News for December 2, 2005
Militants let back in Gaza, Israel threatens sanctions (December 2, 2005) - Palestinians have allowed up to 15 militants wanted by Israel to return to the Gaza Strip in recent days, officials said Friday, in what Israel said was a violation of U.S.-brokered deal for securing the border. The dispute over the entry of the Hamas militants — including one of the group’s founders — through the Rafah terminal on the Gaza-Egypt border threatened to undermine the biggest diplomatic breakthrough since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. Palestinian security officials acknowledged that wanted men entered Gaza through Rafah, but said anyone with a Palestinian identity card can come into the coastal strip. They said Israel was making demands that are not part of the crossing accord. Israel closed the Rafah passage — Gaza’s main gateway to the outside world — shortly before withdrawing from the strip in early September. The crossing reopened last week after months of wrangling between Israel and the Palestinians over security procedures. Israel was afraid militants or arms would flow into Gaza through Rafah, but agreed to let the border reopen after the Palestinians accepted the presence of European monitors and installed security cameras to let Israel monitor the crossing live. Israeli officials said Friday, however, that the Palestinians are allowing militants into Gaza and that they are now helpless to prevent the wanted men from entering. Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said between 10 and 15 wanted militants have entered Gaza from neighboring Egypt in recent days. “We know this, but we have no ability to stop them because we are relying on the people there — the Europeans and Egyptians,” he said. more...
Democratic Senator Lieberman Supports Republican President Bush On Iraq (December 2, 2005) - As some in the political scene seemed eager to jump on board the criticism of President Bush’s speech on the war in Iraq this week, a well-known democrat stood his ground in support of the President. According to a Newsmax report, Senator Lieberman, having recently returned from his fourth trip to Iraq in 17 months, wrote in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, “The Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood - unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.” “People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it,” continued the Senator. “It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al-Qaida foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern.” “We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East.” more...
Sharon: Iranian nukes unacceptable (December 2, 2005) - Israel “can’t accept a situation where Iran has nuclear arms” and “is making all the necessary preparations to handle a situation like this,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday. Iran’s enemies have “the capability” to use military force to disrupt Iran’s bid for nuclear arms, he said at the annual Editor’s Committee gathering in Tel Aviv, adding that “before exercising it, every attempt should be made to pressure Iran into stopping its activity.” Sharon stressed that “Israel doesn’t lead the struggle” to keep Iran nuclear-free, and he hoped the UN Security Council would neutralize “this great danger.” Sharon’s comments raised Israel’s rhetoric against Iran and came on the heels of assessments by IDF brass that, after March, diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program will be pointless. “Israel is not without hope and is taking all necessary measures, as it should,” he said. Changing tack, Sharon referred to international pressure on Syria as critical, saying he was not inclined to discuss a return of the Golan Heights or anything else that might “make things easier for the Syrians.” There are “no contacts” between Israel and Syria now, he said. Sharon alluded to diplomatic pressure on Israel when he said Israel had no plans to build an eastern fence in the Jordan Valley, which he termed “within Israel’s security zone.” more...
China destroys church building (November 28, 2005) - The communist Chinese government bulldozed a Catholic Church building in Xi’an city, wounding 16 nuns. The U.S.-based China Aid Association, citing “reliable sources,” said about 30 uniformed young men rushed into the church with wooden sticks in their hands at about 6 p.m. Nov. 22. Two hours later, a bulldozer started tearing down the place of worship. China Aid said officials from the government’s religious affairs bureau came to the site, and the destruction was halted until the next evening. Then, about 40 uniformed young men armed with sticks started beating the nuns, who were defending the church building, China Aid said. Sixteen nuns suffered severe wounds, including eye injuries and broken legs. China Aid described the attackers as “government-hired gangsters.” Still hospitalized are Dong Jianian, 41; Cheng Jing, 34; Yue Xiuying, 31; and Jin Hongfang, 34. The other nuns beaten are Zhang Xueling, 45; Ren Aiying, 45; He Jingru, 38; Fan Xiujuan, 32; Jia Shuiyang, 50; Li Zhuanxia, 33; Li Min, 31; Li Zhenzhu, 45; Li Jiaoye, 32; Wang Zhenai, 42; Yang Cenghui, 50; and Zhao Shengyan, 40. All Protestant and Catholic churches in China are required to be under control of the government, and groups that do not register – the vast majority – are labeled “illegal cults.”
Judge: Legislative Prayers Can’t Mention Jesus (December 1, 2005) - Prayers that typically open sessions of the Indiana House of Representatives can no longer mention Jesus Christ or advance a religious denomination, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge David Hamilton issued a permanent injunction barring House Speaker Brian Bosma from permitting sectarian prayer as part of the official business of the House. Bosma can continue the legislative prayers, but must advise those giving the invocations not to advance one faith and not to use Christ’s name or title, Hamilton said. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in June on behalf of four people, including a Quaker lobbyist, who said they found the tradition of offering the usually Christian prayers offensive. “We’re obviously very pleased by this (ruling),” ICLU attorney Kenneth Falk said. “We think that the significance of this decision is that it reaffirms the fact that the House of Representatives speaks for all of us, and that therefore if there is a prayer before the House, it should be one that is inclusive of everyone in Indiana rather than exclusive.” The ICLU had said in court filings that at least 29 House invocations during the 2005 session mentioned Jesus Christ, the savior or the son. more...
NOAA REVIEWS RECORD-SETTING 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON (December 1, 2005) - “This hurricane season shattered records that have stood for decades—most named storms, most hurricanes and most category five storms. Arguably, it was the most devastating hurricane season the country has experienced in modern times,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “I’d like to foretell that next year will be calmer, but I can’t. Historical trends say the atmosphere patterns and water temperatures are likely to force another active season upon us.” The Atlantic Basin is in the active phase of a multi-decadal cycle in which optimal conditions in the ocean and atmosphere, including warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures and low wind shear, enhance hurricane activity. This increase in the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes can span multiple decades (approximately 20 to 30 years). NOAA will make its official 2006 season forecast in May, prior to the June 1st start to the season. “Evidence of this active cycle was demonstrated this year as the Atlantic Basin produced the equivalent of more than two entire hurricane seasons over the course of one. Because we are in an active hurricane era, it’s important to recognize that with a greater number of hurricanes comes increasing odds of one striking land,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of the NOAA National Weather Service. more...
I forgive you, mother tells racist thugs who killed son (December 1, 2005) - The mother of Anthony Walker drew on her Christian faith yesterday to find forgiveness for the two thugs who murdered him with a mountaineering axe because he was black. Gee Verona Walker, 49, who had endured every day of a harrowing two-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court, made her gesture as the judge ruled that the attack in a Merseyside park had been racially motivated. Gee Verona Walker after the verdict: ‘I've got to forgive them’ This means that Paul Taylor, 20, and Michael Barton, 17, now face a doubling of the normal tariff for murder. Taylor, who admitted swinging the axe, resulting in a 7mm hole in Anthony’s skull, is likely to face a minimum tariff approaching 25 years when he is sentenced today. His accomplice, the brother of Joey Barton, a Premiership footballer, faces a tariff of up to 22 years. Unlike Taylor he had claimed to be innocent of murder, arguing that he had simply hunted down his victim so that he could have a fist fight with him. more...
Magnitude 6.5 - Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan (December 2, 2005) - A strong earthquake occurred at 13:13:12 (UTC) on Friday, December 2, 2005. The magnitude 6.5 event has been located in NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 51 km (32 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)
Apocalyptic Video Game Features Global Government Takeover (December 2, 2005) - A new video game now available for XBox and PC depicts an apocalyptic vision of America after the year 2008 where terror attacks carried out by anti-government militias force the European Union to send in an occupying army. Shattered Union has the player take control of one of seven different warring factions. After a dictator is installed as president in 2008, society gradually collapses into anarchy with a series of terror attacks carried out by domestic militia groups against the government. The result of this chaos is that the EU votes to occupy the United States with a ‘peacekeeping force’ which is strongly resisted by the population. Civil war ensues in the following years, including a nuclear strike on Washington DC. more...
Interesting topic for a game, yes? BTW, I think this will happen in some form and those who don't go with it will be called terrorists.
AL-QAIDA’S MOST LIKELY NUKE TARGETS (November 29, 2005) - There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that al-Quida and other Islamic Terrorist groups are planning a doomsday attack on the US and it is not far down the road. The below report written by Joseph Farah is right on, the question is what are you going to do to protect yourself and family? Of course if you don’t believe it and you don’t think there is going to be a major nuclear attack in the US by these Islamic Terrorist then you have no reason to provide for yourself, but what about your family if it does happen, and it will. more...
Israel Military Intel Chief: Must Act Against Iran by March The Media Line (December 1, 2005) - The head of Israel’s military intelligence has told a parliamentary committee that if by March 2006 the international community has not reached an agreement with Iran that will end its nuclear program, diplomacy will be “pointless.” Although Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash did not articulate the obvious, members of the Knesset (Parliament) Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who heard his presentation, believed he was advocating a military option as early as April. Ze’evi-Farkash also revealed that the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist organization was planning to unleash a massive barrage of rockets against civilian targets in the north of Israel. He said the torrent of rockets was to have followed an Israeli response to last week’s cross-border incursion that was aimed at kidnapping Israeli soldiers and apparently provoking a substantial Israeli retaliation as well.
Sharon’s Party Favors Palestinian State Israel National News (November 29, 2005) - Sharon’s Kadima party platform, presented to the public on November 28, is identical to Labor’s on the Israeli-Arab conflict. It vows to keep only Jerusalem and settlement blocs–less than 10% of Yesha (Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza). Justice Minister Tzippy Livny, one of the leading cabinet ministers who bolted the Likud to join Sharon’s party, presented the new party’s platform on November 28. The platform’s main diplomatic points:
Arutz 7 diplomatic correspondent Haggai Huberman noted that the “demilitarized and clean of terrorism” clause is fairly questionable, as the Palestinian Authority has never fulfilled similar clauses in the past or agreed to do so. Huberman explained that the “settlement bloc” issue, as well, raises many questions. “To many people who are not familiar with the map, it sounds impressive, as if Israel will retain a great presence in Judea and Samaria. But for those who do know the situation–and it can be seen on the ground when you look at the partition fence/wall that’s being built–it’s a very different picture. The blocs that are being talked about are really not very large at all.” more...
EU Wants Israel to Divide Jerusalem Israel National News (November 20, 2005) - The European Union (EU) has accused Israel of a de facto annexation of eastern Jerusalem. An EU conference in Barcelona is discussing the issue, with the Palestinian Authority (PA) calling for dividing Israel’s capital. A EU document, reported in The New York Times and The Guardian, urges member countries to prevent the security fence from “sealing off most of East Jerusalem” and allowing Israel a “de facto annexation” of Jerusalem–the city, which was re-united after the 1967 Six Day War. The report charges that “Israeli activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its Road Map obligations and international law.” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and virtually every previous prime minister and leader of major parties have declared that Jerusalem will remain united. The PA has insisted that its proposed new Arab state will include Jerusalem as its capital. The EU report, prepared by its diplomats in eastern Jerusalem and Ramallah and written by British consulate officials, was sent to foreign ministers of the 25 countries in the group. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said he hoped the document would not lead to a “regression to the one-sided [European] position of the past.” The report is to be published in December, but was leaked as the EU increased its involvement in PA-Israel relations by placing European observers at the reopened Rafiah border between Gaza and Egypt. The report, along with an EU conference in Barcelona on December 3, may put the status of Jerusalem in the forefront in the current Israeli election campaign. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is to attend the Barcelona meeting, but both Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom have absented themselves to continue their campaign in the upcoming elections in Israel. Finance Minister Ehud Olmert is taking their place. Abbas is expected to exploit the opportunity to demand that Israel tear down the security fence. The EU implicitly has sided with the PA, against Israel on the status of Jerusalem. Its official policy states, “The EU opposes...actions aimed at changing the Palestinian character of East Jerusalem.” The EU has blamed Israel for policies that it says “are reducing the possibility of reaching a final-status agreement on Jerusalem that any Palestinian could accept,” because the security fence separates 230,000 Arabs from Judea and Samaria. The result is a “de facto annexation of Palestinian land,” according to the report, which the Times said was leaked “from someone who wanted to publicize it.” Diplomats also accused Israel of “radicalizing the hitherto relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem” by discrimination against them on matters of work and building permits, house demolitions, and taxation.
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