Saturday, February 12, 2011

French PM calls for stronger sanctions on Iran

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon called in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for stronger sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

“In Istanbul, in January, Iran opposed our renewed proposal for serious dialogue over its nuclear programme,” Fillon said aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

“To convince Iran to return to the negotiating table, we’ll have to strengthen sanctions,” he told military personnel on the French navy’s flagship which is holding joint exercises with the Saudi military.

On Friday, a Western diplomat said in Washington that the world’s major powers would consider tougher, non-UN measures against Iran to include financial as well as oil and gas sanctions.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Hebron: we're running a Marathon

In previous years the race was confined to Jewish areas in Hebron. But the 3rd Hebron Run will pass, for the first time, inside Hebron itself.

The race is supported by the Israeli Ministry of Sports and the State of Israel.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

US: NASA rocket to bear name of Egyptian woman killed in anti-govt protests

Cairo, 10 Feb. (AKI) - The United States space agency NASA has okayed the naming of one of its spaceships after a young Egyptian woman killed in late January during an anti-goverment protest, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry-al-Youm.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Egypt’s Uprising May Reignite Iran’s Green Movement

(Forbes - 9 Feb 2011)

Feb. 11 marks the 32nd anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran. The uprising had a broad base — communists, liberal democrats and Islamists all played a role. But in the end, well-organized religious forces prevailed, and Aytatollah Khomeini and a succession of clerics became Iran’s supreme leaders.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Terrorists Without Borders


It is amusing to watch CNN and the BBC and hear all of the talk about “freedom” coming to Egypt, particularly when the Muslim Brotherhood — one of the main future beneficiaries of a revolution — is presented as a “peaceful conservative religious organization.”

In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood is not just your run-of-the-mill fundamentalist organization; it is the mother of all Islamist fundamentalist organizations, the one from which all others have sprung.

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Hezbollah building up its arms stockpile: Israel

BEIRUT: Israel’s deputy prime minister Tuesday became the latest high-profile Israeli official to accuse Hezbollah of violating international law by increasing its alleged stockpile of arms.

Silvan Shalom, addressing a security conference attended by Israeli ministers, military officials and university professors, warned that Hezbollah was seeking nothing less than total control over Lebanon. “Hezbollah is not only a terrorist organization; they are going to take control of the whole country,” Shalom told conference attendees.

He added the party, “which first ran in the [Lebanese] Parliament saying that they didn’t want to take a lot [of power] in Lebanon,” now has “full control.”

“These days they control the army, the security forces, the police: everything that is needed,” Shalom said.

Read More (Daily Star-Lebanon)

Iran's Minister survives air crash

City of Maku

TEHRAN, Feb 8 (KUNA) -- An Iranian helicopter carrying 15 persons including Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ali Nikzad crashed in Maku in West Azarbaijan province, said press reports here on Tuesday.
The accident took place on Tuesday and resulted in no casualties, Mehr news reported citing IRNA.

Bahrain cyber-activists urge 'revolt'

DUBAI (AFP) - A Facebook page urging "revolt" in Bahrain replicating similar calls elsewhere in the Arab world had by Tuesday amassed more than 6,000 "likes" on the social networking site.

"This is your chance to open the door for political and standard of living reforms, especially with the changes going on now in the Middle East. We will all chant 'The people want to reform the regime' on February 14, a post said.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Obama: U.S. would recognize sovereignty of South Sudan in July

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama congratulated south Sudan on Monday for a referendum to declare its independence and said the United States would recognize it as a sovereign country from July.

Israel to honor memory of Khojali tragedy

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 7 / Trend T. Hajiyev /

The memorial day of the Khojali genocide will be held in Israel on Feb. 24 in connection with the 19th anniversary of the tragedy, the Azerbaijani State Committee on Work with Diaspora reported.

The event will be organized by the Israel-Azerbaijan International Association and Committee of the Azerbaijani diaspora acting at it. It will be attended by Knesset members, leaders of political and social organizations, representatives of municipal authorities, and heads of embassies and diplomatic missions accredited in Israel.

Association President Joseph Chagall and political analyst Aryeh Gut will make a speech at the ceremony. The guests will be presented a documentary on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Armenian military forces committed genocide in Khojaly on Feb. 26, 1992. More than 600 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old men. A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled during the genocide. Eight families were annihilated, 130 children lost one parent, and 25 lost both. Additionally, 1,275 peaceful residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.


Top Jordan website offline; security service blamed

Jordan's most popular news website, Ammonnews, accused the security services on Monday of taking it offline after it published a statement that denounced "a crisis of authority" in the kingdom.

"Ammonnews was completely hacked and closed down. Only the Jordanian security services have the technical capacity to do this," chief editor Basel Okoor told AFP.

The real spectre that is looming on Israel

Calcutta, India, February 7 , 2011

The wadi or streambed between the northern Israeli villages of Zarit and Shtula is eerily quiet. A vast expanse of Lebanese territory, mostly rocky heights with a sprinkling of olive trees, lies on the other side of an Israeli border fence across the road from this streambed which is devoid of even a drop of water at this time.

It was in this wadi that Hezbollah militants, who scaled the border fence, hid for several days before they ambushed and made away with Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev to Aita al-Shaab, a nearby Lebanese village which was dotted with tobacco plantations and pomegranate, lemon or fig orchards and had 11,000 residents at that time.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

News of Egypt unrest spreads in N. Korea via cell phones

The situation in Egypt has gotten North Korean authorities nervous, as the communist country has about 350,000 mobile phones in use and information on the outside world is rapidly spreading into the North via China.

Iranian Warships Arrive At Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

A twelfth group of Iranian warships carrying the Islamic republic's message of peace and friendship has entered the Saudi port of Jeddah.

“A group of warships belonging to the Iranian Navy, which has been sailing across the high seas, has entered the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia with the aim of promoting friendly relations and sending the message of peace and friendship to regional countries,” said Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on Sunday.

“The group of vessels is comprised of Iranian-made warship 'Khark' and destroyer 'Alvand',” the top commander was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Navy.

He expressed hope Iran would be a messenger of peace and friendship for the regional nations by sending its warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea as well as to ports in friendly and Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia.

The top commander underlined the Iranian Navy is set to safeguard the country's national interests and, at the same time, carry a message of peace and security for the 'sensitive and strategic' region of the north Indian Ocean by maintaining its powerful presence in the high seas.

It is noteworthy that a host of Iranian Navy cadets are accompanying the warships as part of their scientific-training program.

Deal signed to supply Iran fuel to Afghanistan

Subtitle: Pecunia Non Olet

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran said on Sunday it has reached an agreement with Afghanistan to supply it with Iranian fuel and that it has started delivering the products to the neighbour's private sector.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Saudi women protest, web activists call for reform

Arab Women, painting by James LeGros

(Reuters) - About 40 women staged a rare demonstration in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Saturday, demanding the release of prisoners held without a trial as part of the kingdom's efforts to fight al Qaeda insurgents, activists said.

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Bahrain: police arrest 127 males in gay party raid


Bahraini police raided a gay party in Manama and arrested 127 mainly homosexuals from the Gulf countries.

The fee-paying party described as "depraved and decadent" by the Bahraini police was organized on Wednesday and brought gay men mainly from GCC countries.

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Leadership of Egypt's ruling party resigns

CAIRO -- The top leadership body of Egypt's ruling party resigned Saturday, including the president's son, but the regime appeared to be digging in its heels, calculating that it can ride out street demonstrations and keep President Hosni Mubarak in office.

The ruling party leaders who resigned included the country's most powerful political figures - and its most unpopular among many Egyptians. The move may have been aimed at convincing protesters in the streets that the regime is sincere in implementing democratic reforms they demand.

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Van which ploughed into Cairo protesters 'might belong to U.S. embassy,' admits State Department

A van which ploughed into crowds of anti-government protesters in Cairo earlier this week might be a diplomatic van owned by America, U.S. officials said today.

They said 20 of the vans had been stolen during a week of upheaval.

The van charge was filmed and posted on YouTube where there have been more than 620,000 views.

The driver seems to be deliberately ramming the vehicle into demonstrators in streets around Cairo's Tahrir Square and their bodies are flung into the air.

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UK: Antisemitic incidents still at record high

Antisemitic incidents have reached the second highest level since records began, according to annual figures released by the Community Security Trust.

The CST confirmed that 639 incidents were reported in 2010, a 31 per cent fall from 2009’s record high of 926, caused by antisemitic reactions to the Gaza conflict in January of that year.

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Merkel against Obama: "Asking for immediate elections in Egypt is a mistake"


Chancellor Angela Merkel implicitly criticizes American president Barak Obama, who calls for the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and to hold new elections.

Egypt tells Iran: mind your own business

CAIRO -(AP)- Egypt's foreign minister has told Iran to mind its own business after Iran's top leader praised the Egyptian uprising as an appropriate response to dictatorial rule.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters Saturday that Iran's Ali Khamenei seems to have forgotten about the crushing of widespread protests in Iran two years ago.

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Palestinian students in Scotland bloc lecture of Lieberman's aide

EDINBURGH -- More than one hundred Palestinian students gathered in the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on Friday to protest a lecture that was to be delivered by an aide to Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The students succeeded in blocking the lecture by Ismail Khaled, the civil advisor to Lieberman, describing him as "traitor" who sold himself to the Israeli occupation.

Police rushed to the scene of the event and escorted Khaled away from the lecture hall amidst anti-Israel slogans.

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Protests outside Ahava in Covent Garden, London (05.02.2011)

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Egypt: Gas Pipeline Blast Blamed On Saboteurs

Huge flames billowed from a pipeline supplying gas from Egypt to Israel near the Gaza Strip on Saturday after an explosion which officials blame on saboteurs. Gas supplies to Israel and Jordan have been cut.