Saturday, December 7, 2013

12.7.13: Saudi Arabia – Israel’s New BFF? | North Korea releases 85-year-old American

» Times Minute: Mandela's Family; Jobs Report Implications; 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Opens
07/12/13 00:34 from Uploads by TheNewYorkTimes
Times Minute: Mandela's Family; Jobs Report Implications; 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Opens Subscribe on YouTube: The New York Times Minute for Dec. 6, 2013. NYT on Google Plus: Watch more ...

» North Korea releases 85-year-old American
08/12/13 01:04 from World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting - The Washington Post
SEOUL — North Korea said Saturday it had released an elderly U.S. citizen it had held for more than a month, having taken into account his “sincere” apology for crimes against the state and his “advanced age and health condition.” Read f...

» North Korea frees U.S. Korean War veteran after seven weeks
07/12/13 07:19 from Reuters: International
BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korea freed an 85-year-old retired American soldier on Saturday after detaining him for more than a month for crimes it said he committed during the Korean War six decades ago.

» North Korea Frees U.S. Tourist
07/12/13 06:53 from World News
North Korea freed U.S. citizen and war veteran Merrill E. Newman, citing his "sincere repentance" for alleged "hostile acts" against the country.

» Korean War Veteran Arrives in Beijing After Being Released from North Korea
07/12/13 01:00 from Voice of America
A U.S. Korean War veteran has arrived in China after being released from custody and deported from North Korea.Officials from the U.S. Embassy greeted 85-year-old Merrill Newman at the airport in Beijing Saturday.He had been visiting Nor...

» Air traffic computer fault hits flights from England
07/12/13 07:28 from Reuters: International
LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of travelers were delayed at major airports across England on Saturday because of a technical problem at an air traffic control center.

» Glitch Snarls British Air Traffic
07/12/13 07:34 from Voice of America
Hundreds of flights have been delayed or canceled at Britain's busiest airports because of a technical problem at a main air traffic control center.National Air Traffic Service, which controls the crowded airspace over Britain, said Satu...

» U.S. Offers Missile Defense to Gulf
07/12/13 01:58 from World News
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday will announce an initiative designed to improve cooperation among Persian Gulf kingdoms and beef up the region's missile defenses.
» World Briefing | Europe: Britain: Royal Marine Sentenced for Killing an Afghan Insurgent
07/12/13 01:51 from NYT > International
The marine, Sgt. Alexander Blackman, and two others were charged after military authorities found footage of the episode on a helmet camera belonging to one of the men.
» Mandela Leaves Divided Legacy in Africa
07/12/13 05:46 from World News
Nelson Mandela's moral sway on the continent was unrivaled and, some democracy activists say, underutilized.
» US President to Pay Respects to Nelson Mandela
07/12/13 05:39 from Voice of America
The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will travel to South Africa next week to pay respects to late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday the Obamas wil...

» US Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2008
07/12/13 01:00 from Voice of America
The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to 7 percent, its lowest point in five years.The government said Friday that employers added another 203,000 workers to their payrolls in November - more than some economists predicted, and a si...

» Is Vladimir Putin rewriting Russia's history books? -
28/11/13 19:45 from Russia - Google News Is Vladimir Putin rewriting Russia's history books? Russian history books have long come under fire for their murky coverage of the dark period of Soviet terror under Communist leaders like Josef Stalin, who w...

» Russia Investigates Fake Pilot Licenses
06/12/13 23:44 from World News
Pilots working for small regional airlines in Russia may be flying with licenses fraudulently obtained from flight schools they never attended, according to investigators. 

Michael Kammen, Historian of U.S. Psyche, Dies at 77 - NYT

Professor Kammen (pronounced KAY-man) received the 1973 Pulitzer for history for “People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization,” published the previous year. That book sought to describe the national character from the country’s earliest days to the 20th century.

Underpinned by exhaustive research and abundant documentation, Professor Kammen’s books, essays and criticism — he was a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and other publications — were noteworthy for remaining accessible to the general reader.

His work, which stood at the nexus of history, folklore, psychology and sociology, helped cast the form of the modern scholarly field known as memory studies.

Professor Kammen displayed a passion for paradox and an affection for contradiction, and in “People of Paradox” he uncovered no shortage of either. The American sensibility, he argued, was rooted in a simultaneous opposition: the continuity of Old World traditions juxtaposed with the discontinuity of New World innovations.

“We should understand, as William James did, that Americanism is a volatile mixture of hopeful good and curable bad,” he wrote.

Reviewing the volume in The Times Book Review, the historian Marcus Cunliffe wrote of Professor Kammen, “I pay him the sincere tribute of envy: I wish I had written ‘People of Paradox’ even though I do not agree with him in every instance.”

If the historian’s essential task is to answer the question “What happened?” Professor Kammen sought to answer further questions: How do we as a people construct what happened? How do we remember — or misremember — it long afterward?

» Ahmed Fouad Negm, Dissident Poet of Egypt’s Underclass, Dies at 84
06/12/13 23:27 from NYT > International
Mr. Negm’s fearless and often bawdy critiques of power made him a folk hero, but also earned him a total of 18 years in jail.

His personality was as diverting as his poems: He cursed and teased, extolled the virtues of hashish and boasted about his many marriages. On a wall of his home he painted a line of poetry: “Glory to the crazy people in this dull life.” 
Mr. Negm started writing in the late 1950s, during a three-year prison sentence on a forgery charge. After he was released in 1962, he published his first book, “Images From Life and Prison.” 

ahmed fouad negm poems - GS

Images From Life and Prison  Ahmed Fouad Negm

  1. Ahmed Fouad Negm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to Early life - Ahmed Fouad Negm was born in Sharqia, Egypt, to a family of ...first collection “Pictures from Life and Prison” in vernacular Egyptian ...
Ahmed Fouad Negm - YT

Erect your Forts (English Subtitled) شيّد قصورك

Published on Jun 10, 2012

Imam Mohammad Ahmad Eissa or Sheikh Imam (July 2, 1918 -- June 7, 1995) was a famous Egyptian composer and singer. For most of his life, he formed a duo with the famous Egyptian colloquial poet Ahmed Fouad Negm. Together, they were known for their political songs in favor of the poor and the working classes.


Spat between Netanyahu, ex-Shin Bet head turns snarky 

Yuval Diskin snipes that the prime minister’s inflated expenses are necessary so he can concentrate on the Iranian threat 
BY GAVRIEL FISKE December 5, 2013, 3:19 pm

Yuval Diskin, ex-head of the Shin Bet. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/ Flash90)

On Wednesday Diskin, a long-time Netanyahu critic, said that the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians posed more of an existential danger to Israel than Iran’s renegade nuclear program, comments dismissed by sources close to Netanyahu.

“The alternative to the vision of a two-state solution is one state,” Diskin said Wednesday, speaking at a Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv. He criticized the way the government has handled the most recent round of negotiations and warned that the longer the conflict persisted, the harder it would be to find a solution.

“The implications of a lack of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are more existential than the Iranian nuclear [program],” he said, noting that the current state of affairs in the West Bank was like a powder keg.

Diskin called for the replacement of the current Israeli government with “a new coalition based on parties that support two states for two peoples.” He asserted that due to infighting, Netanyahu’s coalition had wasted a tremendous opportunity to inject hope into the peace process when it chose to forgo a settlement construction freeze in favor of a prisoner release.

Russia's then-prime minister Vladimir Putin, right, greets the head of Saudi Arabia's National Security Council, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in Moscow, July 14, 2008 (photo credit: AP/RIA-Novosti)

Russians and Saudis ‘aren’t discussing philosophy’

Arab media analyze the new alliance between Moscow and Riyadh since Morsi’s ouster in Egypt; Syria: Islamic Front leaves FSA

“Syria is the next ‘secret’ deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia,” reads the headline of Friday’s editorial in London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
The paper ridicules a statement by Yuri Ushakov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which described talks in Moscow this week with the head of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan as “philosophical in nature.”
“Of course, the Russian and Saudi intelligence agencies are studying philosophy, respect for human rights, Budhism and Yoga and not cutting deals,” the editorial sates ironically.
“Prince Bandar’s second visit to Moscow in four months follows two major changes in the region: the first is the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi on July 3, and the second is the Iranian nuclear deal signed on November 24. If the ‘philosophical’ deliberations lead to an agreement, this will entail a third regional change: Syria.”
The military coup in Egypt, argues the editorial, has forged a new unlikely alliance between two rival parties: Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“Both Moscow and Riyadh lead a political strategy that opposes Islamic political parties, each for their own reasons.”
“The unexpected alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia over Egypt has opened the door to another possible agreement between them on the Syrian issue. But a deal in Syria would not be possible without the agreement of Iran, Russia’s ally and the greatest protector of the Syrian regime.”  
Former Shin Bet chief: Ending internal conflict key for Israel

An unbridled public debate erupted this week on Dec. 4 in Israel between two main approaches dividing the Israeli public in connection with the peace process, diplomatic isolation and the Jewish state’s other geostrategic struggles.
Read more: 

Tehran: Mossad and Saudi intelligence are designing super-Stuxnet to destroy Iran’s nuclear program
DEBKAfile Special Report December 3, 2013, 9:31 AM (IDT)

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency “reveals” that Saudi Arabia and Israel’s Mossad are “co-conspiring to produce a computer worm more destructive than the Stuxnet malware to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.” The report appeared Monday, Dec. 2, during foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s tour of Arabian Gulf capitals,with the object of easing tensions between the emirates and Tehran. Riyadh was not on his itinerary.
In 2010, Stuxnet, reputed to have been developed by the US and Israel, was the malworm which attacked the software of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and caused a major slowdown, as well as disrupting its only nuclear reactor at Bushehr.
The Iranian agency now claims that Saudi intelligence director Prince Bandar Bin Sultan and the head of Israel’s Mossad Tamir Pardo met in Vienna on Nov. 24, shortly after the six world powers signed their first interim nuclear agreement with Iran in Geneva.  
The two spy chiefs brought with them teams of Israeli and Saudi cyber specialists to discuss “the production of a malware worse than Stuxnet to spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran’s nuclear program,” according to Fars. Riyadh was willing to put up the funding estimated roughly at $1 million.
This plan was approved after the Geneva deal was roundly castigated by Saudi Arabia for acknowledging Iran’s rights to enrich uranium as “Western treachery,” while Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu called it “a historic mistake” and a danger to the world.  
Without spelling this out, the Iranian source suggested that President Barack Obama, who in 2010 was ready to go along with the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, had changed course and opted out of further cyber war after deciding to make Iran his strategic partner in the Middle East.
Israeli intelligence had therefore turned to Saudi intelligence, said the Iranian source.
The same source “disclosed,” without citing dates, that the Saudi prince and the Israeli spy chief had rendezvoused a number of times in the Jordanian port of Aqaba. When those meetings became an open secret in the Middle East, Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz is said to have warned Bandar that the close direct collaboration between the two agencies was causing concern in the royal house.
In another “revelation,” Fars claimed that Prince Bandar secretly visited Israel under cover of French President Francois Hollande’s state visit on Nov. 17-18, ahead of the Geneva meeting on Iran’s nuclear program. This source said the Saudi prince took part in the high-powered Franco-Israeli discussions in Tel Aviv on ways to halt Iran’s nuclear progress.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources infer four motives from the manner and timing of the Iranian news agency’s story:
1.  To draw the Crown Prince into reprimanding Bandar for being over-zealous in his partnership with an Israeli head of intelligence and so embarrass him at home. This fits into the context of the succession struggle which our Gulf sources report is afoot in Riyadh. A group of princes is campaigning for Salman’s removal as Crown Prince. Bandar is one of them.
By highlighting his association with Pardo, the Fars publication seeks to discredit Bandar and stir up trouble to sharpen the infighting in Riyadh, with a view to weakening Saudi Arabia’s hand against Iran.
2.  Tehran is getting seriously worried about the Saudi-Israeli intelligence partnership and the prospect of them acting together for covert operations, including cyber warfare, against their nuclear projects. Going public on this partnership is intended to show the Iranian people that the regime is on top of these dangers and well prepared to forestall them.
3. Detractors of the Geneva accord in Tehran are being warned by the regime that formidable external threats lie in wait for the national nuclear program and they would be well advised to desist from their opposition to the deal with the six powers, because it weakens the country’s defenses.
4. The Fars disclosures were picked up and run by Russian media on Dec. 2 - albeit shunned by Western publications – evidence of the close cooperation between Iranian and Russian intelligence services.
No part of these reports is confirmed from any other sources.


From: Israel News Review

» Obama speaking at the SABAN Forum, says US commitment to Israel's security 'sacrosanct'
07/12/13 15:11 from - Front Page
US President hails efficacy of sanctions against Iran but says a diplomatic resolution of nuclear issue must be tested; on Israeli-Palestinian peace says could be restricted to W. Bank and Gaza could follow.
» Obama: Iran can have a peaceful nuclear program, including enrichment - The Times of Israel
07/12/13 15:08 from benjamin netanyahu - Google News
The Times of Israel Obama: Iran can have a peaceful nuclear program, including enrichment The Times of Israel Ilan Ben Zion Ilan Ben Zion is a news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from … [More] Tel A...
» Obama: Israeli-Palestinian deal possible, will be implemented in stages - Haaretz
07/12/13 15:03 from benjamin netanyahu - Google News
Haaretz Obama: Israeli-Palestinian deal possible, will be implemented in stages Haaretz This year's forum, which began on Friday, is titled “Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East.” Other key speakers include Pr...

» Why Saudi-Israeli Team Hates Iran Deal - Consortium News
07/12/13 14:55 from benjamin netanyahu - Google News
Why Saudi-Israeli Team Hates Iran Deal Consortium News The Saudi-Israeli alliance opposes a diplomatic settlement with Iran over its nuclear program because the deal could kill hopes for enlisting the U.S. military in one more violent re...

» Saudi Arabia – Israel’s New BFF?
07/12/13 08:33 from The Times of Israel
There is a strong convergence of interests with the Saudis who, like Israel, fear a US tilt toward Iran

» Kerry Moves to Ease Tensions With Israel - Wall Street Journal
06/12/13 18:57 from Mossad - Google News
Kerry Moves to Ease Tensions With Israel Wall Street Journal TEL AVIV—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried to ease tensions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the recent deal on Iran's nuclear program, asserting ...

» Kerry: Mideast Peace Deal Closest in Years - Voice of America
06/12/13 16:10 from Mossad - Google News
Kerry: Mideast Peace Deal Closest in Years Voice of America JERUSALEM — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he believes Israel and the Palestinians are closer to a peace agreement than they have been in years at the end of a three-da...

» LIVE WEBCAST: President Barack Obama at Saban Forum 2013—Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East
06/12/13 22:00 from Brookings: Topics - Arab-Israeli Relations
Event Information December 6-8, 2013 Online Only Live Webcast Watch a live webcast of Secretary of State John Kerry here at 4:00pm today, December 7 --> A Conversation with President Barack Obama Moderated by Forum Chairman Haim Saban Lo...
» LIVE WEBCAST: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at Saban Forum 2013—Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East
06/12/13 22:00 from Brookings: Topics - Israel
Event Information December 6-8, 2013 Online Only Live Webcast Watch a live webcast of Secretary of State John Kerry here at 4:00pm today, December 7 --> Keynote Address by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Loading the player... jwplayer...
» Saban Forum 2013—Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East
06/12/13 22:00 from Brookings: Topics - Israel
Event Information December 6-8, 2013 Online Only Live Webcast Watch a live webcast of Secretary of State John Kerry here at 4:00pm today, December 7 Video Archive: A Conversation with President Barack Obama Moderated by Forum Chairman Ha...

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