad. But her flight to India was disturbed by a diplomatic incident that could further sour relations between Berlin and Tehran. In the early hours of Tuesday, Iran denied Merkel's government aircraft overflight rights at short notice. The chancellor's plane, which had a large delegation of politicians and journalists on board, had to circle over Turkey for around two hours. It was finally allowed to pass through Iranian airspace following a lengthy negotiation with Tehran which was mediated by Turkey and involved the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle protested strongly against Iran's action. Speaking on Tuesday during the start of his visit to Australia, Westerwelle said it showed "a lack of respect toward Germany that we cannot accept." The Foreign Ministry in Berlin responded by summoning the Iranian ambassador to Germany on Tuesday. It would be made clear to him that "such a breach of international protocol against Germany would absolutely not be accepted," Westerwelle said."There has never been an incident like this," said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert. He said that the plane had already entered Iran's airspace when Iranian air traffic control asked the pilot to leave again, saying that the aircraft did not have permission to enter. The German pilots insisted they had the necessary authorization. The plane had been given permission to enter Iranian airspace before it left Berlin on Monday evening.After a long discussion with the Iranian authorities, the pilot returned to Turkish airspace. At some point the Turkish air traffic control had to become involved, as the Iranians refused to talk to the German pilots any longer. "I have never experienced anything like this in my career," said one veteran government flight attendent, according to a SPIEGEL ONLINE reporter who was on board the flight. "They're really hot under the collar up there," she added, gesturing to the cockpit.Merkel, however, was initially unaware of the problem. She was sleeping in a private cabin at the front of the plane at the time, and her staff did not want to disturb her. The plane was unable to take an alternative route to India as it was not possible to get permission to fly through other countries' airspace at such short notice. The pilots were concerned about the plane's fuel levels and were about to fly back and land in Ankara when Tehran suddenly granted permission to enter its airspace.Merkel, who was traveling to India for an official visit, arrived in New Dehli more than two hours late on Tuesday morning as a result of the delay. An appointment with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to be cancelled. It was the inaugural flight of the new government plane "Konrad Adenauer," an Airbus A340-300.A second aircraft carrying several members of Merkel's cabinet, including Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, was able to cross Iranian airspace without any problems. It had left Berlin before Merkel's plane.The reason for the denial of overflight rights was initially unclear. The German delegation said that "coordination problems" were to blame. Merkel herself was relaxed in her reaction, saying only that it had been an "interesting start to the trip."Despite Iran's pariah status, Germany is still the third-largest exporter to the country. Last year, German exports to the Islamic republic were worth €3.8 billion ($5.5 billion). Nevertheless, a number of major German companies, such as Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, have decided to stop doing business with Iran.Read the full story here.

  • Al-Jazeera footage captures 'western troops on the ground' in Libya.(Guardian).Armed westerners have been filmed on the front line with rebels near Misrata in the first apparent confirmation that foreign special forces are playing an active role in the Libyan conflict.A group of six westerners are clearly visible in a report by al-Jazeera from Dafniya, described as the westernmost point of the rebel lines west of the town of Misrata. Five of them were armed and wearing sand-coloured clothes, peaked caps, and cotton Arab scarves.The sixth, apparently the most senior of the group, was carrying no visible weapon and wore a pink, short-sleeve shirt. He may be an intelligence officer. The group is seen talking to rebels and then quickly leaving on being spotted by the television crew.The footage emerged as South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma, arrived in Tripoli in an attempt to broker a ceasefire. He described reports that he would ask Muammar Gaddafi to step down as "misleading", and said he would instead focus on humanitarian measures and ways to implement a plan concocted by the African Union for Libya make a transition to democratic rule but not seek Gaddafi's exile.The westerners were seen by al-Jazeera on rebel lines late last week, days before British and French attack helicopters are due to join the Nato campaign. They are likely to be deployed on the outskirts of Misrata, from where pro-Gaddafi forces continue to shell rebel positions to the eastThere have been numerous reports in the British press that SAS soldiers are acting as spotters in Libya to help Nato warplanes target pro-Gaddafi forces. In March, six special forces soldiers and two MI6 officers were detained by rebel fighters when they landed on an abortive mission to meet rebel leaders in Benghazi, in an embarrassing episode for the SAS.The group was withdrawn soon afterwards and a new "liaison team" sent in its place. Asked for comment on Monday, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "We don't have any forces out there."The subject is sensitive as the UN security council resolution in March authorising the use of force in Libya specifically excludes "a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory".Despite more than two months of bombing by Nato, rebels have remained unable to advance west of Misrata, or west of Brega, 300 miles to the east. The capital, Tripoli, also remains in the grip of Gaddafi, who has defied all attempts to force him to leave.However, a fresh blow to his position came yesterday as eight Libyan army officers appeared in Rome, saying they were part of a group of as many as 120 military officials and soldiers who had defected from Gaddafi's side in recent days.The eight officers – five generals, two colonels and a major – spoke at a news conference organised by the Italian government. The officers said they had defected in protest at Gaddafi's actions against his own people, citing killings of civilians and violence against women. They claimed that Gaddafi's campaign against the rebels was rapidly weakening.Read the full story here.

  • Flotilla passengers were in Jordan ‘Nakba’ protest.(JPost).As the IDF continues preparing to forcefully stop a protest flotilla planning to sail to the Gaza Strip in late June, Israel is intensifying its media campaign to expose what it believes is the true face of the organizations behind the initiative.On Monday, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center revealed in a new report that a group of Turkish Islamic activists who are members of the IHH organization and were aboard the Mavi Marmara passenger ship last year as it was stopped by the Israel Navy on its way to Gaza, participated in a violent anti-Israel demonstration in Jordan earlier this month on the Palestinian “Nakba Day.”According to the report, the bus carrying the delegation of 28 Turkish activists was detained in Syria as it made its way to Jordan, since some of the members had Israeli stamps in their passports, a result of their deportation from Israel following last year’s flotilla.The delegation eventually arrived at the Israeli-Jordanian border opposite Jericho and began marching toward the fence while violently clashing with Jordanian security forces. Several members of the delegation were injured and treated in hospitals in Jordan before being ordered to return to Turkey.During the demonstration in Jordan, the activists carried a banner with pictures of the nine men killed by commandos from the Israel Navy’s Flotilla 13 aboard the Mavi Marmara last May. Israel has provided video evidence that the commandos were attacked by the passengers, many of whom were mercenaries paid to attack the soldiers.“The delegation’s decision to participate in the demonstrations in Jordan was not spontaneous but is part of a larger campaign by radical Islamic elements from groups like IHH to try and breach Israel’s borders whether by land, air or sea,” the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report concluded.Due to the size of the flotilla planned for next month, which organizers hope will reach 15 ships, the navy has enlisted all of its Flotilla 13 commandos from the reserves and has conducted special training sessions in recent weeks in coordination with the IDF’s Counter-Terrorism School.If the government decides to stop the flotilla, the commandos will board the ships either by sea or air, similar to the operation that stopped the Mavi Marmara last year.The commandos’ goal will be to complete the operation without casualties on either side, but they have received updated rules of engagement and will work quickly when boarding the ships to quell the violence. The IDF Operations Directorate recently drafted new operational guidelines for flotilla operations that involve coordination between various security organizations and government ministries. The new guidelines regulate the way the military and police are to handle the detainees as well as their belongings after intercepting a flotilla.Read the full story here.

  • Pakistan - Anti-Christian violence in Faisalabad: tombs desecrated, young woman gang-raped.(AsiaNews). Faisalabad – Christian tombs were recently desecrated and a young Christian woman was gang-raped for an entire night. In both cases, police refused to file a First Information Report, allowing the culprits to escape justice. These are examples of the ordinary violence visited upon Pakistan’s Christian minority. Whether it involves Christian-owned land and property or individuals who are targeted because they are defenceless, victims will not find justice with the country’s legal system. Gradually, Pakistan’s ‘Islamisation’ slowly progresses, especially in the densely populated province of Punjab.  The Pakistan Christian Post reports that, in Chak Jhumra (Faisalabad), Muslim landowners destroyed and desecrated a Christian graveyard, using a tractor to plough over a number of tombs. Buried coffins were broken and the bones of the dead were brought to the surface. The local police refused to open an inquiry, whilst the landowners utter threats against local Christians to get them to stop legal proceedings.The Faisalabad chapter of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Pakistani Catholic Church has intervened in the affair. A team sent by the commission visited the desecrated graveyard and collected evidence. However, a local Muslim has filed a claim, saying he owned the land on which the cemetery is located. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for 13 June 2011.Fr Joseph Jamil, a Faisalabad priest, strongly condemned the anti-Christian violence. “The Church,” he said, “is closing monitoring the issue.”“Landowners and extremists are actively involved against the Christian minority in Punjab,” he told AsiaNews. “Most attacks happen in the central part of the province.” The government, he said, should “take charge of the situation and defend the minority.”As additional evidence of the prevailing atmosphere of violence, a story came to light involving a 29-year-old Christian woman who was abducted by a Muslim co-worker, roughed up, drugged and gang-raped. Afshan Sabir is a factory worker and a mother of three. She was assaulted over night on 27 March in an unspecified area near Gojra. When she woke up, she sought help in a state of disorientation. She later tried to file a complaint with the local police station. However, instead of helping the woman, police officers helped the rapists cover their tracks.On this occasion, the National Commission for Justice and Peace also intervened, providing the victim with legal counsel and following the case on her behalf.Read the full story here.

  • Letter from Cairo / Sonia Farid: Let’s call a mask a mask.(Al-Arabia).In May 2000, Israel ended its 22-year occupation of Lebanon after sustaining serious losses at the hands of Hezbollah militias, which not only forced the Israeli Defense Forces to retreat to the Blue Line, demarcated by the UN in 1978, but also dealt a fatal below to Israel’s proxy, the Southern Lebanon Army, which totally collapsed after a spate of attacks by the Shiite resistance group.In July 2006, Israel waged war on Lebanon in retaliation for the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. For 34 days, the militia surprised its opponents with sophisticated weaponry and highly trained fighters as well as an unprecedented number of rocket attacks into the inside of Israel.In February 2011, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said the Egyptian revolution is bound to change not only the region, but also the entire world. “Today, with your voices, blood and steadfastness, you are retrieving the dignity of the Arab people; the dignity which was humiliated by some rulers of the Arab world for decades,” he told Egyptian revolutionaries.
In January 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of Davos after a heated debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres over Israel’s 2008 invasion of Gaza and after giving a speech slamming the Hebrew state for the atrocities committed against civilians in the strip and accusing the rest of the world of cowardice and inaction. Putting aside the first’s “suspicious” ties with Iran and what they imply as far as Shiite infiltration is concerned or speculations about Hezbollah’s involvement in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and also putting aside rumors about second’s keenness to restore the “glories” of the Ottoman Empire and apprehensions of the way his Islamist tendencies might undermine the only secular state in the region and which constitutes a pattern several liberal intellectuals look up to, the two men have for the past couple of years been hailed as heroes in Egypt even by those who had strong reservations on their ideologies or internal policies. The “heroism” bestowed by Egyptians upon Messrs. Nasrallah and Erdogan, from my own point of view, was emotional rather than political, for both men provided them with an example they have not seen for years, particularly since Mubarak came to power since even Nasser and Sadat were looked upon as heroes in some way or another.
The comparison between Messrs. Erdogan and Nasrallah might seem far-fetched for many since one is the prime minister of his country while the other is the leader of a militia specialized in guerilla warfare and labeled terrorist by several world power, yet let me point out that within the context of the resentment Egyptians felt for their president for his subservience to the U.S. and Israel made all those demarcations fall and rendered the two men simply “brave,” “honest,” and “strong.”
Wouldn’t both Mr. Nasrallah and Mr. Erdogan been in a slightly better position now that they support the Syrian regime had they not repeated those empty slogans about Palestine or Egypt? In fact, there is a double benefit in that. They would not be as loathed as they are now since being always the devil is one thing and being the devil now when a couple of minutes ago a halo popped out of your head is another. Let them just stay silent so they won’t be faced by those waves of anger and this spat of disgust. They better become like Hitler—Nazi all through—and always bear in mind that no one seemed to have been shocked when Stalin starting killing members of his own Communist Party or when Slobodan Milosevic turned out to be the mastermind of the Bosnian genocide campaign. Instead of bearing the weight of the masks and the health hazards this might entail on the skin and the respiratory system, they should have left their faces bare so that we could have seen the malicious grins and the sly eyes from the start. The effect of the sudden removal of the mask is traumatic for both the one who wears the mask and those who witness the taking off process, so why bother? In The Phantom of the Opera, Christine insisted on seeing the Phantom’s face and when she did, it was the beginning of the end, for she realized how repulsed she will always be and he realized she will never be his. Had he deposed of the mask before he first met her, they would certainly not have lived happily ever after, but at least each of them would have known where he/she stands and both would have been spared the shock that accompanies the discovery.In Egypt, we refer to an insolent person as one with “a bare face.” Well, that is how it is supposed to be from now on. Better insolent than hypocrite! Masks have become démodé and faces are back this summer… so better stay as “stylish” as you are always known to be! Hmmmm......Erdogan ,Nasrallah "The Masks are off".Read the full story here.

  • Israel Minister: Strike on Iran Could Be Necessary.(Fox).MOSCOW – An Israeli Cabinet minister said the civilized world must take joint action to avert the Iranian nuclear threat, including a pre-emptive strike if necessary.Moshe Yaalon — the minister for strategic affairs — made the statement in an interview with Russia's Interfax news agency released Monday ahead of a visit to Moscow."We strongly hope that the entire civilized world will come to realize what threat this regime is posing and take joint action to avert the nuclear threat posed by Iran, even if it would be necessary to conduct a pre-emptive strike," Yaalon was quoted by Interfax as saying.Yaalon wouldn't discuss who might deal the strike, saying the entire world, not just Israel, must be concerned about the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran."An Iran possessing nuclear weapons would be a threat to the entire civilized world," he was reported as saying.Yaalon's spokesman Ofer Harel told The Associated Press later Monday that the minister was repeating Israel's position that all options are on the table and not calling for anybody to attack Iran.Iran has insisted its nuclear program is peaceful, but the U.S., Israel and many others believe it is cover for developing atomic weapons.Hmmmm......A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. Read the full story here.

  • Turkish group: Israel won't dare attack us.(Ynet).Pro-Palestinian activists told Israel on Monday not to interfere in a planned aid flotilla to Gaza in late June, barely a year after Israeli commandos boarded an aid ship killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American. Holding a news conference on the deck of the Mavi Marmara where the May 31 2010 confrontation occurred, a coalition of 22 activist groups called on governments to ensure there was no re-run of the incident."They will not attack. We don't believe they will repeat the same big mistake against humanity," said Huseyin Oruc, a spokesman for the Turkey-based IHH Islamic charity. The activists later held a minute's silence for those who were killed in 2010. "It is the Mavi Marmara, it is a peace boat and the other 14 boats are also peace boats," he told the news conference on the ship, overlooking the Golden Horn inlet in Istanbul, as workmen carried out maintenance work on the decks below. In an interview with Reuters on Monday Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the onus was on Israel to avoid any repeat of the bloodshed, adding it should abandon its illegal blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians living in the enclave. "We are sending a clear message to all those concerned. The same tragedy should not be repeated again," he said. The minister added that democratic governments cannot stop their citizens launching another pro-Palestinian flotilla to Gaza."No democratic country can think that they have full control over these NGOs (non-government organizations)," he said. But Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned that future flotillas would be stopped for security reasons and accused IHH of provocation, setting the stage for a possible confrontation. He said Turkey was not acting responsibly. "No responsible country allows its citizens to go to conflict areas, areas under dispute and clashes, in which they can get hurt. We have had great success with all of the region's countries except Turkey," he told a TV interview in Jerusalem.Hmmmmm........Why not cross over land, this is a deliberate provocation trying to break the blockade?Read the full story here.

  • Ratko Mladic loses extradition appeal.(Al-Jazeera).Serbian judges reject appeal by former Bosnian Serb general's against his extradition to UN war crimes court.A Serbian court has rejected an appeal by Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander, against his extradition to a UN war crimes court in The Hague.The 69-year-old will be extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) "as soon as possible," Bruno Vekaric, Serbia's deputy war crimes prosecutor, told the AP news agency.The move on Tuesday came shortly after the Belgrade court said it had received the appeal.Mladic's lawyers have said he is too ill to travel to the court in the Netherlands, saying that he has suffered a number of strokes and has a paralysed arm.Milos Saljic, representing Mladic, said he is not mentally and physically fit to stand trial and has asked for a team of doctors to examine his client.The former general is charged by the tribunal for atrocities committed by his Serb troops during the war, including the notorious Srebrenica massacre where around 8,000 Muslim men and boys were rounded up and killed, and the 44-month long seige of Sarajevo which left an estimated 10,000 people dead.Earlier on Tuesday Mladic was allowed to visit the grave of his daughter who committed suicide during the 1992-95 war.He was let out of his jail cell and taken under tight security to the red marble grave in a Belgrade suburb on Tuesday morning.Ana Mladic took her own life at the age of 23 in 1994 with her father's pistol. Media speculated that she was depressed because of her father's role in the war, but Mladic has insisted she was killed by his enemies.Bruno Vekaric, Serbia's deputy war crimes prosecutor, said Mladic was at the grave for a few minutes.Europe's most wanted war crimes fugitive was arrested Thursday in a village north of Belgrade after 16 years on the run.His son Darko Mladic said on Sunday that his father insists he "had nothing to do with" the Srebrenica massacre and had in fact saved lives.However Vekaric has accused Mladic of using delaying tactics and said nothing should prevent his extradition to tribunal."Doctors are saying he's capable of standing trial," Vekaric said.On Monday, Boris Tadic, the Serbian president, rejected speculation that authorities had known of Mladic's hiding place and delayed his arrest to coincide with a visit by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton."Any such comment makes no sense," Tadic told the AP news agency."The truth is that we arrested Ratko Mladic the moment we discovered him."The EU had repeatedly said that Serbia could begin pre-membership talks only after it arrested the wartime Bosnian Serb commander.Read the full story here.

  • US firm seeks legal action to ensure Egypt keeps gas flowing to Israel.(Al-Arabia).US investors in the East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG) have taken legal steps against the Egyptian government to ensure gas flow resumes to Israel, an official in a partnering firm with EMG told Reuters on Monday.The American firm EGI which is also a partner in EMG said that it was seeking international arbitration over what it contended was Egypt's failure to protect its investment as stipulated in a US-Egyptian agreement.EMG which exports Egyptian natural gas to Israel had its work disrupted in late April when supplies were halted for more than a month following explosions on Egypt's side of the pipeline in the wake of the country's political turmoil and ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.In a letter to the Egyptian government, EGI accused Egypt of "failing to provide EMG with full protection and security" for its investment and "refusing to resume delivery of gas to EMG."There was no immediate official comment from Egypt.The official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Reuters that arbitration, which could lead to a ruling that Egypt violated its agreement and force it to pay a large compensation, could take place in Washington DC within six months."We don't think there is a political decision to stop gas exports to Israel, but rather a problem in the decision making process within the Egyptian government," he added.The official said EMG invested $550 million in the off-shore pipeline that connects al-Arish, Egypt to Ashkelon, Israel.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday alluded to a weaker Egyptian state when he said that Egypt was having trouble maintaining control in the Sinai Peninsula, where saboteurs had blown up the pipeline, disrupting gas flows to Israel and Jordan."Egypt is currently run by a transition government," Mr. Netanyahu was quoted by an official as telling a parliamentary committee. "Egypt is having difficulty asserting its sovereignty in Sinai. We saw this in the gas explosion."Under an agreement signed in 2005 Israel will receive natural gas from Egypt for 20 years. Egyptians called the deal “unfair” as their country’s gas export to Israel was lower than the market price.Since the April 27 disruption, the official said, Egypt was losing four million dollars a day.Last month, Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharraf said that the government was in the process of reviewing the country’s gas contracts with all of Israel and Jordan in a bid to boost the country’s returns to between three billion to four billion dollars. EMG is owned by Egyptian businessman Hussain Salem, Egypt Natural Gas Co, Thailand's PTT, American businessman Sam Zell, chairman of EGI, Ampal-American Israel Corp and Israel's Merhav.Mr. Salem is a controversial figure known for his close ties to the former Egyptian regime and Mr. Mubarak. He was being investigated for financial violations involving his activities in the oil sector and the export of Egyptian gas to Israel. He fled the country in January and authorities requested Interpol to issue a warrant for his arrest. He was caught in Dubai reportedly with $500 million cash in his possession.Hmmmmmm........."Egypt is having difficulty asserting its sovereignty in Sinai. We saw this in the gas explosion."any plans Bibi?Read the full story here.

  • 'Spain will recognize Palestinian state on 1967 lines'.(JPost).The Palestinian Authority announced on Thursday that Spain has decided to recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines before September. A spanish diplomat told Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath that Spain would support making the state of Palestine a UN member.The announcement came as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Cairo on Monday, under the auspices of Egyptian authorities, with Ramadan Shallah, Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad organization, and his deputy, Ziad Nakhleh.The meeting between Abbas and the Syrian-based Islamic Jihad leaders dealt with ways of consolidating Palestinian national reconciliation, a PA official said.The two sides also discussed the PA security crackdown on Islamic Jihad operatives and supporters in the West Bank, the official said.Islamic Jihad has condemned the ongoing crackdown and urged the PA to release all its men, especially in wake of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation accord that was reached in Cairo three weeks ago.Under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak, Islamic Jihad leaders and members were unwelcome in Egypt.An Islamic Jihad official said that the talks also focused on ways of “confronting future challenges and Israeli threats.” He described the meeting with Abbas as positive and thorough.Abbas, who arrived in Cairo, also held talks with Gen. Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and briefed him on the latest developments surrounding the stalled Middle East peace process.Abbas also briefed Tantawi on the outcome of the emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Qatar last weekend.The ministers voiced their backing for Abbas’s plan to ask the United Nations in September to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines.Abbas is also seeking Cairo’s help in overcoming differences with Hamas over the establishment of a unity government in accordance with the reconciliation agreement.PA negotiator Nabil Shaath announced on Monday that Spain was planning to recognize the Palestinian state before September.Shaath’s announcement came after he met in Ramallah with Spanish Consul-General Alfonso Portable.Shaath said that the PA was pursuing its efforts to secure additional backing and international recognition for the statehood bid.He said that the Spanish diplomat stressed that his country would support making the state of Palestine a member of the UN.Shaath said that he was planning to visit Armenia, Moldavia, the Philippines, Mexico and Columbia to persuade them to support the statehood bid in September.Hmmmmm......On the other hand Spain has yet to recognize the fact that it ceded the island of Gibraltar to Britain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.Read the full story here.

  • Report: Over 400 al-Qaida terrorists now in Sinai.(JPost).Egyptian security official tells Al-Hayyat that Palestinian, Beduin, foreign citizens seeking to carry out attacks, have already attacked.Over 400 al-Qaida members have made their way into the Sinai Peninsula, a senior Egyptian security official told the Al-Hayyat satellite television station on Monday.Egyptian security officials were pursuing the terrorists, who are composed of Palestinians, Beduins and foreign Arab citizens, according to the report. The group was reportedly planning to carry out terror attacks in Egypt, the official said.Additionally, the terrorists carried out "a number of attacks against [Egyptian] security forces in the Sinai city of El Arish," the official told Al-Hayyat.Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday also addressed Egypt's security problems in Sinai. "Egypt has had difficulties exercising its sovereignty over Sinai," he said at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee."We saw this in the two gas pipe explosions that occurred there," Netanyahu said. "What's happening in Sinai is that global terrorist organizations are meddling there and their presence is increasing because of the connection between Sinai and Gaza."Read the full story here.
  • Related - Security Chaos and Tribal Clashes in Sinai.In northern Sinai, the Egyptian security apparatuses are hunting over 400 al-Qaeda members suspected of involvement in attacks on security facilities in Rafah and Al-'Arish and of planning further terror operations on Egyptian soil.In Nuweiba, dozens of armed Bedouin tribesmen have shut down the sea port, halting the movement of passengers and goods. In Al-'Arish a conflict has broken out between two Bedouin tribes, each of them claiming that the other has kidnapped some of its members. Tribesmen in the city have threatened to block major roads in protest of the collapse of security in Sinai.Source.

  • Bangladesh woman cuts off 'attacker's' penis.(BBC).Police in southern Bangladesh say a woman cut off a man's penis during an alleged attempt to rape her and took it to a police station as evidence.The incident took place in Mirzapur village, Jhalakathi, about 200km (124 miles) south of the capital, Dhaka.Monju Begum, 40, a married mother of three, told police that neighbour Mozammel Haq Mazi forced his way into her shanty and started assaulting her.Mr Mazi, who denies the accusation, has been admitted to a nearby hospital."We will arrest him once his condition gets better," police spokesman Abul Khaer told the BBC."She said she fought back and cut off his penis and brought it to our police station in a polythene bag to prove that Mr Mazi tried to rape her," police spokesman Abul Khaer told the BBC. "She has registered a case accusing him of attempted rape," he said."It is quite an unusual incident. As far as I am aware, this is the first time that a woman has brought a severed penis to the police station as evidence."Monju Begum told police that Mr Mazi, a married father of five, had been harassing her for the past six months. But Mr Mazi denied the allegations."We were having an affair and recently she suggested that both of us can go and settle down in Dhaka," Mr Mazi told the BBC from the hospital in nearby Barisal. "I refused and told her that I cannot leave my wife and children, so she took revenge on me." Prof AMSM Sharfuzzaman, a senior surgeon at the Sher-e-Bangla Medical College and Hospital in Barisal town, told the BBC it had not been possible to reattach the organ."Police brought his severed penis several hours after the incident," he said."We are treating him so that he can urinate normally without the penis."Read the full story here.
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