Friday, January 7, 2011

In the news:

1. 12 Minutes:

WikiLeaks: Israelis Race Iranian Missiles: 12 minutes to Safety

The cable, written by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, quoted outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as saying that Israel would only have 12 minutes in which to prepare for an Iranian missile attack. The cable was published in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

Ashkenazi told a U.S. Congressional delegation headed by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) in November 2009 that Iran possesses 300 long-range Shihab missiles that are able to reach most of Israel.

2. Iran's Nuclear Progress:

Is Mossad Systematically Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientists?

Iran's state-run Fars News Agency (FNA) is accusing Israel's international intelligence agency of killing the country's nuclear scientists.

The news agency quoted a report posted Wednesday on the website that said the Mossad “has a long record in assassinating Arab and Muslim scientists in collaboration with its U.S. and British counterparts (CIA and MI6).”

The report listed nearly a dozen scientists from Egypt, Lebanon and elsewhere whom it claimed were assassinated by the Mossad.

3. More Violence Around Gaza:

Israel attacks two targets in response to rocket fire, military says

The Israeli Air Force targeted two locations that it described as a "terror activity center" and a "Hamas tunnel" in response to rocket fire from Gaza, the military said Friday.

Officials said militants used the tunnel in southern Gaza to cross into Israel and carry out attacks against its citizens.The second location targeted was in southern Gaza, the military said

Last year, more than 235 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israeli territory, the military said.
The last few weeks has seen an increased level of cross-border violence, with more rocket fire from Gaza and retaliation from Israel.

4. Revived Roman Empire's Growing Influence in Middle East:

EU's Ashton calls for Quartet talks to solve impasse in Israel-PA negotiations

The EU foreign policy chief called on Thursday for the Quartet of Middle East mediators to meet early next month to help Israel and the Palestinians overcome a deadlock in peace talks.

With negotiations in limbo for the past three months, the European Union's Catherine Ashton said the EU, Russia, the United States and United Nations should schedule a high-level meeting to revive the peace process and put it back on track.

5. United Against Israel:

Syria, Lebanon to Coordinate Moves

In a joint statement, the heads of Syria and Lebanon sad they would coordinate moves between the two countries in order to meet the “Israeli threat.” After a meeting in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called on Arab and Muslim nations to take a stronger stance against Israel.

6. More Mysterious Animal Deaths Reported:

Mystery of mass animal death epidemic deepens: 8,000 doves fall dead in Italy

Thousands of dead turtle doves rained down on roofs and cars in an Italian town in the latest in a growing spate of mass animal deaths across the globe.

Residents in Faenza described the birds falling to the ground like 'little Christmas balls' with strange blue stains on their beaks.

Initial tests on up to 8,000 of the doves indicated that the blue stain could have been caused by poisoning or hypoxia.

A witness told 'We have no idea why this happened all of a sudden.

'The doves just started falling one-by-one then in groups of 10s and 20s.'

Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen, is known to cause confusion and illness in animals. It is also a common precursor to altitude sickness.

Experts said results from tests on the doves will not be available for at least a week.

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