"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning

Young Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica), Sierra de Gredos, Spain Photo: Jose Luis GOMEZ de FRANCISCO/naturepl.com
The Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, was officially declared extinct in 2000 when the last-known animal of its kind was found dead in northern Spain.Shortly before its death, scientists preserved skin samples of the goat, a subspecies of the Spanish ibex that live in mountain ranges across the country, in liquid nitrogen.Using DNA taken from these skin samples, the scientists were able to replace the genetic material in eggs from domestic goats, to clone a female Pyrenean ibex, or bucardo as they are known. It is the first time an extinct animal has been cloned.Sadly, the newborn ibex kid died shortly after birth due to physical defects in its lungs.Other cloned animals, including sheep, have been born with similar lung defects.But the breakthrough has raised hopes that it will be possible to save endangered and newly extinct species by resurrecting them from frozen tissue.It has also increased the possibility that it will one day be possible to reproduce long-dead species such as woolly mammoths and even dinosaurs.Dr Jose Folch, from the Centre of Food Technology and Research of Aragon, in Zaragoza, northern Spain, led the research along with colleagues from the National Research Institute of Agriculture and Food in Madrid.He said: "The delivered kid was genetically identical to the bucardo. In species such as bucardo, cloning is the only possibility to avoid its complete disappearance."Pyrenean ibex, which have distinctive curved horns, were once common in northern Spain and in the French Pyrenees, but extensive hunting during the 19th century reduced their numbers to fewer than 100 individuals.They were eventually declared protected in 1973, but by 1981 just 30 remained in their last foothold in the Ordesa National Park in the Aragon District of the Pyrenees.The last bucardo, a 13-year-old female known as Celia, was found dead in January 2000 by park rangers near the French border with her skull crushed...
By Richard Gray and Roger Dobson
As in the days of Noah...

Livni Slams Olmert Peace Deal which Divides Jerusalem and gives up Holy Sites...

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni adamantly denied allegations Friday that she had "sold" Jerusalem in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and said she vehemently opposed such a deal.The Kadima party chairwoman was accused by her top rival in the upcoming elections for the prime minister's seat, Likud party chairman MK Binyamin Netanyahu, of conspiring with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to offer the PA sweeping concessions that included dividing Jerusalem and internationalizing its holy sites.Livni's spokesman firmly denied the allegations Friday afternoon, telling Israel National News,"The Minister believes that Israeli sovereignty-religiously, nationally, culturally and strategically-must be maintained over a united Jerusalem, including and foremost the religious sites."The Israeli position negotiated by Livni, he said, was that "Jerusalem will be kept united.""Minister Livni was not in the room with Prime Minister Olmert and Chairman Abbas when they had their conversation about this agreement. This is something that someone on the other side did," added her spokesman Gil Messing."It was not the work of Minister Livni. She is against it in all terms that are possible to elaborate and she said so yesterday in the Cabinet."It is equally clear, he warned, that even in a deal that Livni would support, Jews in Judea and Samaria would end up losing their homes. How many, he could not say. "I don't know the numbers. As many [si Jews will remain in their houses where they are right now, however, there will be a division of the land. It is untrue and unfair to say otherwise. "However, whether the plan would ultimately come to fruition will depend on the PA, he added. "It will be an agreement that will represent all of Israel's security needs, and is subject to any change of situation on the ground, including the fight against terrorism," he said, "most importantly the complete dismantling of terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority areas."
Olmert 'Peace Plan': Divide Jerusalem, Give Up Holy Sites
According to the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Acharonot, Olmert agreed to give up Jerusalem's holy sites under an international authority in a plan similar to that of the "Holy Basin" concept advanced during the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Also under the plan, the Jewish State would transfer Arab neighborhoods in the eastern section of the capital to the PA.Interestingly, the move was predicted by Netanyahu Wednesday morning in a keynote address by at the Jerusalem Conference at about the same time that Olmert was meeting in the capital with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell. The plan also calls for at least 60,000 Jewish residents to be expelled from their homes in Judea and Samaria, and Israel would withdraw from most of its territory in the region, with the exception of several large populated blocs. The operation would dwarf the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza, a move which has brought one million Israelis under rocket fire from Gaza, besides leaving thousands jobless and in transitional housing to this day.The new Arab state that would be formed within Israel's current borders would also be provided with geographic contiguity through a series of tunnels and a new highway that would be built to connect Gaza with Judea and Samaria. However, the prime minister refused to allow the immigration of millions of Arabs and their descendants who fled their homes in the State at the behest of Israel's invading enemies during the 1948 War of Independence, a demand the PA has called the "right of return."24-hour Media Silence: 'Private Diplomatic Conversation' A curious cloak of silence by local and international media stifled news of the agreement for almost 24 hours after the initial report was published in the Thursday morning front-page article in Yediot Acharonot.The paper reported that Olmert had closed on the deal with Mitchell during their meeting Wednesday and provided details about the plan. However, by nightfall it was impossible to find a trace of the report, which had inexplicably disappeared from the media radar. An internet search revealed not one reference to the day's discussion, with the exception of a lone AFP article in a Philippine newspaper.Olmert spokesman Mark Regev brushed off late-evening attempts by Israel National News to obtain information about the agreement. "You can ask me anything you want about it," he said," but I don't want to confirm or deny anything. It was a private diplomatic conversation," he said.Netanyahu: Vows Not to Uproot JewsNetanyahu lost no time in going on the offensive Friday morning, telling listeners in an interview on IDF Army Radio that he would not uproot any Jews from their homes if he is elected prime minister in the upcoming polls.The Knesset Opposition leader also said he would not be bound by any deals concluded by the prime minister, and accused Livni of making dangerous concessions in her role as head negotiator with the Palestinian Authority."She said she was a partner to all the decisions made by the Kadima government," he said. "Now we see what she decided and what she conceded."Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Avraham Zuroff and Yehudah Kay contributed to this report.
by Hana Levi Julian
As in the days of Noah....

Netanyahu vows to keep Jerusalem undivided

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that he would protect the unity of Jerusalem if he were elected premier on Feb. 10.“We have demonstrated in the past, and will continue to demonstrate our commitment to a complete, undivided Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu, former prime minister and chairman of rightist Likud Party, during the final day of the 13th World Jewish Congress Conference in Jerusalem.Control over Jerusalem, which Israel captured during the June 1967 War, has been seen as the most sensitive and thorniest issue of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.On Monday, Netanyahu stirred up another hornet’s nest by saying if elected he would expand Orthodox Jewish settlements in the West Bank to accommodate the “natural growth” of these settlers. Yesterday, he defended the expansion of housing in East Jerusalem.“What would have happened had we not built all those neighborhoods?” Netanyahu asked.“Jerusalem would have been choked.” Moreover, he said, “transferring sovereignty over those areas to the Palestinian Authority is not an option. Everyone knows what will happen if we were to leave those areas and divide Jerusalem. Someone will enter-and that someone will be Hamas.” Netanyahu also vowed to fight any move by the Obama administration and leftist Israelis to turn the Old City of Jerusalem into an internationally administered site.For his part, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Tuesday to take a tough stance in talks with Israel and said he would tell newly appointed US Middle East envoy George Mitchell that Israel’s Gaza offensive proved it was not intent on peacemaking.“We will do all we can to prove Israel committed crimes that would make your skin crawl,” Abbas said, referring to the Geneva Conventions. “We want the world to give us justice for once. Israel does not want peace, otherwise it would not have done this. We need to understand this and tell it to those coming from Europe and America.”
By Mohammed Mar’i Arab News
As in the days of Noah....

Hamas Leaders Afraid to Use Cellular Phones

Security sources revealed Thursday that senior Hamas leaders communicate only by handwritten notes.They refrain from communicating by cell phone, radio, or internet out of fear that Israel could then locate them.In addition, the sources said that there is almost no communication between Hamas leaders in Gaza and Hamas leaders in Damascus because of this fact.The sources emphasized that it is difficult to negotiate with Hamas under these circumstances.
As in the days of Noah...

Venezuela synagogue vandalized

Vandals smashed items in an interior room where the Torah is kept, officials said.
Books and papers are strewn on the floor of an office in the synagogue
CARACAS, Venezuela-Armed men forced their way into a Caracas synagogue,defacing its administrative offices with anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalizing an interior room where the Torah is kept, officials said.About 15 men forced their way into the Mariperez Synagogue in Venezuela's capital about 10 p.m. Friday, staying until about 3 a.m.,police said.They tied up a security guard at the synagogue before vandalizing the rooms.Graffiti left at the scene included the phrases "Damn the Jews," "Jews out of here" and "Israel assassins."The men also left behind a picture of a devil, authorities said.The men stole computers and administrative papers or documents, officials said. They did not cover their faces, but took the recordings from security cameras with them.The synagogue had canceled services in recent weeks because of a feared backlash from the Israeli military operations in Gaza, which resulted in the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Venezuela.
As in the days of Noah...

U.N:Myanmar Faces Food Shortage

Myanmar is facing a food shortage largely due to last year's deadly Cyclone Nargis, which destroyed nearly all the rice crops in the fertile Ayeyarwaddy delta, the United Nations said Wednesday.Rice production in the cyclone-affected areas of Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon, the largest city and former capital of Myanmar, is expected to be 50 percent of last year's, according to the report issued by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).Rat infestation in western's Myanmar's Chin State has also contributed to the food shortage, the report says."Access to food remains the critical challenge for the poorest people and for vulnerable populations in remote areas of Myanmar," Chris Kaye, WFP's representative for Myanmar, said in a written statement. "And for many of those affected by Cyclone Nargis, who are engaged in rebuilding their lives and livelihoods,the limited delta harvest means they will continue to rely on assistance to meet their food needs."Although rice production is expected to be adequate this year because of strong crops in other areas of the country, access to food remains a serious challenge to Myanmar's poor, especially in the delta region, the report said.More than 5 million people fall below the food poverty line and emergency food aid is still needed in cyclone-affected areas, the report said. The cyclone also hurt the cattle and fishing industries, contributing to the food crisis. "Humanitarian assistance has not restored the production capacity of small to medium-sized farms," He Changchui, FAO's Asia-Pacific regional chief, said in a written statement."Farmers and fishers are unlikely to self-finance their needs this year, thus entering into a spiral of pauperization of the delta."
As in the days of Noah...

Polls Close in Iraq Elections,No Major Violence

BAGHDAD-Iraqis passed through security checkpoints and razor-wire cordons to vote Saturday in provincial elections that are considered a crucial test of the nation's stability as U.S. officials consider the pace of troop withdrawals.There were no reports of major violence.Polls closed at 6 p.m. (10 a.m. EST) on Saturday-an hour later than planned-after millions of voters cast ballots for influential regional councils around most of Iraq.Officials said counting would begin Sunday with preliminary results not expected before Tuesday.Voting ended with no reports of major violence, though voters at some polling stations complained that their names did not appear on lists. Balloting was extended for one hour to accommodate voters.Although the voting was generally peaceful, a shooting occurred in Baghdad's Sadr City district. Shiite lawmaker Ghufran al-Saidi said a military officer opened fire and injured two people after voters chanted slogans at a polling station.But Iraq's military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, told Al-Arabiya television that the shooting occurred after some people tried to carry mobile phones through security cordons. One person was killed and one injured, he said.The reason for the conflicting accounts was not immediately clear.In Tikrit, about 80 miles north of Baghdad, three mortar shells exploded near a polling station, but caused no casualties, said police, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media...
By AP
To read more go to:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,486164,00.html
As in the days of Noah....

New Ebola Cases in the Philippines

Meningitis Outbreak in India

PESTILENCE WATCH:Zimbabwe cholera cases pass 60,000

More than 60,000 people have now been infected with cholera in Zimbabwe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).Latest figures released Friday from the organization also show that 3,161 people have died from the disease since August 2008. In December, WHO spokesman Paul Garwood told CNN the organization an estimated 60,000 people would be infected with cholera in the "worst case scenario."But that number now stands at 60,401 and shows no sign of abating the agency said.The WHO, a Geneva, Switzerland-based organization, said "drastic action," was now needed to curb one of the world's largest outbreaks of cholera.The UN agency called for "political differences to be put aside" and for international intervention to deal with the crisis."We are dealing with an extraordinary public health crisis that requires from us all an extraordinary public health emergency response, and this must happen now before the outbreak causes more needless suffering and death," the WHO's Dr Eric Laroche said on its Web site."Political differences need to be put aside, economic barriers overcome, health services in the country's periphery strengthened and community awareness to respond enhanced to save many more people from dying due to a disease that can be readily prevented and treated,"he added.Since August, the cholera epidemic has swept through a country wracked with a political and economic crises. It has also coincided with a nearly five-month-long strike by doctors and nurses who are demanding salaries in foreign currency.Cholera is an intestinal disease caused by bacteria in contaminated water.The epidemic has been aggravated by erratic water supplies, shortages of water purification chemicals, broken water and sewer pipes and uncollected garbage from a waste-disposal system that has collapsed.Children can be seen playing on heaps of uncollected garbage in the suburbs of most urban areas in Zimbabwe.In early December, President Robert Mugabe's government declared the cholera epidemic a national emergency, paving the way for aid from international groups such as Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, W.H.O., the U.N. Children's Fund and USAID.But that assistance has not yet improved the situation, and the disease has spread to new areas since then."The problem in Zimbabwe is that the infrastructure is obsolete, especially when it comes to water sanitation. People are going for months without tap water in towns," said Peter Hinn, the director of a German group called Welt Hunger Hilfe (World Hunger Help), which is helping to fight cholera in Zimbabwe."In rural areas, 60 to 70 percent of boreholes (wells) are not working. So the international community might have come in but they have to address this infrastructure."Zimbabwe was already suffering an enormous economic crisis, with a hyperinflationary economy and shortages of all essentials including food, fuel, cash, foreign currency and electricity.The country's rainy season peaks in January or February and ends in late March, and Zimbabwean Health Minister David Parirenyatwa warned the epidemic could get worse during that time as runoff from the rains spreads the bacteria to other rivers, streams and wells.Mugabe declared in mid-December that the cholera epidemic had slowed, but health experts differed with him and the latest figures seem to contradict his statement.
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/01/30/Zimbabwe.cholera.cases/index.html
As in the days of Noah...

Worldwide Currency System has already been presented to US by EU leaders

EU President Nicholas Sarkozy and European Commission President J. M. Barroso travelled to Washington--last October--to press for a sweeping overhaul of the Global financial system to include a blueprint for a Worldwide Currency System at a crunch meeting with George Bush...

FBI Cuts Ties With CAIR Following Terror Financing Trial

The FBI is severing its once-close ties with the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, amid mounting evidence that it has links to a support network for Hamas. All local chapters of CAIR have been shunned in the wake of a 15-year FBI investigation that culminated with the conviction in December of Hamas fundraisers at a trial where CAIR itself was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator.The U.S. government has designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.An official at the FBI's headquarters in Washington confirmed to FOX News that his office directed FBI field offices across the country to cut ties with local branches of CAIR.In Oklahoma,FBI officials had worked with CAIR's local branch from its founding in 2007 and attended the fundraising banquet that launched the office.But just over a year later, the local FBI froze all its programs involving CAIR.FOXNews.com has obtained an Oct. 8, 2008, letter sent by James E. Finch, special agent in charge of Oklahoma City, canceling a session with local Muslim organizations "as a result of the planned participation by the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)."
Click here to read the letter, which was provided by the watchdog group the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The new policy marks a major shift for the FBI, which has long been close to CAIR. The agency has previously invited CAIR to give training sessions for agents and used it as a liaison with the American Muslim community.CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad,(picture left) attended a post-Sept. 11 meeting with then-FBI director Robert Mueller, and he met with other top brass as recently as 2006. But that was before Awad was shown to have participated in planning meetings with the Holy Land Foundation, five officials of which were convicted in December of funneling $12.4 million to Hamas.
Click here to see the government's evidence in the Holy Land Foundation case.
Prosecutors identified CAIR's chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmad, as an unindicted co-conspirator in that trial, and Special Agent Lara Burns testified that CAIR was a front group for radical organizations operating in the U.S.CAIR denies that it conspired in the case and has sued unsuccessfully to have its name removed from the list of co-conspirators.It also is protesting the FBI's decision to sever relations."This is an unfortunate legacy of the Bush administration's misguided and counterproductive efforts to marginalize mainstream American Muslim organizations," CAIR's national office said in a statement to FOXNews.com."It is not surprising that we would be singled out by those in the previous administration who sought to prevent us from defending the civil rights of American Muslims."But not all CAIR branches have been told of the FBI's new policy."Locally we have not had any reports, we have no letters from the FBI to suggest that" ties were being severed, said Ahmed Rehab, a spokesman in CAIR's Chicago office."It's a working relationship and that remains in place."It remains unclear whether CAIR's national office is still in contact with the FBI, as a formal statement from the bureau seemed to hold out the possibility for renewed engagement."The FBI has had to limit its formal contact with CAIR field offices until certain issues are addressed by CAIR's national headquarters," said FBI spokesman John Miller."CAIR's leadership is aware of this. Beyond that, we have no further comment."CAIR keeps its headquarters in Washington and runs more than 30 offices in 19 states.But the national outreach programs that it once helped coordinate with the FBI may now be in doubt.News of the split comes as President Obama has been reaching out to the Muslim community to build closer relations.Obama granted his first television interview as president to Al-Arabiya, an Arabic-language news network based in Dubai, a move widely interpreted as extending an olive branch to Muslims at home and abroad.
CAIR told FOXNews.com that it was hoping for improved ties with the new president. "We look forward to better relations with the Obama administration,"the organization's D.C. office said in its statement.
FOX News' Mike Levine contributed to this report from Washington.
By Joseph Abrams

As in the days of Noah....

Gaza Militants Fire Rocket Into Israel

JERUSALEM-An Israeli military spokesman says that Palestinian militants fired a rocket from Gaza toward Ashkelon.The spokesman said the rocket was fired early Saturday.He cannot be named according to military regulations.It is the first rocket fired from Gaza since Thursday. Israeli forces and Gaza militants are meant to holding to a truce, but it has been breached several times. The rocket exploded before landing, and nobody was injured. There was no claim of responsibility from Palestinian militant groups.
By AP
As in the days of Noah...

"Time for a new world order":Australian PM

KEVIN RUDD has denounced the unfettered capitalism of the past three decades and called for a new era of "social capitalism" in which government intervention and regulation feature heavily.In an essay to be published next week, the Prime Minister is scathing of the neo-liberals who began refashioning the market system in the 1970s, and ultimately brought about the global financial crisis."The time has come, off the back of the current crisis, to proclaim that the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years has failed, that the emperor has no clothes," he writes of those who placed their faith in the corrective powers of the market."Neo-liberalism and the free-market fundamentalism it has produced has been revealed as little more than personal greed dressed up as an economic philosophy. And, ironically, it now falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself."Mr Rudd writes in The Monthly that just as Franklin Roosevelt rebuilt US capitalism after the Great Depression, modern-day "social democrats" such as himself and the US President, Barack Obama, must do the same again. But he argues that "minor tweakings of long-established orthodoxies will not do" and advocates a new system that reaches beyond the 70-year-old interventionist principles of John Maynard Keynes."A system of open markets, unambiguously regulated by an activist state, and one in which the state intervenes to reduce the greater inequalities that competitive markets will inevitably generate," he writes.He urges "a new contract for the future that eschews the extremism of both the left and right".He mocks neo-liberals "who now find themselves tied in ideological knots in being forced to rely on the state they fundamentally despise to save financial markets from collapse". He advocates tighter regulation and policing of global finances, and identifies the immediate challenge as restoring global growth by 3 per cent of gross domestic product, the amount it is expected to fall in 2009.Next week, as Parliament resumes, his Government will chip in with a second economic stimulus package.Mr Rudd commits to keeping budgets in surplus "over the cycle", meaning deficits should be temporary.In a further sign the Government is not contemplating additional tax cuts, which would deliver a permanent hit to revenue, he stresses that stimulus measures have to be paid for when the economy recovers.Mr Rudd singles out Thatcherism as a culprit, as well as the former Howard government. His essay implicitly attacks the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, who this week urged the free market be allowed to dictate commercial property values as he slammed a Government measure to prop them up.Mr Rudd's essay follows the blast Mr Obama gave Wall Street bankers yesterday for awarding themselves $28 billion in bonuses last year at the same time as they were being bailed out by taxpayers.In a message to Mr Obama and the US Congress, Mr Rudd counselled against erecting trade barriers. "Soft or hard, protectionism is a sure-fire way of turning recession into depression as it exacerbates the collapse in global demand."The message was reinforced in Davos yesterday when the Trade Minister, Simon Crean, described the "buy American" provisions of the new Obama stimulus package as "very worrying". "On the face of it, it looks like it contravenes commitments made to the World Trade Organisation," he said.
with Paola Totaro
By Phillip Coorey Chief Political Correspondent
As in the days of Noah....

Anger as UK student sit-ins protest Gaza war

LONDON, England-Britain's top student body has urged protesters to abandon nationwide university sit-ins over Israel's military actions in Gaza as others voice concern over increasing hostility towards Jewish students. The National Union of Students said while it understood feelings behind the several weeks of protests on a scale rarely seen in Britain since the 1960s, the levels of disruption was now at an unacceptable level with heightened tensions on campuses."The protesters need to find new ways to campaign vocally without causing disruption to students on campus" Wes Streeting, N.U.S. president, told CNN.The protests have also resulted in negative repercussions towards Jews on campuses, according to the country's Union of Jewish Students."Where there has been occupations, there has been an increase in harassment, intimidation and hostility towards Jewish students," said Yair Zivan, the group's campaign directors. Other students have also been affected. Cambridge University's Students' Union President Mark Fletcher told CNN complaints were made by students to the university about the sit-in of its prestigious law faculty.A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham, in central England, said students were missing lectures as a result of the protests."We are extremely disappointed that a small number of individuals have chosen to disrupt teaching and learning in this way," he said.Social networking sites have also become embroiled in the protests, with students on both sides using the Internet to drive their campaigns.A Facebook group against the action at Cambridge University says the protesters were "blackmailing our university and undermining academic independence."However, students are refusing to leave until the universities meet demands including: The issuing of a statement denouncing Israeli attacks in Gaza; cutting ties to the arms trade, the sending of surplus books and computers to Gaza, scholarships for Palestinian students and the dropping of any legal, financial, or academic action against the protesters.The size of the protest groups vary from a few people to more than 100, with crowds swelled by high profile speakers, such as Tony Benn, a former British Cabinet minister and president of anti-conflict body Stop the War Coalition.The campaign started mid-January at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, where students staged a sit-in at a British Ministry of Defence exhibition on campus.Occupations are currently ongoing at London's Queen Mary College and King's College and have spread across the country to campuses in, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Coventry and Manchester.While no single organization appears to be coordinating the protests, the number of universities affected appears to have grown with the help of social networking sites.Blogs are being used to communicate between campuses and report on the latest in negotiations.John Cooper, one of 20 students sleeping in a lecture theatre at King's College University of London, told CNN: "We're really determined and we'll stay as long as we need to." Cooper added he is confident the university would agree to all demands, including the revocation an honorary doctorate awarded to Israeli President Shimon Peres.King's College declined to comment on protesters' demands.Other students defended their campaign method. "The occupation has proved to be a viable way to campaign" said Victoria Lazzari, a protesting student at King's College.At the London School of Economics organizers were claiming victory after a number of their demands were met by the university.The school's director, Howard Davies, released a statement saying: "All parties should respect the integrity of scholarship and intellectual and academic freedom and should work to minimize suffering."The statement added that the university will waive application fees for students from Gaza and the West Bank, as well as organize a fundraising day in conjunction with the Students Union in support of a charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians.
By Olivia Feld
As in the days of Noah...

Iran says Obama's offer to talk shows US failure

US President Barack Obama's offer to talk to Iran shows that America's policy of "domination " has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday."This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed," Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency. "Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change,"he added. After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to "unclench its fist".In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its "crimes" against Iran and saying he expected "deep and fundamental" change from Obama.I ranian politicians frequently refer to the US administration as the "global arrogance", "domineering power" and "Great Satan".Tensions with the United States have soared over Iran's nuclear drive and Ahmadinejad's vitriolic verbal attacks against Washington's close regional ally Israel.Former US president George W. Bush refused to hold talks with the Islamic republic-which he dubbed part of an "axis of evil"-unless it suspended uranium enrichment, and never took a military option to thwart Tehran's atomic drive off the table.The new administration of Obama has also refused to rule out any options-including military strikes-to stop Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.Iran denies any plans to build the bomb and insists its nuclear programme is solely aimed at peaceful ends.


http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.073ba2ee2f1f00668848a4655420fedc.411&show_article=1

As in the days of Noah....

Friday, January 30, 2009

OOPS! Obama Tries To Enter The Oval Office Through A Window

I’m only posting this because of the way the media would have responded had this been Bush. Quite simply, they would have been capering and chattering with glee like monkeys on acid.
But you gotta admit, it’s pretty funny:
It looks like President Obama hasn’t gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door—located a few feet to his right.
That had to ruffle his dignity a bit.
By Pilgrim

As in the days of Noah...

Obama The Hypocrite Cranks The Thermostat In The Oval Office

Here’s what Obama had to say about thermostats on the campaign trail:
We can’t drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we’re living in the desert or we’re living in the tundra and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world’s energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we’ll be fine. Don’t worry about us. That’s not leadership.
Here’s news of Obama cranking the thermostat in the Oval Office to offset winter chills;
NYT: WASHINGTON-The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”
So, whither the leadership Mr. Obama? Or are you just another “do as I say not as I do” limousine liberal? One who uses global warming alarmism to justify all sorts of policies that undermine our freedoms and burden our financial lives while simultaneously living a life of lavish energy consumption?
That’s not change we can believe in.
By Rob

As in the days of Noah....

OBAMA CULT WATCH:CNN T-shirts: 'Obama raises his hand, lifts a nation'...

Earlier this week, WebNewser wrote about ABC and NBC releasing Inauguration-related DVDs in March.Now CNN.com is getting in the Inauguration memorabilia game, with an entire section of CNN.com headline t-shirts about the event. The tagline: "Some of the most historic shirts money can buy."Selling headline t-shirts is not new at CNN.com. But with samples yesterday like "Pole dancers spice up school program" and "Tumbling economy can't stop love," do the Inaugural shirts take the business move to a different level?Canada Free Press editor Judi McLeod thinks CNN is "not only cashing in on the sales of the T-shirts, it provides tangible proof that 'The News is Propaganda.'"What do you think?

As in the days of Noah...

Dawn of new age of industrial unrest in UK...

Gordon Brown’s pledge to create “British jobs for British workers” came back to haunt him yesterday when a dispute over foreign labourers sparked a wave of industrial unrest.Wildcat strikes flared at more than 19 sites across the country in response to claims that British tradesmen were being barred from construction jobs by contractors using cheaper foreign workers.Mr Brown, in Davos for the World Economic Forum, was caught by surprise when a ten-day-old strike at an oil refinery in Lincolnshire sparked copy-cat action at other energy plants. Unions claim that British workers are being barred from jobs because of a European Union directive which allows companies to bring in foreign labour for less than they would have to pay to Britons.The Prime Minister was forced to order an investigation into the claims by the Arbitration and Conciliation Service in order to contain the spreading unrest. But Labour MPs last night emphasised that the wildcat strikes were a warning of mass industrial unrest ahead as the grip of recession tightens on the economy. Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham, urged ministers to act urgently to take the race issue out of the jobs market.Thousands of engineering, construction and maintenance staff from at least 19 sites around the country took action in support of the Lindsey oil refinery employees. Many held placards quoting Mr Brown’s soundbite. Oil refineries, power stations and chemical plants were affected as thousands of staff downed tools.About 1,000 protested outside the Lindsey refinery at North Killingholme, Lincolnshire, where about 100 Italian and Portugese workers have been brought in by contractors in preference, unions claim, to British employees. The dispute prompted sympathy strikes at Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland, the Aberthaw power station near Barry, in South Wales, a refinery in Wilton, Teesside, Kilroot power station in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, a gas terminal at Milford Haven, West Wales, the Fiddlers Ferry power station near Warrington and a number of other smaller sites.The rapid spread of the dispute through key energy facilities revived memories of the fuel protests in September 2000, when unofficial blockades of refineries threatened to bring the county to a standstill. The disruption looks set to continue into next week. A spokesman for British Nuclear Fuels said that 900 contractors at the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria plan to meet before work on Monday to discuss taking their own industrial action.
By Francis Elliott, Sam Coates and Fran Yeoman
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article5622366.ece
As in the days of Noah....

Obama blamed for Korean split

North and South Korea stand on 'the brink of war'

In a significant escalation of tensions,North Korea cancelled all military and political agreements after accusing Seoul of aggressive posturing. Pyongyang's decision to nullify all accords increases the prospect of an armed confrontation on the Peninsula, where over a million soldiers face each other across the Demilitarised Zone that divides the two Koreas.North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea blamed the South for pushing the two countries "to the brink of a war".Pyongyang said it now regarded the maritime border between the two states as "void".The last time the two countries clashed militarily was at the disputed frontier in the Yellow Sea, when their navies fought a deadly gun battle in June 2002.In comments reported by state media in North Korea, the Committee,which is in charge of inter-Korean affairs,claimed that the relationship between the two sides had sunk to a new low."There is neither way to improve (relations) nor hope to bring them on track," the committee was quoted as saying. It described the agreements as "dead documents" and warned the South that its policies would result in its "shameful destruction".Since the start of the year, Pyongyang has been increasingly critical of its neighbour. Earlier this week, it attacked the choice of Hyun In-taek as the new head of South Korea's Unification Ministry,saying it was evidence that its neighbour was planning a confrontation between the two states, a claim denied by Seoul.But the North has reserved its greatest ire for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who it has described as a "traitor".Pyongyang remains furious over Mr Lee's decision last year to end the so-called "sunshine policy", in which North Korea received unconditional economic aid in an effort to encourage reconciliation.Mr Lee has cut the amount of aid given to the North and insists that will continue until progress is made on disarming Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal."The North is using the warning of an armed maritime clash to pressure Seoul to change its hardline stance," said Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.Analysts believe that Pyongyang's move is also an attempt to focus the attention of America's new president on the Peninsula. The Six-Party talks aimed at ending North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons have been stalled since last August, with the North's leader Kim Jong-il thought to be waiting to see the approach of President Obama towards the rogue state.Kim, who is believed to have recovered from the stroke he suffered in August, wants closer ties with the US. Years of global isolation have left the North impoverished and reliant on aid from China and South Korea to survive. Having long used its nuclear capability as a way of extracting concessions from the US, the North has come under increased pressure from Beijing to restart the Six-Party Talks.South Korea expressed "deep regret" at the North's cutting of ties. "We urge North Korea to accept our call for dialogue as soon as possible," said Kim Ho-Nyoun, the spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry. But the South's armed forces have been on high alert since earlier in the month and it has vowed to maintain the border in the Yellow Sea, which was imposed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War by the US-led UN forces. As the conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty, the two Koreas are technically still at war.
By David Eimer in Beijing http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/4397720/North-and-South-Korea-stand-on-the-brink-of-war.html

As in the days of Noah....

North Korea cuts ties with South

U.S. retrieves MP3 player with military files

WELLINGTON-A New Zealand man who bought a second-hand MP3 player that contained U.S. military files on personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq handed it over to U.S. officials on Wednesday, New Zealand media reported.Chris Ogle, 29, bought the $10 MP3 at a thrift shop in Oklahoma but when he plugged it in discovered it contained 60 U.S. military files, said New Zealand television program One News which broke the story.The files contained the names and personal details of American soldiers, including ones who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as information about equipment deployed to bases and a mission briefing, said One News.Some files contained active mobile telephone numbers and social security numbers of military personnel.U.S. embassy officials in New Zealand spoke to Ogle on Tuesday night and swapped his old MP3 player for a new one on Wednesday, New Zealand Press Association said.Ogle said the officials asked him what computers the player's files had been loaded onto and whether he had made copies and then photographed some of the files, but would not say how sensitive the information was."They asked where I'd bought it from, the timeframe that I bought it in," Ogle said.
Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Bill Tarrant
http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE50R26S20090128?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=22&sp=true
As in the days of Noah....

California Court Ruling Affirms Christian Schools

The threat of 'sharia' to America

An Egyptian-born woman whose father died as a martyr for jihad says the West continues to remain ignorant of the threat that Islamic "sharia" law poses to Americans' religious and political freedoms.Author Nonie Darwish claims she was a virtual slave to Islamic law for the first 30 years of her life. In her latest book Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, she continues her personal mission to warn the West, by exposing efforts to force and enforce sharia law on unsuspecting nations around the globe. There is a reason, says Darwish, why the title of her book is Cruel and Usual Punishment."Unfortunately Islamic law is usual practice in the Middle East, in the Muslim world," she explains. "I'm familiar with how it can brainwash people. It can be devastating for the healthy growth of society." Darwish says now that she is in the West, she has noticed many Muslims who are demanding that Islamic sharia law be given to them as a religious right. But according to Darwish, shaira has nothing to do with religion. "This is a very elaborate legal system that can [order you be put] to death if you leave Islam," the author points out. Darwish says no one can afford to be ignorant about the threat of sharia law.
By Chad Groening - OneNewsNow
As in the days of Noah....

Court says Christian school can expel lesbians

An appeals court in California ruled this week in favor of a Christian school in an anti-discrimination case.In September 2005, California Lutheran High School in Wildomar expelled two girls after they admitted to the school principal that they had told other students they were lesbians, and that they had engaged in lesbian conduct with each other-in direct violation of the school's code of conduct. The girls' parents then filed a lawsuit, claiming discrimination against their daughters. Christian Legal Society attorney Tim Tracey is handling the case."The question before the court was whether or not private religious schools were subject to state anti-discrimination laws," he explains. "Essentially does it violate those laws for a private religious school to say we want our students to abide by our beliefs and to live according to rules of conduct that are consistent with those Christian beliefs?" A lower court and now the 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside have ruled in favor of the school. It remains unclear whether this latest ruling will be appealed to the California Supreme Court, a body that has ruled in favor of special rights for homosexuals the past several years. That concerns Tracey. "When the question before it is gay rights versus religious freedom, the California Supreme Court said 'we go with gay rights,'" says Tracey. "And this is obviously a case that I can see the California Supreme Court being very eager to take and to rule on." The case is Doe v. California Lutheran High School Association.
By Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow
As in the days of Noah....

"The on-Going Globalist Agenda"--PART II

"The on-Going Globalist Agenda"--PART I

US Currency Will Collapse Soon

A Very Real New World Order

It is hard to believe, but a majority of Americans (including Christians and conservatives) seem oblivious to the fact that there is a very real, very legitimate New World Order (NWO) unfolding.In the face of overwhelming evidence, most Americans not only seem totally unaware of this reality, they seem unwilling to even remotely entertain the notion.On one hand, it is understandable that so many Americans would be ignorant of the emerging New World Order. After all, the mainstream media refuses to report, or even acknowledge, the NWO. Even "conservative" commentators and talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, or Joe Scarborough refuse to discuss it. And when listeners call these respective programs, these "conservative" hosts usually resort to insulting the caller as being some kind of "conspiracy kook." One host even railed that if anyone questions the government line on 9/11, we should "lock them up and throw away the key." So much for freedom of speech!This is an area-perhaps the central area-where liberals and conservatives agree: they both show no patience or tolerance for anyone who believes that global government (in any form) is evolving. One has to wonder how otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people can be so brain dead when it comes to this issue. It makes one wonder who is really pulling their strings, doesn't it?The list of notable personalities who have openly referenced or called for some kind of global government or New World Order is extremely lengthy. Are all these people "kooks" or "conspiracy nuts"? Why would world leaders--including presidents, secretaries of state, and high government officials; including the media, financial, and political elite--constantly refer to something that doesn't exist? Why would they write about, talk about, or openly promote a New World Order, if there is no such thing?Many of us recall President George Herbert Walker Bush talking much about an emerging New World Order. For example, in 1989, Bush told the students of Texas A&M University, "Perhaps the world order of the future will truly be a family of nations."Later, Bush, Sr. said, "We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order...When we are successful, and we will be, we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders."Bush, Sr. also said, "What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea--a new world order."Bush, Sr. further said, "The world can therefore seize the opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order..."What was President G.H.W. Bush talking about, if there is no such thing as an emerging New World Order? Was he talking out of his mind? Was he hallucinating?England's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said, "We are all internationalists now, whether we like it or not." He continued saying, "On the eve of a new Millennium we are now in a new world. We need new rules for international co-operation and new ways of organizing our international institutions." He also said, "Today the impulse towards interdependence is immeasurably greater. We are witnessing the beginnings of a new doctrine of international community."In 1999, Tony Blair said, "Globalization has transformed our economies and our working practices. But globalism is not just economic. It is also a political and security phenomenon."What is Tony Blair talking about, if there is no emerging New World Order? What does he mean by "a new doctrine of international community"? What does he mean by "new world"? How can one have globalism, which includes "a political and security phenomenon," without creating a New World Order? Is Tony Blair hallucinating?Likewise, former President George W. Bush penned his signature to the Declaration of Quebec back on April 22, 2001, in which he gave a "commitment to hemispheric integration and national and collective responsibility for improving the economic well-being and security of our people."By "our people," Bush meant the people of the Western Hemisphere, not the people of the United States. Phyllis Schlafly rightly reminded us that G.W. Bush "pledged that the United States will 'build a hemispheric family on the basis of a more just and democratic international order.'"Remember, too, that it was G.W. Bush who, back in 2005, committed the United States to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), which is nothing more than a precursor to the North American Community or Union, as outlined in CFR member Robert Pastor's manual, "Toward a North American Community."If there is no such thing as an emerging New World Order, what was G.W. Bush talking about when he referred to "a hemispheric family" and an "international order"?The public statements of notable world leaders regarding an emerging New World Order are copious. Consider the statements of former CBS newsman, Walter Cronkite.In his book, "A Reporter's Life,"Walter Cronkite said, "A system of world order--preferably a system of world government--is mandatory. The proud nations someday will see the light and, for the common good and their own survival, yield up their precious sovereignty..."Cronkite told BBC newsman Tim Sebastian, "I think we are realizing that we are going to have to have an international rule of law." He added,"We need not only an executive to make international law, but we need the military forces to enforce that law." Cronkite also said, "American people are going to begin to realize that perhaps they are going to have to yield some sovereignty to an international body to enforce world law."If there is no emerging New World Order, what is Walter Cronkite talking about? Can there be any doubt that Cronkite is talking about global government? Absolutely not!Now, when Bush, Sr. talks about fulfilling "the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders,"he was talking about the same thing former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was talking about when he said, "The time for absolute and exclusive sovereignty...has passed."The United Nations has been on the forefront of promoting the New World Order agenda since its very inception. In 1995, the UN released a manual entitled, "Our Global Neighborhood." It states, "Population, consumption, technology, development, and the environment are linked in complex relationships that bear closely on human welfare in the global neighborhood. Their effective and equitable management calls for a systematic, long-term, global approach guided by the principle of sustainable development, which has been the central lesson from the mounting ecological dangers of recent times. Its universal application is a priority among the tasks of global governance."If there is no emerging New World Order, what is "global governance" all about? "Who are the movers and shakers promoting global government?" you ask. Obviously, it is the international bankers who are the heavyweights behind the push for global government. Remember, one cannot create a "global economy" without a global government to manage, oversee, and control it...
by Chuck Baldwin--RaidersNewsNetwork.com
To read more go to:

As in the days of Noah...

Al-Qaeda would blow up ‘Christ’s burial site’ says Israeli election favourite Netanyahu

Mr Netanyahu, who claimed to have forecast the destruction of the Twin Towers by Islamic extremists in 1995, said terrorists would target the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Christianity’s holiest site.“Radical Islam is willing and will want to attack the symbolic heart of the Christian religion,”he said.“This will incur a chain reaction we can’t even envision.We will witness an escalation of religious conflict above and beyond the regional conflict we have now.”The leader of the Right-wing Likud opposition recalled that he had warned Islamic terrorists would detonate a nuclear device in the Manhattan World Trade Centre complex in a 1995 book, six years before the September 11 attacks.He claimed that the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre would trigger a clash between religions, much greater than the “regional conflict” that currently wracks the Holy Land.Israel annexed Jerusalem after the 1967 war and has overseen a massive expansion of the city’s Jewish population.The church on the Hill of Calvary is the site of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the Holy Sepulchre, according to the New Testament.It attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims each year and is a spiritual focal point for all the Roman and Eastern rite churches in the city.Any discussion of returning part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, who also claim it as their capital provokes sharp divisions in Israeli politics. The February elections were called after Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and new leader of the Kadima party, failed to form a government to replace outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert because she would not rule out negotiations on the division of Jerusalem.Mr Netanyahu, who boasts of closing down Palestinian offices in Jerusalem and expanding the number of Jewish building projects during previous terms in government, said Likud would not discuss sovereignty over Jerusalem.But he forecast that the most radical groups among Israel would gain a foothold to wage attacks on Israel. He said:“If we move out of even one piece of Jerusalem, Hamas moves in, Iran would have a base to attack us in the heart of our capital.”It emerged yesterday that the size of Jewish settlements on the West Bank had grown by 69 per cent in 2008. Activists with Peace Now reported that Israel’s army was quietly promoting the establishment of new settlements, as well as the expansion of existing outposts.The development appears to violate Israel’s official promises to restrict the unrestrained growth of the settlements.It is another damaging blow to Tony Blair’s credibility as international envoy to the conflict. Since taking up office Mr Blair has negotiated the dismantlement of just one Israeli army checkpoint but the total number has gone up to 699 from 521.
By Damien McElroy in Jerusalem

As in the days of Noah....

IAEA head cancels BBC interview over Gaza aid row

VIENNA,Austria-The head of the U.N. nuclear agency canceled interviews with the BBC over its refusal to air an appeal for victims of the Gaza conflict, saying Wednesday that the decision violated "basic human decency."Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei added an influential voice to growing criticism of Britain's publicly funded broadcaster, which says airing the appeal would have damaged its impartiality in coverage of the conflict.ElBaradei's office said he had canceled scheduled interviews with BBC radio and World Service television because he believes the broadcaster's refusal to air the appeal "violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong."ElBaradei's outspokenness on the issue is unusual for the head of a U.N agency whose mandate has nothing to do with the Middle East or humanitarian issues but it is in keeping with his record.The Egyptian-born diplomat, whose third and final term ends this year, has come under criticism from the U.S, and some other IAEA member nations in the past for comments on Iran, Iraq or other nations under examination for possible violations of nonproliferation commitments that they viewed as exceeding the agency's authority by straying from strictly technical issues.Sky News has joined BBC in deciding not to carry the charity appeal, but much of the criticism has focused on BBC because of its publicly funded status.The BBC said the network regretted ElBaradei's decision and "audiences around the world remain interested in what he has to say about a range of topics and we hope he will do an interview at another time."British lawmakers say that more than 110 of heir colleagues have endorsed motions criticizing the BBC's decision to keep the Gaza appeal off the air.British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused to intervene in the controversy, telling the House of Commons Wednesday that "It is not for us to interfere with the independence of the BBC and of Sky."
Associated Press writer Gregory Katz contributed to this report from London.
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer
As in the days of Noah....

'Perry held talks with Ahmadinejad aide'

Former US Defense Secretary William J. Perry held a series of previously undisclosed meetings last year with a senior adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss Iran's nuclear program, The Washington Times quoted a source close to back-channel talks as saying on Friday.According to the report, the unnamed source called the talks that took place with Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, Ahmadinejad's closest aide, "discussions, not negotiations," and explained that they were aimed at clarifying understanding of the two sides' positions.It was not clear whether Mr. Perry was acting at the behest of the Bush administration or others.The Jerusalem Post could not independently confirm the report.Meanwhile in Washington, an official White House spokesman said that US President Barack Obama is not ruling out military strikes against Iran to stop its nuclear program.Asked if the military option was still on the table, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "The president hasn't changed his viewpoint that he should preserve all his options."Gibbs told reporters that Obama believes "we must use all elements of our national power to protect our interests as it relates to Iran," he said."That includes, as the president talked about in the (election) campaign, diplomacy, where possible, and that we have many issues to work through," he said.Ahmadinejad called Wednesday for "profound changes" in US foreign policy - including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds. Ahmadinejad also urged Washington to withdraw its troops stationed around the world.Two days earlier, Obama reached out to Muslims in in an interview with Al-Arabiya television and stressed the importance of engaging Iran. In his inaugural address, Obama addressed leaders of hostile nations by saying "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."Meanwhile, Gibbs dismissed a report in Thursday's Guardian that the Obama administration was preparing a letter to Iran intended to warm relations and pave the way for direct talks between Washington and Teheran."Neither the president nor the secretary of state has requested nor seen any such letter. That closes the book a little bit on that," he said.Gibbs added that it was "unclear exactly who" US officials would engage with in Iran."There has to be some preparation and an understanding and respect by both sides," before any negotiations can take place, Gibbs said.State Department spokesman Robert Wood said "nobody from the administration has tasked anyone within the White House, the State Department to draft any letter to the Iranians," adding that "there are lots of ideas that are being bandied about.""Until that review is completed, we're not going to be able to outline how we're going to go forward with regard to engaging Iran," stressed Wood.
By JPOST.COM STAFF

As in the days of Noah....

Peres: Erdogan spat 'nothing personal'

Despite his public spat with Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the World Economic Forum over the Gaza fighting, President Shimon Peres said Friday that his relationship with the Turkish prime minister had always been good and remained so.Speaking to reporters in Davos, Peres said Turkey was an ally and an important country, both in the Middle East and the World. Peres said he spoke to Erdogan after the row in which the Turkish prime minister stormed off the stage."I called him up and said, 'I do not see the matter as personal,'" Peres said."My respect for him didn't change.We had an exchange of views-and the views are views."Erdogan said he left not because of a dispute with Peres, but because he was not given time to respond to the president's remarks. Erdogan also complained that Peres had 25 minutes while he was only given 12 minutes.The Prime Minister's Office said that during their phone conversation, the two leaders agreed not to let the incident affect their relationship and that they would continue to cooperate. The PMO said that Erdogan assured Peres that he wasn't angry with him, but with the organizers of the forum. The PMO denied Turkish media reports that Peres had apologized to Erdogan.Meanwhile, Erdogan received a hero's welcome upon his return to Istanbul as some 5,000 supporters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags flooded Istanbul's airport when his plane touched down before dawn.Some outside of the airport gate held banners that applauded his Palestinian stance in Davos. "The conqueror of Davos," one banner read. CNN television said extra buses were put on duty so more people could turn out to welcome him.In brief comments at the airport, Erdogan said he had been insulted. "My responsibility is to protect the honor of the Turkish nation."
By HERB KEINON, AP AND JPOST.COM STAFF
To read more go to:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233050211059&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
As in the days of Noah....

Turkey PM hailed a hero for walkout

Cyprus Searches Iranian Ship Suspected of Carrying Arms For Hamas

NICOSIA,Cyprus-Cypriot authorities on Friday searched a cargo ship suspected by the United States of carrying Iranian arms to Hamas militants in Gaza.Officials refused to divulge any details about the ship or its cargo.The Cypriot-flagged container ship Monchegorsk is anchored off the island's southern port of Limassol, where it arrived Thursday after a stop in Port Said, Egypt. The U.S. military stopped the vessel in the Red Sea last week, but allowed it to continue because the U.S. could not legally stop its journey or seize its cargo.Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias said the ship had violated U.N. resolutions. But he gave no details, saying only that the ship was being searched."We're handling this responsibly,I can't at this time make any remarks that...may create more problems," Christofias said.He added: "We are investigating what it's carrying and I've told you that we must handle these things very responsibly and very seriously and without a lot of clamor in the media."Israel launched a 22-day offensive late last month on Hamas-controlled Gaza to try to end rocket fire on Israeli civilians and halt arms smuggling that has enabled Hamas to threaten southern Israel.Cyprus' Parliament Speaker Marios Garoyian described issues raised by ship as "very sensitive.""Our aim is to resolve the matter in the best possible way without harming the interests of the Republic of Cyprus ... The less that is said the better."
By AP
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,485927,00.html
As in the days of Noah...

Moscow grants $US 20 million to Havana

Russia will provide Cuba with $US 20 million worth of credit, in line with an agreement signed on Friday between the two countries. This comes during the week-long official visit of the Cuban leader to Moscow.

RUSSIA TODAY:"Embargo on Cuba is an anachronism"

Castro Throws First Punch at Obama, Demands Return of Gitmo

HAVANA-Fidel Castro on Thursday threw his first punch at President Obama after several weeks of praise for the new leader, demanding the U.S. return Guantanamo Bay military base to Cuba and criticizing the U.S. defense of Israel. Castro's latest essay, published on an official Web site, came one week after he called Obama "intelligent and noble" and said he would cut back on his writings to prevent interfering with Cuban government decisions.The missive Thursday raised new questions about what role he maintains in policy-making, especially coming while his brother, President Raul Castro, was in Moscow on an official visit.The ailing 82-year-old former president wrote that if the U.S. doesn't give the U.S. base at Guantanamo back to Cuba, it will be a violation of international law and an abuse of American power against a small country.The U.S. president must "respect this norm without any condition," Castro wrote.Obama has ordered the prison for terror suspects on the U.S. base to be closed within a year, but Cuba also demands the return of the 45-square-mile territory the base occupies in the island's east. Raul Castro and other government officials have called for the return of the base, but with less critical words and tone.The U.S., which acquired Guantanamo more than 100 years ago, considers it strategically important to maintain. The treaty granting its use remains in effect unless both Cuba and the U.S. abrogate it or the U.S. abandons the base...
By AP
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,485589,00.html
As in the days of Noah...

Russian-Cuban relations and its basis

Even if the U.S lifts its embargo on Cuban goods, Cuba will still need Russia, says Anna Protsenko, an analyst from the Latin American Institute in Moscow....

Obama supports Israeli 'genocide': Castro

HAVANA-Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro unleashed his first condemnation Thursday of US President Barack Obama, accusing him of following previous US administrations by supporting Israel's "genocide" of the Palestinians.Castro attacked Obama for allegedly continuing the policies of his predecessor George W. Bush in giving unwavering support to Israel, and hence "sharing the genocide against the Palestinians."The former Cuban president highlighted statements made by the Obama administration that reiterated its strong support for the Jewish state, which recently fought a 22-day war against the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.In a foreign policy mission statement on its website, the US administration said its "incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, America's strongest ally in the Middle East."According to the statement, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "support this closeness, stating that the United States would never distance itself from Israel."Castro, who gave up power to his brother Raul in July 2006 for health reasons, said the United States had enabled Israel to become an "important nuclear power," and kept on strengthening the military forces with which Israel "threatens extreme violence against the population of all Muslim countries."In the article, published online on the website cubadebate.cu, the former Cuban president also criticized Obama for suggesting Havana would have to make concessions before Washington considers returning the territory of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay.The territory was leased to the United States indefinitely in 1903 after the US occupation of Cuba during the 1898 Spanish-American war. Havana has previously, but unsuccessfully challenged the lease.Obama is "demanding a change" in communist Cuba's political regime, Castro wrote, adding that this was "a price Cuba has fought against paying for the last half century."Maintaining the controversial military base-which continues to house "war on terror" suspects-on Cuban soil is "against the will of our people, violating the most fundamental principles of international law," said Castro.His comments were in sharp contrast to the warm words the 82-year-old Cuban revolutionary leader reportedly voiced last week for the newly-inaugurated Obama."He told me that (Obama) not only had a very good background as a political leader, but also that he was a man he saw as being absolutely sincere," Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said after meeting with Castro.Cuba's government condemned Israel at the beginning of its 22-day assault on Gaza earlier this month, which left more than 1,300 dead and caused widespread destruction in the tiny Palestinian enclave.Israel was committing a "genocidal act" against the Palestinian civilian population, a government statement charged in the newspaper Juventud Rebelde.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090130/pl_afp/cubauspoliticsdiplomacymideastgazaconflict_20090130175451

As in the days of Noah....