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Purveyor's Journal
Purveyor's Journal
April 22, 2012

Iraq PM Meets Ahmadinejad At Start Of Visit

AFP - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday at the start of a two-day visit to boost relations between their Muslim states.

"If Tehran and Baghdad are strong, the region will have no place for the United States and the Zionist regime," Ahmadinejad said, quoted by state news agency IRNA, in reference to Tehran's arch-foe Israel.

He said there was "no limit to the strengthening of political, economic and cultural ties" between them.

Such moves would serve to "boost stability and security in the region," chimed in Maliki, who also held talks with parliament speaker Ali Larijani.



April 22, 2012

UN Says Israel Destroys Palestinian Bedouin Homes

AFP - UN agencies in the occupied West Bank said on Sunday that Israel last week destroyed 21 homes of Palestinian Bedouin refugees, making 54 people including 35 children homeless.

A joint statement from the refugee agency UNRWA and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs condemned the April 18 demolition of the structures at Khalayleh north of Jerusalem, along with the removal the same day of refugees from two houses in annexed east Jerusalem.

"The forced eviction of Palestine refugees and the demolition of Palestinian homes and other civilian structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is contrary to international law," UNRWA's West Bank director, Felipe Sanchez, said in the statement.

"We urge the Israeli authorities to find an immediate solution to enable the Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank, to lead a normal life, in full realisation of their rights", he added.



April 22, 2012

Bibi Sets Up Panel To Legalize Illegal Outposts

By Haaretz
Published April 22, 2012.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that he would submit the issue of sanctioning three West Bank outposts to a specially formed panel, despite the fact that he was expected to bring their recognition to the approval of the cabinet.

Netanyahu’s comments came after, earlier this month, the premier informed his ministers that, following the recommendation of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, he would submit to the cabinet “the necessary permits for providing for the status of the communities of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim.”

In addition, during last week’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that he would bring the settlements’ municipal construction plan to the government’s approval.

However, instead of bringing the outposts to the cabinet’s approval, Netanyahu speaking in a the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, said that he intended to regulate the status of Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim through a panel that would work to recognize settlements built on state land or through aid of any kind from the state.



April 22, 2012

Israel Forces ‘Ready To Hit Iran If Ordered’

Source: Agence France-Presse

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces are carrying out more special operations beyond the country’s borders and will be ready to attack Iran’s nuclear sites if ordered, the chief-of-staff said in an interview on Sunday.

In an extract from an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharanot daily, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said that 2012 would be a critical year in efforts to halt what Israel and much of the international community believe is an Iranian nuclear arms programme.

“We think that a nuclear Iran is a very bad thing, which the world needs to stop and which Israel needs to stop — and we are planning accordingly,” Gantz said.

“In principle, we are ready to act.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/22/israel-forces-ready-to-hit-iran-if-ordered/

April 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin Suspect George Zimmerman Could Go Free Friday

Source: New York Daily News

By Matthew Lysiak In Sanford, Fla. AND Helen Kennedy / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 4:59 PM

George Zimmerman is likely to be freed on bond Friday - even though behind bars may be the safest place for him.

Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara said he’s confident his client, who has spent a week behind bars for the Feb. 26 murder of Trayvon Martin, will walk out of court after the 9 a.m. bond hearing.

But that just opens new problems, O’Mara said.

“I just hope we can get my client out to someplace safely. There have been threats on his life,” he said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/trayvon-martin-suspect-george-zimmerman-free-friday-article-1.1064429?localLinksEnabled=false

April 18, 2012

House Republicans Seek About $34 Billion Food Stamp Cut

By Brian Faler

House Republicans are calling for $34 billion in cuts over the next decade to the food-stamp program, setting up a fresh election-year battle over the U.S. budget deficit.

Lawmakers said they plan to include the reductions in a package of $261 billion in spending cuts they will propose to replace automatic cuts scheduled to take effect in January.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas said the plan is designed to squeeze inefficiencies out of the food-stamp program, which is projected to cost taxpayers about $80 billion this year.

“It’s basically closing loopholes; it’s tightening things up; it’s reflecting the budgetary times we’re in,” said Lucas, an Oklahoma Republican.



April 16, 2012

Republicans To Slash Food Stamps


By DAVID ROGERS | 4/16/12 12:04 PM EDT

Food stamps moved front-and-center in the budget wars Monday morning, as House Republicans began rolling out a first wave of $33.2 billion in 10-year savings that will have an immediate impact in the farm bill debate and come November, the 2012 elections.

An average family of four faces an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1, and even more important is the tighter enforcement of rules demanding that households exhaust most of their savings before qualifying for help. This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, many of whom never before used the aid –now titled SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)—but have found it valuable in trying to stay afloat in the current recession.

Indeed food stamp enrollment and costs have exploded since the financial collapse four years ago, making SNAP a target for the right— but also far bigger political issue in swing states like Florida, Nevada and Ohio.

National food stamp enrollment reached 46.4 million people in January 2012, a nearly two-thirds increase from the average participation in fiscal 2008. The annual costs—now running in excess of $80 billion—have more than doubled in the same period. And even the most ardent food stamp proponents will sometimes say SNAP is a program “asked to do too much.”



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75190.html

April 16, 2012

Retail Sales in U.S. Climb More Than Forecast on Jobs

Author: Shobhana Chandra

Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in March as Americans snapped up everything from cars and furniture to clothes and electronics.

The 0.8 percent gain was almost three times as large as projected and followed a 1 percent advance in February, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase of 0.3 percent.

An improving job market is giving households confidence to sustain spending in the face of higher gasoline costs, boosting sales at chains such as Gap Inc. (GPS) and Target Corp. (TGT) Strengthening consumer demand raises the odds that the world’s largest economy will weather a recession in Europe and slower growth in China.

Households “have the income to propel their purchases now that we’re seeing job growth,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit and the third- best forecaster of retail sales for the 24 months ended in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “They have adjusted to the higher price of fuel. The economy now needs to build on its own momentum.”



Published: Apr 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

Te-Boo! Jets' New Backup Booed At Yankee Stadium

Apr 16, 1:39 AM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - Tim Tebow has work to do if he's going to win over New York sports fans.

The new backup quarterback for the Jets was booed at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night when he was shown on the giant video board - even though he was wearing a Yankees cap.

Sitting in the third row next to the Los Angeles Angels dugout, Tebow cracked a smile and acknowledged the camera. There was a smattering of cheers, but most of the initial reactions were boos.

Tebow was acquired by the New York Jets from Denver in a much-hyped trade last month. He is expected to back up starter Mark Sanchez, even though Tebow rallied the Broncos to the NFL playoffs last season and became a polarizing sensation in the process.



April 16, 2012

Israeli TV Report Shows Air Force Gearing Up For Iran Attack, Says Moment Of Truth Is Near

By Greg Tepper April 15, 2012, 11:49 pm

A major Israel TV station on Sunday night broadcast a detailed report on how Israel will go about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that diplomacy and sanctions fail and Israel decides to carry out a military strike.

The report, screened on the main evening news of Channel 10, was remarkable both in terms of the access granted to the reporter, who said he had spent weeks with the pilots and other personnel he interviewed, and in the fact that his assessments on a strike were cleared by the military censor.

No order to strike is likely to be given before the P5+1 talks with Iran resume in May, the reporter, Alon Ben-David, said. “But the coming summer will not only be hot but tense.”

In the event that negotiations fail and the order is given for Israel to carry out an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, “dozens if not more planes” will take part in the mission: attack and escort jets, tankers for mid-air refueling, electronic warfare planes and rescue helicopters, the report said.



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