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Purveyor

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

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Israel’s Supreme Court Upholds Limit On Family Reunifications

January 12, 2012

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Supreme Court voted by a narrow margin to uphold a law that prevents Israelis who marry Palestinians from living in Israel.

The panel of judges late Wednesday evening rejected a lawsuit against the Citizenship Law by a vote of 6 to 5.

The majority opinion justices wrote in their ruling that they recognize the constitutional right for family reunification, but said that the reunification does not have to occur inside Israel.

The Citizenship Law was passed in 2003. Under the law, a West Bank Palestinian may only obtain citizenship if he can prove that he identifies with the State of Israel or has made a contribution to Israel's security. A Palestinian husband must be at least 36 years of age or a Palestinian wife must be at least 26 for family reunification, according to Haaretz.

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http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/01/12/3091155/israels-supreme-court-upholds-limit-on-family-reunifications

Ambassador Bridge Company Owner Moroun Ordered To Jail For Contempt

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DETROIT (AP) -- A judge ordered the 84-year-old owner of Detroit's Ambassador Bridge to jail Thursday for failing to meet court orders on a construction project linking the span to adjacent interstates.

Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards said Manuel "Matty" Moroun and top lieutenant Dan Stamper will stay in jail until they comply with a 2010 order to get the work going. It's unclear how long they'll stay behind bars.

"It is clear that the Detroit International Bridge Co. does not intend to comply with the court orders unless meaningful sanctions are imposed," Edwards said.

Lawyers for Moroun and Stamper asked Edwards to suspend his decision so they could appeal, but the judge declined.

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http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/pnr-ambassador-bridge-company-owner-moroun-ordered-to-jail-for-contempt-20120112,0,6108674.story

Ambassador Bridge Company Owner Moroun Ordered To Jail For Contempt

DETROIT (AP) -- A judge ordered the 84-year-old owner of Detroit's Ambassador Bridge to jail Thursday for failing to meet court orders on a construction project linking the span to adjacent interstates.

Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards said Manuel "Matty" Moroun and top lieutenant Dan Stamper will stay in jail until they comply with a 2010 order to get the work going. It's unclear how long they'll stay behind bars.

"It is clear that the Detroit International Bridge Co. does not intend to comply with the court orders unless meaningful sanctions are imposed," Edwards said.

Lawyers for Moroun and Stamper asked Edwards to suspend his decision so they could appeal, but the judge declined.

MORE...

http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/pnr-ambassador-bridge-company-owner-moroun-ordered-to-jail-for-contempt-20120112,0,6108674.story

Israel Subsidizes West Bank Housing, Breaking Promise To U.S.

Despite the government's promise to Washington to stop giving financial incentives for construction in West Bank settlements, the Housing Ministry recently published a tender for 213 new housing units in Efrat under a program that offers substantial discounts on the land.

In 2004, then-U.S. President George W. Bush gave then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter offering various assurances regarding a final-status solution with the Palestinians. Over the preceding year, Sharon envoy Dov Weissglas met numerous times with Bush's envoys, Stephen Hadley and Elliott Abrams, to negotiate the document. The letter was given primarily as recompense for Israel's planned disengagement from Gaza. But in addition, Israel promised four other things: not to expropriate Palestinian land for the benefit of the settlements, not to establish new settlements, to confine new settlement construction to within the settlements' existing boundaries, and not to give financial incentives that would encourage people to move to the territories. In line with this promise, the government canceled all the grants and other benefits that residents of the territories had enjoyed for years. But the new tender includes a financial incentive that could encourage people to move to Efrat.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build 277 new housing units in Efrat as part of a series of reprisals for the Palestinian Authority's admission to UNESCO in October. The tender was published at the end of last month and is due to close at the end of February.

But it turns out that of these 277 units, 213 are being offered under the "Mechir Lamishtaken" program, under which the government sells the land to contractors for less than its full market value. In normal tenders, the land goes to the contractor who offers the highest price for it. This is the system being used for the remaining 64 units in Efrat. Under Mechir Lamishtaken, however, the Housing Ministry sets a fixed price for the land that is well below market value - often as much as 50 percent lower. The tender is then won by the contractor who pledges to sell the houses for the lowest price. Consequently, Mechir Lamishtaken tenders usually result in consumers paying less than the market rate for new housing. And while houses of up to 100 square meters are reserved for people eligible for public housing, anything larger than that can be sold on the open market, as long as the price doesn't exceed the contractor's bid price.

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http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-subsidizes-west-bank-housing-breaking-promise-to-u-s-1.406609

The Real Reason Israel Kills Iranian Nuclear Scientists?

With yet another Iranian nuclear scientist freshly assassinated--presumably by Israel--Jeffrey Goldberg asks a good question: Why is Israel doing this?

Goldberg thinks the most common answers are less than compelling. It's unlikely, he says, that "Iranian nuclear knowledge is so concentrated in the minds of a few scientists" that these killings are a major setback to the nuclear program. And he doubts that the killings will scare much Iranian talent out of the nuclear science business, since the Iranian government wouldn't tolerate such an exodus.

But there's a third option that Goldberg doesn't consider: Israel is trying to start a war with Iran. The more Iranian scientists it kills (and the more missile testing facilities it blows up), the more likely Iran is to retaliate. And things have a way of escalating, which would pave the way for military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Obviously, Israel could bomb Iran's facilities even without such escalation. But escalation offers two advantages:

1) Israel gets less blame, because it isn't accused of starting things. Of course, from Iran's point of view, Israel did start things by assassinating Iranians and blowing up Iranian stuff. But whether assassinating foreigners is bad depends on your point of view. In the eyes of the west and especially the United States, it's terrorism when Iran does it but not when Israel or America does it.

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http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/the-real-reason-israel-kills-iranian-nuclear-scientists/251271/

Clinton: US Had No Role In Killing Iran Scientist

BRADLEY KLAPPER,Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration denied any role in Wednesday's killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist, the latest in a series of events that have exacerbated tensions with Iran.

The assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was the latest in a year that has already seen new U.S. economic sanctions, threats to bar American ships from the Persian Gulf, an Iranian death sentence to a jailed U.S. citizen and an escalation in Tehran's uranium enrichment program.

Iranian reports said two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to Roshan's car of, killing him and his driver. Roshan was a chemistry expert and director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, and the slaying suggested a widening covert effort to set back the Islamic republic's atomic program.

But US officials said they had nothing to do with it.

"I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters. "We believe there has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbors and the international community that finds a way forward for it to end its provocative behavior, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the international community and be a productive member of it."

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http://www.wlfi.com/dpps/news/politics/whitehouse/clinton-us-had-no-role-in-killing-iran-scientist-nt12-jpe_4036949

U.S. Diplomat To Meet Egypt Muslim Brotherhood

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The US State Department’s number two is to meet Wednesday with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party after it claimed a crushing victory in the first parliamentary polls since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak.

William Burns ”will meet leaders of the Freedom and Justice Partyat their headquarters in Cairo,” FJP spokesman Ahmed Sobea told AFP.

“It will be the highest-level meeting with any official from the United States,” Sobea said.

The US deputy secretary of state arrived in Cairo from Turkey late on Tuesday for talks with government officials, political andbusiness leaders and activists.

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http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/11/u-s-diplomat-to-meet-egypt-muslim-brotherhood/

Kelley: Nuclear Arms Charge Against Iran Is No Slam Dunk

By Robert Kelley Wed Jan 11 00:01:20 GMT 2012

The conflict between Iran and the West just keeps heating up, with the Iranians announcing over the weekend that they have begun to enrich uranium at a second major facility, a well-defended site outside the city of Qom.

Given the high stakes, it’s valuable to take another look at the main source of the tension: Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. That this enterprise is active is widely considered a given in the U.S. In fact, the evidence, contained in a November report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is sketchy. And the way the data have been presented produces a sickly sense of deja vu.

I am speaking up about this now because, as a member of the IAEA’s Iraq Action Team in 2003, I learned firsthand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed. Having known the details then, though I was not allowed to speak, I feel a certain shared responsibility for the war that killed more than 4,000 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis. A private citizen today, I hope to help ensure the facts are clear before the U.S. takes further steps that could lead, intentionally or otherwise, to a new conflagration, this time in Iran.

It’s accepted that Iran at one time had a nuclear-weapons program. The country’s enormous investment in a secret underground uranium-enrichment complex in the city of Natanz is essentially proof of clandestine intentions. The military plutonium-production reactor in Arak is yet another indicator.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-11/iran-nuclear-weapons-charge-is-no-slam-dunk-commentary-by-robert-kelley.html

Grassley Says Delaying New Senate Confirmations an Option After Cordray

By Laura Litvan - Tue Jan 10 18:36:44 GMT 2012

Senate Republicans should consider blocking future presidential nominations as a response to President Barack Obama’s disputed recess appointments last week, said Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today he prefers first seeking some Senate Democrats to join in a public pushback to Obama’s four recess appointments Jan. 4, including the installation of Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Short of that, Grassley said, Republicans may have to go it alone with tough actions that could include holding up pending nominations from a Senate confirmation vote.

“We have got to stand our ground,” Grassley said in an interview. “You can’t let a president who takes an oath to uphold the Constitution go around the Constitution. That’s what the checks and balances are.”

Senate Republicans have criticized Obama’s decision to appoint Cordray as well as three members to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was on a break. So far the Republicans have said little about whether they might retaliate. Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said his office doesn’t have “any announcements” about what effect Obama’s move will have on pending nominations and any other business before the Senate.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-10/grassley-says-delaying-new-senate-confirmations-an-option-after-cordray.html

Job Outlook Brightens From U.S. Factories to Fracking

By Shobhana Chandra - Wed Jan 11 15:52:10 GMT 2012

Manufacturing and mining are set to power U.S. job gains again this year, from auto assembly plants in Ohio to the oil and gas fields of North Dakota.

The two industries combined helped spark the biggest annual job gains for the economy in five years in 2011, with factory payrolls expanding the most in 14 years and mining adding more jobs than any period in the past three decades, according to Labor Department figures.

Economists Peter Cappelli and John Silvia say those gains are likely to be extended in 2012. The improvement may spread beyond factory floors and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to drill for oil: retailers, the leisure industry and even construction may also benefit.

Last year’s employment increases “are good signs for this year,” said Cappelli, a labor economist and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “Manufacturing is the most important story because it has spillover effects on other industries in a way that services may not.”

MORE...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-11/u-s-job-outlook-brightens-from-ohio-factories-to-dakota-fracking-economy.html
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