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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Journal Archives

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Resigns

Source: BBC

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned after prosecutors decided to charge him with breach of trust.

Mr Lieberman has also resigned as deputy prime minister, and said he would fight to clear his name of the charges.

The case against him relates to a financial scandal dating back more than a decade.

His resignation comes five weeks before Israel's general election.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20731396

Israeli Soldiers Beat Reuters Photographers;Punch Journalists and Set Off Tear Gas in Hebron

HEBRON, WEST BANK — Israeli soldiers punched two Reuters cameramen and forced them to strip in the street, before letting off a tear gas canister in front of them, leaving one of them needing hospital treatment.

Israel’s military said on Thursday it took the allegations seriously, but offered no explanation for the assault that occurred on Wednesday evening in the heart of Hebron.

“The regional brigade commander was ordered to open an investigation,” Israeli Defense Forces spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said in an email. No further information will be provided until the investigation is complete.

Yousri Al Jamal and Ma’amoun Wazwaz said a foot patrol stopped them as they were driving to a nearby checkpoint where a Palestinian teenager had just been shot dead by an Israeli border guard.

Their car was clearly marked ‘TV’ and they were both wearing blue flak jackets with ‘Press’ emblazoned on the front.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/167681/israeli-soldiers-beat-reuters-photographers/#ixzz2Ezup8vdy

Obama, Boehner Hold Hour-Long White House Meeting; No Immediate Indication Of Progress

Source: Associated Press

ASSOCIATED PRESS | 5 minutes ago in

The White House "fiscal cliff" meeting between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner has ended with no immediate indication of progress from either side.

The two leaders met at the White House Thursday night for about an hour. They made no public comments following the sit-down, their second face-to-face meeting of the week.

Read more: http://www.newser.com/article/da35684g0/obama-boehner-hold-hour-long-white-house-meeting-no-immediate-indication-of-progress.html

Israel's Lieberman Says Does Not Have To Resign After Indictment

JERUSALEM | Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:29pm EST
Dec 13 (Reuters) - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday he did not have to resign after being charged with fraud and breach of trust, but added he would further study the indictment against him.

"I do not have to resign," Lieberman said in a speech a few hours after the Justice Ministry announced its decision not to pursue more serious corruption charges. "A final decision will be made after consultation with my lawyers and in the consideration of not hurting the voting public."



Congress Seeks To Double US Funding Of Anti-Missile Cooperation With Israel

Source: Times of Israel

In wake of Pillar of Defense success, Iron Dome spending may balloon from $210 million to $680 million

December 13, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Congress wants to at least double the Obama administration’s funding request for anti-missile cooperation with Israel.

Obama asked Congress for $99.9 million in 2013 for “Israel co-operative programs,” which include programs like the long-range Arrow anti-missile system and the short-range David’s Sling.

The US House of Representatives version of the National Defense Authorization Act, passed earlier this year, recommended adding $168 million to that request, and the Senate recommended adding $100 million in its own National Defense Authorization Act, passed last week.

A letter sent Wednesday by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to the top senators on the Armed Services Committee urges them to agree to the higher House increase in the bicameral conference talks that finalize the act.

Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/congress-seeks-to-double-us-funding-of-anti-missile-cooperation-with-israel/

Teamsters President Warns Of Brewing ‘Civil War’ In Michigan

The fight over union rights in Michigan has some peoples’ blood absolutely boiling, and Teamsters Union President James Hoffa is chief among them.

“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state,” Hoffa told CNN on Tuesday. “We’re going to have a civil war in this state because this has been passed by a lame duck legislature.”

Michigan, which has been strongly pro-union since the founding of the United Autoworkers Union in 1935, became on Tuesday a so-called “right to work” state, which means workers are not required to pay union dues. Republicans in the statehouse passed the bills this week surrounded by angry protesters outside the Capitol.

“There was no debate,” Hoffa insisted. “This was done in five days, it was not approved by the people of the state of Michigan. If anything, it should have been on the ballot. This was a monumental decision to make and for it to be done by outgoing senators and state legislators is a tremendous mistake. What they are doing here is basically betraying democracy. If there’s any question here, let’s put it on the ballot, let the people of Michigan decide what’s good for Michigan.”



Michigan: Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons In Schools Approved By House Committee


A bill approved by a House committee Wednesday would allow gun owners with concealed weapons to carry those weapons in schools and other formerly “gun-free” zones.

David Eggert from MLive has more:

Michigan now prohibits people licensed for concealed weapons from carrying them in schools, day care centers, sports arenas, bars, places of worship, hospitals, dorms and casinos. They can, however, openly carry their guns in schools and all other places except federal buildings, courthouses and casinos.

The bill would let CPL holders apply for an exemption so they could carry concealed guns in those gun-free zones, though they no longer could openly carry there under the legislation. They would have to get at least eight more hours of training and fire 94 additional rounds at a firing range.

However, private property owners—churches, bars, hospitals and others—would be allowed to prohibit guns from being carried on their premises. Because of their autonomy under the state constitution, public universities also could ban guns.

Read more: http://www.michiganradio.org/post/bill-allowing-concealed-weapons-schools-approved-house-committee

Judge Rules For Censorship Of Torture Testimony At Guantánamo Military Commission

Source: ENews Park Forest

NEW YORK --(ENEWSPF)--December 12 - The judge presiding over the Guantánamo Bay military commission 9/11 trial has approved the government’s request to censor any testimony from the defendants relating to their torture. The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the government’s request, arguing that the American public has a First Amendment right to hear the testimony. The ACLU plans to seek further review of the ruling, which was released today.

Military Judge Col. James Pohl ruled that any statements by the defendants’ concerning their treatment – including torture while in U.S. custody – could be kept from the public as classified, and upheld the continued use of a 40-second delay audio feed of the proceedings.

“We’re profoundly disappointed by the military judge’s decision, which didn’t even address the serious First Amendment issues at stake here. The government wanted to ensure that the American public would never hear the defendants’ accounts of illegal CIA torture, rendition and detention, and the military judge has gone along with that shameful plan,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Program. “For now, the most important terrorism trial of our time will be organized around judicially approved censorship of the defendants’ own thoughts, experiences and memories of CIA torture. The decision undermines the government’s claim that the military commission system is transparent and deals a grave blow to its legitimacy.”

In its request, the government had contended that any statements by the defendants’ concerning their “exposure” to the CIA’s detention and interrogation program are classified as “sources, methods and activities” of the U.S. and can be withheld from the public.

Read more: http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/latest-national/military-casualties/39083-judge-rules-for-censorship-of-torture-testimony-at-guantanamo-military-commission.html

McDonald’s $8.25 Man and $8.75 Million CEO Shows Pay Gap

By Leslie Patton - Dec 12, 2012

Tyree Johnson scrubs himself with a bar of soap in a McDonald’s (MCD) bathroom and puts on fresh deodorant. He stashes his toiletries in a Kenneth Cole bag, a gift from his mother who works the counter at Macy’s, and hops on an El train. His destination: another McDonald’s.

Johnson isn’t one of Chicago’s many homeless people who seek shelter in fast-food joints. He’s a McDonald’s employee, at both stores -- one in the Loop, the other about a mile away in the shadow of Holy Name Cathedral.

He needs the makeshift baths because hygiene and appearance are part of his annual compensation reviews. Even with frequent scrubbings, he said before a recent shift, it’s hard to remove the essence of the greasy food he works around.

“I hate when my boss tells me she won’t give me a raise because she can smell me,” he said.

Johnson, 44, needs the two paychecks to pay rent for his apartment at a single-room occupancy hotel on the city’s north side. While he’s worked at McDonald’s stores for two decades, he still doesn’t get 40 hours a week and makes $8.25 an hour, minimum wage in Illinois.



Guns-to-Work Laws Spread in U.S. as Business Fights NRA

By Margaret Newkirk - Dec 12, 2012

Republican-dominated legislatures in at least four states are planning to consider allowing employees to bring guns to work, turning two of the party’s traditional constituencies against each other: gun-rights supporters and businesses.

The measures, backed by the National Rifle Association, would allow workers in Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Pennsylvania to keep the weapons locked and hidden in their cars in employee parking areas. Seventeen states have approved similar measures since 2003, according to a tally by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.

The laws extend gun rights onto property controlled by private employers, prompting opposition from companies such as FedEx Corp. (FDX) and Volkswagen AG. (VOW) The proposals are creating a dilemma for Republicans, said Robert Spitzer, chairman of the political science department at the State University of New York at Cortland.

“The gun rights movement is now colliding against traditional business interests,” Spitzer said. “It’s a direct clash between a values issue and an economic one and both of these competing forces are particularly strong within the Republican Party.”


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