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Purveyor

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Egypt Opposition Leaders Probed Over Allegations Of Incitement To Overthrow President

Source: Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's chief prosecutor ordered an investigation on Thursday into allegations that opposition leaders committed treason by inciting supporters to overthrow Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The probe by a Morsi-appointed prosecutor was launched a day after the president called for a dialogue with the opposition to heal rifts opened in the bitter fight over an Islamist-drafted constitution just approved in a referendum. The opposition decried the investigation as a throwback to Hosni Mubarak's regime, when the law was used to smear and silence opponents.

The probe was almost certain to sour the already tense political atmosphere in the country.

The allegations were made initially in a complaint by at least two lawyers sent to the chief prosecutor earlier this month. They targeted opposition leaders Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate and former head of the U.N. nuclear agency, former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, and Hamdeen Sabahi. Both Moussa and Sabahi were presidential candidates who competed against Morsi in the last election.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/egypts-prosecutor-orders-an-investigation-into-claims-opposition-plotted-to-overthrow-regime/2012/12/27/c6ac1faa-5025-11e2-835b-02f92c0daa43_story.html

Israel's New Supreme Court: Liberalism Don't Live Here Anymore

Last week, Judge Noam Sohlberg was appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court (which, in Israel, is also the High Court of Justice, a court of judicial review carrying important constitutional functions). Sohlberg will thus become the first settler judge in Israel’s history.

Being a settler, Sohlberg has a clear conflict of interests, since he will have the authority to rule on appeals against government policies violating International Law, while himself violating International Law on a daily basis. In fact, he has a personal and political interest in continuing to legitimise Israel’s ongoing and expanding illegal settlement project.

Sohlberg is not an outstanding judge. He has a proven record of controversial anti-liberal rulings in lower courts, some of which were later reversed. For example, he rejected an appeal to allow registration of nationality in Israeli ID cards as “Israeli” rather than “Jewish” or “Arab;” he supported the state against an Israeli living abroad, after his passport wasn’t renewed because he did not return to do military service; and he acquitted a policeman who shot a man dead (a ruling which was later reversed unanimously by the Supreme Court).

Sohlberg also accepted several high-profile right-wing libel claims against the media, including one by a military officer against the Channel 2 TV investigative program ‘Uvda’; and rejected a slander claim against extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben Gvir, who called an Arab MK ‘a Nazi’, in court. A few years ago he also rejected a libel claim against the settler newspaper ‘HaTzofeh,’ filed by author B. Michael, a senior satirical writer, for calling him (in 2003) “one of the greatest anti-Semites in the world.” According to Michael, the ruling “ranged from strange to absurd” and “was an attempt to alter the facts to suit the outcome.” Indeed Sohlberg’s ruling was later annulled by a higher proceeding, and the newspaper was forced to print an apology.

MORE...

http://972mag.com/israels-new-supreme-court-liberalism-doesnt-live-here-anymore/33220/

Don’t Let Pro-Israel Extremists Sink Chuck Hagel

POLITICAL movements that depend on broad popular support but are driven by extremists can eventually become self-destructive — a lesson the Republican Party learned at great cost in November, and which the gun-rights lobby may be about to learn in the wake of the latest school shooting.

There is also a lesson here for American Jewish leaders, who increasingly tremble in the face of a small minority of zealots, whose vision of Israel’s future diverges from that of the majority of American Jews and clashes with core American values of freedom and democracy.

Such extremism is once again on display as the pro-Israel right, including groups like the Emergency Committee for Israel, mounts a furious campaign against the potential nomination of the former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense.

Fifteen years ago, Mr. Hagel — whose sins include advocating dialogue to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions and suggesting that many on Capitol Hill are afraid of the “Jewish lobby” — would have been deemed someone Israel’s supporters in Washington could work with.

MORE...

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/opinion/dont-let-pro-israel-extremists-sink-chuck-hagel.html?_r=0

Financial Madness Behind The College Bowl Schedule

By Brad Flory | brad@lifeinplaid.com

Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012,

JACKSON, MI – Football is one of my great loves, but lately it is a love tainted by harsh questions.

Have American colleges gone crazy over all these bowl games? Or are they merely gullible when spending money? It’s a tough call.

--CLIP--

The overload of games would be fine except colleges, which are usually public institutions supported by taxpayers, abandon financial sanity for the dubious honor of making the watered-down field. Universities invited to bowl games agree to buy thousands of tickets, guaranteeing income for promoters.

Colleges often – not always, but often – cannot sell their “allotment” of tickets because few people want them. They pay full price for empty seats.

Michigan State University reportedly (and predictably) sold about 3,000 of its 11,000 tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday in Arizona.
Face value of those tickets is $25 to $125. If the average price is $50, MSU will lose about $400,000 by purchasing 8,000 empty seats.

MORE...

http://blog.mlive.com/bradosphere/2012/12/financial_insanity_props_up_ou.html#incart_river_default

New Home Sales Climb To Highest Rate Since April 2010

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New single-family home sales accelerated in November to the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years and median sales price jumped from the same month in 2011, signs that the U.S. housing recovery is gaining some steam.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday sales climbed 4.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted 377,000-unit annual rate. That was in line with analysts' forecasts of a 378,000-unit annual pace.

Government data for new home sales are subject to substantial revisions. Indeed, the Commerce Department cut its estimate for sales in October by 7,000 to a 361,000-unit rate.
The annual sales pace for November was the quickest since April 2010.

This year, the housing sector has been point of strength in an economy beset by flagging business confidence and cooling demand abroad. The median home price of a new home rose to $246,200, up 14.9 percent from the same month in 2011.

Read more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/home-sales-climb-highest-rate-150507340.html

Iranian Fleet Is Training To Block The Hormuz Strait

Source: Voice of Russia

The Iranian navy will start naval exercises code-named “Velayat-91” or “Supremacy-91” in the Hormuz Strait and the north of the Indian Ocean by the end of the week, Iranian navy commander Habibollah Sayyari told reporters.

According to him, during the manoeuvres that will be conducted in line with international law advanced weapons and tactics will be used.

The exercises will start on Saturday and will continue for six days. During the exercises the Iranian Navy will test the capability of its missile systems, warships and submarines.

Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_25/Iranian-fleet-is-training-to-block-the-Hormuz-strait/



AP VERSION:

Report: Iran plans Hormuz Strait naval maneuvers

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran is planning naval maneuvers in international waters near strategic Strait of Hormuz, where one-fifth of world oil supply passes, the official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday.

The report quoted Iran's navy chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, as saying the maneuvers will begin Friday from the Strait of Hormuz to the northern part of Indian Ocean in an area of about 1 million square kilometers (400,000 square miles).

Iran in the past threatened to close the strait over Western sanctions aimed at its suspect nuclear program but has not repeated the threat lately.

Sayyari said Iran will test-fire missiles and deploy vessels and submarines during the six-day war games.

MORE...

http://news.yahoo.com/report-iran-plans-hormuz-strait-naval-maneuvers-145648076.html

Our World: Hagel, Obama and the Israeli elections

Jerusalem Post - By CAROLINE B. GLICK 12/25/2012

Monday the National Journal reported that President Barack Obama is reconsidering his decision to appoint former Senator Chuck Hagel secretary of defense.

Hagel’s looming appointment provoked angry responses from many leading Jewish voices in the US.

Whether this opposition made a difference in driving Obama to reconsider his choice is unclear. Other influential groups – including senators, members of the military and lobbyists for homosexual rights – expressed their discomfort and opposition to the prospect of having Hagel serve as defense secretary.

--CLIP
If Obama indeed scuttles Hagel’s elevation to defense secretary, it shows that it is possible to fight Obama on foreign policy even in his second term, and win, at least sometimes. This is important information for Republicans, American Jews and the Israeli government.

MORE...

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=297295

Sounds like they are already warming up the 'victory lap' on another Obama cave. How many more times is he going to be 'rolled' I ponder.

Take My Neocon -- Please

David Isenberg

In case you are not aware, Jews have long been drawn to and practiced humor. It is just a plain matter of fact that in any listing of top U.S. komikers (comics) over half of them are going to be Jewish. Think Bud Abbott, Woody Allen, Hank Azaria, Bea Arthur, Lewis Black, Mel Brooks, Lenny Bruce, George Burns, Billy Crystal, Al Franken, The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers, to name a very few.

So, as a duly certified member of the Chosen, allow me to explain what some of my fellow tribe members have been doing lately to bring comic relief to the American public. Please note that these are not the usual standup suspects we are accustomed to seeing on comedy clubs and late night talk shows.

--clip
A bit over a month ago they were feeling rather morose about President Obama being reelected. But then, some of them were able to rally their spirits a bit by helping to oppose the possible nomination of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice as Secretary of State.

So now, emboldened by that, and having eaten their morning Wheaties, oops, I mean blintzes the heretofore predictable third string mediocrities, and now aspiring humorists, have slithered out from beneath their neocon rocks to give use the benefit of their particular, and admittedly peculiar, brand of humor.

--CLIP
A case in point is the current contretemps concerning former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) who seems likely to be nominated to be the next Secretary of Defense. They oppose him because he is supposedly insufficiently supportive of Israel and even an anti-Semite.

MORE...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-isenberg/take-my-neoconplease_b_2341331.html

Bipartisan Group Of Former National Security Advisers Condemn Attacks On Hagel

Four former national security advisers in a letter to the editor in the Washington Post published on Tuesday denounced what New York TImes columnist Tom Friedman described as “disgusting” attacks on former Republican senator Chuck Hagel and praised Hagel’s prior service to the United States.

Responding to a Dec. 21 Post story on Hagel’s potential nomination to be Secretary of Defense, the former national security advisers, James L. Jones (Obama), Brent Scowcroft (Ford, H.W Bush) , Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter) and Frank Carlucci (Reagan), said they “strongly object…to the attacks on the character of former senator Chuck Hagel,” whom they called “a man of unshakable integrity and wisdom who has served his country in the most distinguished manner in peace and war”:

He is a rare example of a public servant willing to rise above partisan politics to advance the interests of the United States and its friends and allies. Moreover, it is damaging to the quality of our civic discourse for prospective Cabinet nominees to be subjected to such vicious attacks on their character before an official nomination.

This type of behavior will only discourage future prospective nominees from public service when our country badly needs quality leadership in government.


Scowcroft and 10 other retired senior U.S. military officials, including William Fallon and Anthony Zinni, signed a letter last week saying that Hagel would be “a strong leader at the Pentagon” and that he’s “eminently qualified for the job.” That letter came on the heals of one just days prior in which nine former U.S. Ambassadors, including Ryan Crocker, signed a letter praising Hagel’s qualifications for the top Pentagon job.

MORE...

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/12/26/1376751/bipartisan-national-security-advisers-hagel/

Syrian Official to Meet Russia’s Lavrov for Peace Plan Talks

Source: Bloomberg

By Henry Meyer & Terry Atlas - Dec 26, 2012 1:25 PM ET

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad will meet in Moscow tomorrow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss a resolution of the 21-month conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

In a sign of the growing pressure on the Damascus regime, a high-ranking Syrian military officer said he has joined the opposition, according to Al Arabiya TV.

Major General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, chief of the military police in Syria, announced his resignation in a video, according to Al Arabiya’s website.

“I declare my defection from the regime’s army because of its deviation of its fundamental mission to protect the nation and transformation into gangs of killing and destruction,” the general said in the video according to Al Arabiya.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-26/syrian-official-to-meet-russia-s-lavrov-for-peace-plan-talks-1-.html
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