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Purveyor

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 20,558

Journal Archives

‘Sparks Fly’ Over US Policy On Iran At Meeting Between Netanyahu And US Envoy

By Ilan Ben Zion August 31, 2012, 4:35 pm

Tensions between the Israeli and United States governments reached fever pitch over the issue of Iran’s nuclear program in a recent high-level meeting between the prime minister and the American ambassador, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday.

Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a closed-door meeting with visiting Congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. Netanyahu opened the discussion by lambasting the Obama administration for what he considered its ineffectual policy vis à vis Iran.

Netanyahu then expressed his belief that the US should be pressuring Iran to stop its nuclear program rather than pressuring Israel not to attack.

“Instead of effectively pressuring Iran, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack the nuclear facilities,” he reportedly said. He concluded by saying that the time for diplomacy had run out, the Yedioth report said.

At one point during the meeting, Shapiro grew enraged by Netanyahu’s remarks, broke diplomatic protocol, and snapped at the PM, saying he was misrepresenting Obama’s position on Iran.

MORE...

http://www.timesofisrael.com/sparks-fly-at-meeting-between-netanyahu-and-us-envoy/

Ya'alon: US Is Undermining Military Threat Against Iran

Source: Reuters

Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said on Friday he feared Iran did not believe it faced a real military threat from the outside world because of mixed messages from foreign powers, including the United States.

"We have an exchange of views, including with our friends in the United States, who in our opinion, are in part responsible for this feeling in Iran," he told Israel's 100FM radio station.

"There are many cracks in the ring closing tighter on Iran. We criticize this," he said, also singling out UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for traveling to Tehran this week.

Ya'alon's statements came a day after Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey said that he did not want to be "complicit" if Israel chose to strike Iran's nuclear program, positing that a premature attack would dissolve the international pressure on the Islamic Republic.

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=283363

Guest Lineups For The Sunday News Shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC's "This Week" - White House adviser David Plouffe.
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NBC's "Meet the Press" - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
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CBS' "Face the Nation" - Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign; Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md.; former Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.
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CNN's "State of the Union" - O'Malley; Gov. Beverly Perdue, D-N.C.; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
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"Fox News Sunday" - Villaraigosa.

Jimmy Carter Calls Corrie Case Ruling ‘Unacceptable’

August 30, 2012

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Former President Jimmy Carter called “unacceptable” a court ruling that declared the State of Israel is not responsible for the death of American activist Rachel Corrie.

“The killing of an American peace activist is unacceptable. The court’s decision confirms a climate of impunity, which facilitates Israeli human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territory,” Carter said in a statement from the Atlanta-based Carter Center.

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Carter also stated, “I hope that the U.S. government will use all reasonable means to ensure that the rights of American citizens are protected overseas and that justice is done for the Corrie family.”

MORE...

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/08/30/3105571/carter-calls-corrie-case-ruling-unacceptable

'Blue Moon' On Same Day As Neil Armstrong Service

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a rare `blue moon' on Friday, a fitting wink to Neil Armstrong by the cosmic calendar.

That's the day of a private service for Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died last Saturday in Ohio at age 82.

A blue moon occurs when there's a second full moon in one calendar month. It won't happen again until July 2015. The full moon cycle is 29.5 days so a blue moon is uncommon and has come to mean something rare. The moon actually won't be colored blue.

MORE...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_BLUE_MOON_ARMSTRONG?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-08-29-17-10-57

GOP Senators Plan Resolution Promising Support Should Israel Strike Iran

August 28, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. (JTA) -- Republican senators plan to introduce a non-binding resolution pledging military, economic and diplomatic backing for Israel should it strike Iran.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told JTA on Tuesday that he and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) were drafting the resolution for introduction next month in the Senate.

Graham, attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week, said he was seeking Democratic co-sponsors.

MORE...

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/08/28/3105336/graham-plans-resolution-promising-support-should-israel-strike

Romney’s Defense-Budget Growth Tops Cold War Pace: BGOV Insight

Governor Mitt Romney’s national security policies reflect the Oliver-Twistian mindset of the Republican establishment on defense issues. They want some more. How Romney obliges that impulse illustrates the dilemma of trying to satisfy a military-industrial complex whose business models and profit margins are based on fixed diets.

Candidate Romney has set a goal of a base Pentagon budget that’s equal to 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. That’s about where defense spending will be in the coming year, assuming a decline in spending for the war in Afghanistan. Depending on how the economy behaves during the next four to eight years, a President Romney’s 4 percent solution may prove welcome to the party’s traditional defense hawks yet face real pushback from deficit hawks.

And if it should get to the point of working out the details, some of the defense hawks will be screaming for mercy, too.

Though the economy is struggling today, most forecasts from government and private-sector economists predict healthy GDP growth from 2014 into the next decade. Tying defense spending to the GDP would result in rapid growth that stretches well above historic averages and even above peak spending during the Cold War, adjusted for inflation.

In 1986, the peak year for the Pentagon under President Ronald Reagan, defense spending represented 6 percent of GDP. That was up from the 4.9 percent of GDP spent on defense in 1980, near the end of the Jimmy Carter administration. Many, including Reagan, deemed that too low.

MORE...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-08-29/romney-s-defense-budget-growth-tops-cold-war-pace-bgov-insight.html

Oil Prices Fall As Supplies Up, Isaac Heads Inland

1 hour ago • Associated Press

The price of oil is dropping after U.S. crude oil supplies rose last week for the first time in a month.

Offshore oil facilities appeared to have incurred little impact from Hurricane Isaac as it swept through the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana. That also depressed oil prices.

Benchmark oil fell $1.12 to $95.21 Wednesday in New York. Brent crude dropped 40 cents to $112.18 per barrel.

The government says crude inventories increased 3.8 million barrels to 364.5 million barrels last week. Analysts surveyed by Platts predicted supplies would drop by 2 million barrels.

MORE...

http://thetandd.com/business/oil-prices-fall-as-supplies-up-isaac-heads-inland/article_3e56aced-895f-5848-9083-7903997dcc63.html

Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index Shows A Healthy Market

Source: Associated Press

(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) —Americans signed more contracts to buy homes in July than at any time in the last two years, further evidence of a housing recovery.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes jumped 2.4% in July to 101.7. That's higher than June's 99.3. It's also the highest reading since April 2010, last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit.

A reading of 100 is considered healthy. The index is 12.4% higher than July 2011. It bottomed at 75.88 in June 2010 after the tax credit expired.

Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There's generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-08-29/pending-home-sales-index-july/57400228/1

Israeli Army Destroys Water Cisterns And Dwellings In Southern West Bank

Zenuta, West Bank – At around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, a group of Palestinians from the village of Zenuta watched from across a valley in the South Hebron Hills as two Israeli army bulldozers suddenly appeared and destroyed their village’s water cisterns, cave dwellings and stables. The village, divided by a valley, is just 3 kilometers from the Green Line, at the southern tip of the West Bank.

The bulldozers in Zenuta were accompanied by five army jeeps, three vehicles from the Israeli Civil Administration, and a charter bus of Israeli soldiers, trying to keep activists and members of the press from entering the village. A group of about 20-25 Palestinian men, women, and children who were there at the time sat in front of one of the bulldozers in an effort to stop them. They were quickly removed, however, by the army and the destruction commenced.

In total, four water cisterns, two caves, two houses and six stables were destroyed. Zenuta is a small village of seven families with a herd of 400 sheep. The army destroyed the houses of two families, each with seven children, as well as six stables holding sheep. Perhaps most devastating of all in a region starved for water, the army bulldozed the village’s cisterns, holding water collected from winter rains. The cisterns cost NIS 15,000 each, an incredible toll amounting to about a year and half’s wages for the average Palestinian worker in the area. The cisterns had been filled with water after a winter that brought the best rainfall in at least 10 years, according to residents of the area. Now two young boys walked around with the only two bottles of water left in the village offering it to visitors.

Mohammed Khaled Samamry, the owner of one of the houses destroyed, was indignant. “Can you live without water?” he asked, his hand trembling slightly with frustration. ”What can we do without water? What can we drink? You see what they do to us, the Israelis? They left the kids sitting under the sun, the sheep in the field. Where will we sleep tonight?”

MORE...

http://972mag.com/israeli-army-destroys-water-cisterns-and-dwellings-in-southern-west-bank/54743/
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