Sunday, April 1, 2012

Naval commander's April Fools' Joke Backfires

Three naval craft were ordered to set sail for drills with the US and Italian navies off the Italian coast on Saturday night, only to be informed at dawn that their commander pranked them for April Fool’s Day.

The ships’ officers labored all Saturday night to chart a course for the 10-day cruise, and the crew readied their gear and had their parents bring whatever they lacked. The ships were rigged and fueled and ready to sail, and the crew stood at attention on deck.
Only then did Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg inform them there was no drill and that the whole affair was a joke.
Some of the sailors and their parents were not amused, Israel Radio reported.
The IDF spokesman’s office characterized the prank as “inappropriate” and said the incident would be investigated and lessons would be learned.
The navy is currently conducting a real drill jointly with Greece and the US, however.

Times of Israel

Visit to Jerusalem puts Christie on world stage

Christie and his family arrive here tomorrow morning for the start of a whirlwind tour of Israel that winds through Tel Aviv, stops in Tiberius and ends Thursday in the Golan Heights.
He will have a private dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meet with President Shimon Peres and cap the Holy Week trek with a personal visit to Jordan with King Abdullah II.
The attention will surely reignite speculation that Christie is on the short list of vice presidential candidates for the likely Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. Barring that, it’s never too early to build foreign policy credentials necessary for a 2016 stab at the White House.

Plain Gold Ring

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nevada governor postpones trade mission to Israel

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is postponing a trade mission to Israel until the state is further along in its own economic development efforts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nuclear Reactor Approved in U.S. for First Time Since 1978

Atlanta–based utility giant Southern Co. will soon have permission to complete construction and operate two AP1000 type nuclear reactors designed by Westinghouse.
A global revival of interest in nuclear power technology remains underway, despite the April 2011 meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. China is already buildingfour AP1000s and more than 20 other reactors currently—and many other countries are considering new plant construction, from the Czech Republic to India.
But in the U.S., even just to maintain the current fleet of 104 reactors, which provide 20 percent of the nation's electricity supply, would require building as many replacement reactors by 2030. In fact, nuclear power production may shrink in the U.S. before it grows. Aging reactors, even with life extensions of another two decades, will begin to drop off the grid in coming years. "Twenty years is the blink of an eye for 100 gigawatts. The time is now to begin to deploy new nuclear," says David Christian, CEO of Virginia-based utility Dominion Generation, although his company has no plans to do so before the end of the decade. "We're in danger of missing that window."

Oprah visits Hasidic communities in Brooklyn, NY.

After visiting Hasidic communities in Brooklyn, N.Y., for a two-part episode on "Oprah's Next Chapter," Oprah Winfrey sat down for an exclusive interview with Rabbi Motti Seligson for's video site, Jewish.TV, to talk about her reflections on the visit and the community.


Bedouin tribesmen kidnap 18 Egyptian border guards on Egypt-Israel border

Security officials say tribesmen have kidnapped 18 Egyptian border guards along the border with Israel in retaliation for the killing of one of their members.

The officials said the Bedouin tribesmen snatched the guards on Thursday from positions along the border. Some of the 
guards were in vehicles patrolling the Egypt-Israel border in the Sinai Peninsula.
The officials said the tribesmen were protesting the killing of one of their members, a smuggler, as he tried to sneak into Israel days ago.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters, said there were negotiations for the guards' release.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not Welcome: A fight against Islamization of America

NOT WELCOME (short documentary) by Eric Allen Bell from Eric Allen Bell on Vimeo.

SEE ALSO: The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam

Snipers' nest at Super Bowl

Ashton Kutcher Spots Snipers in 2009

Israeli Delegation to Solomon Islands Attracts Large Crowd

Israel must have learned their lesson. In 2009 Iran bribed Solomon Islands to vote against Israel:

Ynet- Iran is bribing friendly countries to Israel to abandon it and vote against the Jewish state in the UN, a report obtained by the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem reported.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the report said the Iranian foreign minister met with the foreign minister of the Oceania nation Solomon Islands last year and promised him a check in the amount of $200,000, along with technological aid.
So now Israel seems to be on the political offensive:

THE three-man delegation from Israel has attracted a huge crowd during their mission to the Northern tip of Malaita Province on Tuesday reports stated.

Dr Yoel Seigel (Development Specialist), Aaron Weingrod (Industrial Park Designer/planner & Architect) and Yeshahahu Stern (Agriculture Specialist) were dispatched by the Israeli Government through MASHAV [Agency for International Cooperation] and Tag ID [Jewish Agency] to follow up on proposed development centres they will assist in on Malaita. 
This includes the proposed development on Suava Bay, Kadabina in the North, Liwe Industrial Park – South Malaita, and Faumamanu Industrial Park – East Malaita. 
They will support the current National Coalition for Rural Advancement (NCRA) Government execute its policy [Rural Economic Growth Centres] beginning with Malaita Province and then to the rest of the Solomon Islands. 
Malaita Premier, Edwin Suibaea said during their visit to the proposed Suafa bay sea port/Tuna loining, about 600 to 700 people turned up to welcome the delegation. 
Suibaea said after they returned back to Kadabina proposed Industrial Park, nearly a thousand people turned up to welcome them. 
“We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaita Chazon Authority and Afoa Tribal Land Trust board to allow work to continue,” he said. 
Mr Suibaea said the good turn out of people indicated they like to see changes on Malaita Province.
“They have been waiting for many years and now they see something starting to start on their land,” he said. 

This is to help create jobs for unemployed Malaitans while Israel Government through Malaita Chazon Authority, Malaita Province and National Government are working on creating economic growth centres at Suava Bay, Kadabina in the North, Liwe Industrial Park – South Malaita, and Faumamanu Industrial Park – East Malaita. 
As part of the process, a delegation including Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, Minister for Finance Rick Hou, Israeli consular Lilian Firisua and Malaita Premier Edwin Suibae will leave for Israel next month to look at Industrial Parks and at the same time meet with business people as well. 
Premier Suibaea said this was one of way of meeting investors and inviting them to Malaita province this year. 
“We are looking at inviting investors to invest in bottling water,” he said. 
“We plan to promote these products during the Festival of Pacific Arts in July. 
The premier a said they collected the sketch of Suava Bay and sent it to their head office in Israel to make a design of the proposed area for loin factory and international airport.

Sanctions Working: Iran Defaults on Payment to India

exclusive - iran defaults on rice payments to india-traders
Iran Defaults on Rice Payments (source)

Iranian buyers have defaulted on payments for about 200,000 tons of rice from their top supplier India, exporters and rice millers said on Tuesday, a sign of the mounting pressure on Tehran from a new wave of Western sanctions.
The default prompted the head of the All India Rice Exporters' Association to call on members to stop rice exports to Iran based on credit, which would be a fresh blow to a country where imports of staple foods are already being hampered by sanctions.
"It is a serious issue and we do not rule out further payment defaults by Iran," said Vijay Setia, the association's president.
Indian sources said the Iranian buyers had defaulted on payments worth about e144 million for rice shipments under long-term supply deals. Iran shipped the cargoes from Indian ports in October and November. Most Indian rice exporters allow 90 days credit.
Iran relies on imports for about 45 pct of its annual rice consumption of 2.9 million tons, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
In other supply disruptions, five deliveries of grain to Iran were diverted to new destinations because payments were held up, ship tracking data showed last week. Other cargoes are sitting offshore Iran because of difficulty with payments.
Under a tightening grip of sanctions, the country of 74 million people is finding it increasingly difficult to repatriate the hard currency from its crude oil exports, its major foreign currency earner, that it needs to pay for shipments of food and other imports.
A sharp drop in the value of the Rial is adding to Iran's import costs and the financial sanctions make it difficult for traders in the country to channel import payments through unofficial routes involving middlemen based in Dubai.
India is Iran's top rice supplier, accounting for some 70 percent of its annual requirement of 1-1.2 million tons of the grain, mainly the aromatic variety called Basmati.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Iran: Call for Protests on February 14 - "Silent Protest" Returns to Streets

As the anniversary of the 25 Bahman (February 14) protests approaches, several social media outlets have called on people to take to the streets. Meanwhile, the coordination council of the Rahe Sabz Omid ("Green Path of Hope") has issued a statement calling on people to participate in a "silent protest" on the February 14 anniversary.

The Rahe Sabz Omid's statement, which was first published on the website Kalame affiliated with Mir-Hossein Mousavi noted that the protests should take place on the first anniversary of the February 14 protests and the start of the "green movement leaders'" house arrests.

Last year, at the invitation of the two prominent green movement leaders, Mehdi Karoubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, their supporters came out to the streets to support the popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. State security forces cracked down on the protests, and at least two protesters Sane' Jaleh and Mohammad Mokhtari were killed in street clashes with state forces.

After the protests, Mehdi Karoubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi were both arrested and have been under house arrest since. The coordination council of Rahe Sabz Omid declared its existence shortly after, although the council's performance since has been met with criticism from some green movement supporters.

In its statement, the coordination council calls on security and police forces to "respect their fellow countrymen's rights under the law and demonstrate to the world that they will not behave as suppression tools for a dictatorial regime." The statement also refers to the "humanitarian, legal and religious" right of Iranians to protest their current living conditions and the state of affairs in their country.

The Rahe Sabz Omid released its statement one week after 39 political prisoners wrote an open letter inviting the people to "deepen and expand their protest movement" and intensify efforts to release their "imprisoned leaders."

Meanwhile, activists used social networking websites to amplify the call for February 14 protests. The 25 Bahman Facebook page which is one of the most popular green movement pages on Facebook with more than 73,000 members invited people to participate in the protest, even setting up a poll to determine the protest route. Members picked a route that ended at Pastor street, where Mir-Hossein Mousavi is under house arrest.

Payvand News 

The Saudis seem to want an attack on Iran

An "element of fear" is playing into the price of oil despite higher supply and decreasing demand, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud told CNBC Monday.
Bin Talal, the billionaire member of the Saudi Arabian royal family who runs the Kingdom Holding Co., said the fear comes from "what may happen with Iran and the possibility of closing the Hormuz Strait."

But Saudi Arabia has already said it will not let theprice of oil, which closed Monday around $97 a barrel, go above $100, bin Talal said.

"We can use our leverage, our excess capacity to be sure to pump more [oil] if needed so it will not impact the consumer countries while they’re getting out of their recessions slowly but surely," the prince said.

As for Iran, he said it is important for the U.S. and other nations to put sanctions on the "renegade country" to force its government to negotiate. Issuing an ultimatum of war would push Iran to the "desperate move" of blocking the vital oil shipment waterway.

"I believe a solution is not impossible with them," bin Talal said of Iran. "A dialog is the best way to do it."

Although he still sings his usual anti-Israel tune:

But if the strait is blocked he believes the U.S. can reopen the strait "very quickly." He added he wants a "nuclear-free" region, which means Israelshould give up its nuclear arsenal, too.
I find it quite interesting that when the Chief of Dubai spelled out the biggest threats to the Gulf Region, he failed to mention Israel as a threat.

Monday, February 6, 2012

L.A. School Closed in Sex Probe

An elementary school in Los Angeles will close Tuesday and Wednesday as authorities investigate alleged lewd activity by two teachers that has scandalized the community.
 Mark Berndt and Martin Springer were arrested last week for alleged sex abuse, and there have been concerns that the other teachers at Miramonte Elementary School might be traumatized by the disturbing accusations.
  Berndt was alleged to have spoon-fed his semen to blindfolded students as part of a “tasting game,” and Springer is accused of fondling two girls inside his classroom in the last three years.


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