Monday, April 26, 2010

In the news...

There are several interesting stories in the news today, following a relatively slow weekend:

"Egyptian FM calls Israel 'enemy'"

Slip of the tongue? Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit referred to Israel as an "enemy" during a press conference in Beirut on Saturday.

Following talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister 'Ali Al-Shami, Aboul Gheit was asked whether he was visiting Beirut in order to convey a warning from Israel.

The Egyptian minister said in response that the purpose of his trip was not to relay messages "from the enemy to a sister Arab state."

Aboul Gheit also said Cairo would stand by Lebanon and Syria in case they were attacked.

"Iran Guards test missiles, warn enemies"

Iran's Revolutionary Guards test-fired five missiles during war games in a waterway crucial for global oil supplies on Sunday, and a commander warned the Islamic Republic's enemies they would regret any attack.

Iran, which is locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear program, often announces advances in its military capabilities and tests weaponry in an apparent bid to show its readiness for any strikes by Israel or the United States.

The Guards' exercises in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz coincided with rising tension between Iran and the West, which says Tehran's nuclear work is aimed at making bombs

The missiles were surface-to-surface and surface-to-sea.

A second Guards commander, Brigadier General Ali Hajizadeh, said mass production of a new reconnaissance drone which was tested in the exercise would soon be launched, Fars reported.

On Thursday, Iranian media said the Guards successfully tested a new speedboat capable of destroying enemy ships.

"Tens of thousands attend pro-Israel rallies in Europe, N.Y."

As protesters the world over stage demonstrations against Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip, thousands across Europe and in the United States turned out Sunday for rallies in support of the Israel Defense Forces' operations.

Over 10,000 people gathered on 42nd Street in New York, outside the Israeli consulate, to show their support for the offensive. Meanwhile, thousands more pro-Israel demonstrators rallied across Europe, including Prague, Dublin, Antwerp, Berlin, London and Manchester.

British organizers estimated that as many as 20,000 people participated in the London demonstration, which took place in Trafalgar Square. A parallel rally was held in Manchester's Albert Square.

"Strong earthquake hits east Taiwan"

A strong earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck east Taiwan Monday, according to the island's seismological agency.

The quake struck at 10:59 a.m. Monday morning and it was felt in most parts of the island

Of note, also over the weekend, a 4.9 at the Peru-Brazil border, a 4.8 in Chile, a 4.7 at the coast near Peru, a 4.8 in the Aleutian Islands, a 5.2 in Crete, a 4.3 in Mexico, a 5.6 in Samoa, a 5.0 in the Tonga Islands, and a 4.7 in Indonesia, just to name a few.

And to add a final point to yesterday's post regarding Jerusalem as the focus of Middle East "problems":

"Netanyahu must stop East Jerusalem construction"

As was to be expected, the Palestinians have once again rejected the idea of declaring a state within temporary borders in exchange for postponing the issue of Jerusalem to the later stages of the negotiations.

The importance of ending the dispute and ensuring Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state makes it necessary to restrain the politicians and real estate developers who are eyeing building sites in East Jerusalem.

Once again, we see a commentary, coming from the Middle East, which declares that Jerusalem is pivotal for the entire peace process in the region.

Who would have guessed?

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