Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The IAEA report adds to evidence suggesting that Syria was building a plutonium reactor at this site in Dair Alzour when Israel bombed it in September 2007. (AFP/Getty Images / May 24, 2011)
Watchdog Says Syria Likely Built Nuclear Site -- Wall Street Journal
The New York Times reports:
The charges — brought by prosecutors Mr. Mubarak had appointed — included hints that former subordinates might testify against him, as onetime allies and government insiders turn on one another.
A Cairo criminal court is expected to set a trial date within days, and the Egyptian people could soon see the leader whose iron fist ruled them for nearly three decades seated in the steel cage that serves as a docket in Egyptian courtrooms.
KHARTOUM (Reuters): More than 15,000 people have fled Sudan’s Abyei region to the south after the northern army seized the disputed area and parts of the main town were burned and looted, United Nations officials said Tuesday.A senior southern minister in the Khartoum government resigned, protesting against what he called war crimes committed by the northern army which had moved tanks into the main regional town over the weekend after weeks of tensions.Analysts fear north-south fighting over Abyei could reignite a full-blown conflict in Africa’s largest country, a move that could have a devastating impact on the surrounding region.Southerners voted in January for independence in a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal but Abyei remains the most contentious point in the build-up to secession on July 9.Khartoum has defied calls by the UN Security Council and world powers to withdraw its forces from Abyei, which has oil and fertile grazing land.UN officials said between 15,000 and 20,000 people fled Abyei and arrived in or around Agok, a town just across the southern border.”The situation is very volatile and fluid,” said Elizabeth Byrs of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
YAHOO SPORTS. The former Cavs coach isn’t very “Hollywood,” but that could work well in the land of make believe. Brown will get a 3-year deal worth $12 million, according to the LA Times.
The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department is still refusing to pay $750,000 to a Michigan insurance company for a stolen Ferrari F50 that was recovered, but then was wrecked while being driven by an FBI agent in Kentucky. The Justice Department has refused to release many documents to the insurance company about the incident involving the car that was stolen from a dealership in Rosemont, Pa.
A hearing on the matter is set for June 13 in Detroit.
The Justice Department claimed in a lawsuit filed by the Southfield, Mi. insurance company, Motors Insurance, that it was immune to tort claims when law enforcement possesses certain goods, AP reported.
The rare car was stolen in 2003 and recovered five years later in Kentucky, AP reported. It became evidence in an ongoing probe.
In May 2009, FBI agent Fred Kingston was moving the car when he lost control and crashed into a curb.
Now brace yourself for more entertainment.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Blago plans to testify in his own defense at his corruption retrial. The paper cites “several sources familiar with the former governor’s decision.”
“Blagojevich has been preparing to take the witness stand for several days and worked in depth on his possible testimony over the weekend, sources said. It was unclear how soon he could be called to testify, but the defense is scheduled to begin presenting evidence Wednesday at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse,” the Trib reported.
May 24, 2011, 2:27 pm
We need to be honest with the president, with the Congress, with the American people, indeed with ourselves, about what those consequences (of additional defense budget reductions) are: That a smaller military, no matter how superb, will be able to go fewer places and be able to do fewer things.
Building on this point, the Secretary indicated that the ends should define the means in the defense budget. The comprehensive defense review must take stock of the big picture:
The tough choices ahead are really about the kind of role the American people – accustomed to unquestioned military dominance for the past two decades – want their country to play in the world.
In closing, the outgoing Secretary waxed eloquent on America’s place in the international order:
America does have a special position and set of responsibilities on this planet. I share Winston Churchill’s belief that “the price of greatness is responsibility…[and] the people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility.” This status provides enormous benefits – for allies, partners, and others abroad to be sure, but in the final analysis the greatest beneficiaries are the American people, in terms of our security, our prosperity, our freedom.
I know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war. But there is no doubt in my mind that the continued strength and global reach of the American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression, and the most effective means of preserving peace in the 21st century, as it was in the 20th.
Watch the video here. Full text of Gates’ address after the jump…
Measuring politics by standing ovation: Netanyahu addresses Congress and pushes the same old right-wing agenda
Honestly, how does it matter that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu got 29 standing ovations, four more than President Obama got during his 2011 SOTU address?
Are we measuring political popularity by standing ovation?
And does this really indicate anything other than that the generally right-wing pro-Israeli lobby is immensely influential and that weak-kneed Sens. and Reps. will kowtow to Likudnik demands for fear of appearing to oppose that lobby?
And that Netanyahu is a powerful orator?
(As Think Progress notes, he got a standing ovation for saying that Israel doesn't occupy the West Bank. In other words, he got a standing ovation for telling a massive lie. And all those standing and applauding didn't seem to have a clue. Indeed, they only brought shame on themselves for doing so.)
Because, otherwise, all Netanyahu espoused was the same old hard-line position -- a domineering Israel that refuses to make concessions -- that has done nothing to secure anything even resembling a lasting, sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Sure, Israel will be "generous on the size of the Palestinian state," but the devil, as they say, is in the details -- and it's all about "where we put the border." And Netanyahu stressed that Israel will not, if he has his way, go back to its pre-1967 borders, even though Obama, breaking somewhat from previous U.S. policy, stated in his Middle East speech other day that those borders would only be a starting point for negotiations.
That isn't nearly good enough for Netanyahu and the Likud and their mostly right-wing American allies, of course, even though that would certainly be a good starting point that could ultimately lead to an acceptable compromise.
Busch was cited for reckless and careless driving, and his actions make Jason Richardson look tame. My only question for you is this: if the man drives cars over 200 miles per hour for a living, is doing 128 on the streets really reckless or careless? Think about it. Oh, and by the way, was there any doubt his car would be yellow? I bet it comes with a peanut M&Ms dispenser built into the glove compartment box.
Shake and bake, Twackle
WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors can seek an indictment against former North Carolina Senator and two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards for allegedly using campaign donations to cover up an extra-marital affair and love child, ABC News reported late Tuesday.
The network, citing sources, said the Department of Justice has given the go-ahead for Edwards to be prosecuted and the former politician has been informed of the development.
Edwards may now accept a plea deal or face trial.
Edwards, 57, has been the target of a lengthy federal grand jury investigation into allegations of campaign violations related to his relationship with mistress Rielle Hunter.
As Edwards made his second run for the White House, he began an affair with Hunter — an aide who worked as a videographer on his campaign — that was uncovered by the National Enquirer in late 2007.
Edwards finally admitted to the affair in August 2008, having initially denied that he was the father of Hunter’s daughter Frances Quinn Hunter, who was born in February 2008.
The allegations in the federal investigation concern more than $1 million that was used to hide Hunter from public view.
The amount was paid by two big-time donors — 100-year-old heiress and philanthropist Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Edwards’ 2008 finance chairman Fred Baron, who died in 2008.
Prior to his death, Baron admitted that he had paid money to help hide Hunter from the press, but denied that Edwards had any knowledge of the arrangement.
Former Edwards campaign aide Andrew Young — who lived with Hunter while she was in hiding, initially claimed to be the father of the baby girl as a favor to Edwards, and has since written a tell-all book about the campaign — has said that Edwards definitely knew about the money, and even solicited it.
A prominent trial lawyer before being elected to his North Carolina Senate seat in 1998, Edwards came second in the 2004 Democratic primary race and was then selected by the eventual nominee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), to be his vice presidential running-mate.
Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth Edwards, died late last year after a battle with cancer.
Posted By Pat Dollard