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Liberty Newspost Jan-29-11

Liberty Newspost Jan-29-11

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America's daily newstablet. Easy to read, great content.
America's daily newstablet. Easy to read, great content.

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Published by: Liberty Newspost Corp. on Jan 29, 2011
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Newstablet Editionhttp://www.LibertyNewspost.com- 29/01/11
Submitted at 1/28/2011 4:08:18 PM
DAVOS, Switzerland – A diversepanel of decision-makers andexperts from the United States,Europe and the Middle East foundcommon ground on just one thingwhen it comes to dealing with theIranian nuclear program Friday: Amilitary strike could well spark adevastating counterattack.In the debate at the WorldEconomic Forum, former top U.S.diplomat Richard Haass said therewere no good options shoulddiplomacy fail, but stood apartfrom the others in advocatingforce as a viable option. Hesparred repeatedly with SaudiArabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal,who urged the United States toinstead pressure Israel to quit itsown reported nuclear weapons asa way of coaxing Iran to drop itssuspected weapons program aswell.Haass replied that there was notime for this because of the speedof Iran's program — and rejectedthe assertion by Turkish DeputyPrime Minister Ali Babacan thatthe program might be civilian, asTehran has repeatedly claimed.The Davos panel thus reflectedthe basic disagreement thatdivides world powers andbedevils diplomatic efforts: Allseem to oppose Iran producing anuclear weapon, but there aredisagreements over whether tobelieve its protestations. Anddown the road lies the openquestion of whether war is worsethan acquiesence.Iran "is not interested in anyserious way to produceelectricity," said Haass, who ispresident of the Council onForeign Relations, an influentialU.S. think tank. "Let's not kidourselves: This is about asustained Iranian commitment toeither develop nuclear weapons orget 90 percent of the way there"— perhaps sufficing with a statusas "a 'threshold nuclear weaponsstate' in the belief that they couldderive most of the benefits(without) incurring most of thecosts."Most of the other panelists at thedebate hosted by the Al-Arabiyasatellite TV channel stressed thatdiplomacy should be the focus of current efforts."We should use every singleopportunity to reach our goal onthe diplomatic path," said GermanDefense Minister Karl-Theodorzu Guttenberg.Babacan argued that "there is ahuge misunderstanding betweenthe Western world and some inthe (Middle East) and Iran. ...Marginalizing Iran more andmore, or cornering them more andmore ... is not going to give anykind of (solution).""The Iranians see diplomacy as atactic to buy time," Haasscountered. "I don't think it's goingto work." Although he advocatestougher sanctions as a tactic,Haass said he feared an ultimatechoice between two bad options:accepting a nuclear-armed Iran —or using military force to set back the Iranian program howeverpossible, despite the risk of onlypartial success."I do believe that force is aserious option," he said, arguingthat a nuclear Iran "would placethis region on a knife's edge. Itwould take the most dangerous,unstable part of the world andplace it on steroids. This hastremendous consequences whichwe should not underestimate."Al-Faisal, who served as anambassador to the U.S. and is anex-intelligence service director,responded to a question aboutwhether a push for democracyacross the Middle East might bemore worrisome than a nuclear-armed Iran."I don't know — in Saudi Arabiawe have neither nuclear weaponsnor democracy," he said.The panelists were aghast at theprospect of a stricken Iran, benton revenge.Khalid Al Bu-Ainnain, a formertop Gulf military official, saidIran would "attack Israelis andU.S. forces in the Gulf" and theGulf states might be drawn in aswell.Turki, a former Saudi intelligencechief who is a brother of ForeignMinister Prince Saud al-Faisal,said that "Iran will strike back wherever it can, throughout theglobe. My country and othercountries — all countries — willbe in the firing line. Iran hasassets all over the world that itcan use."Guttenberg said Europe may getdrawn in: "The (Middle East) ison fire and then ... we will haveEuropean discussions on beinginvolved, yes or no. This is asheer disaster. ... Let's try to avoidit diplomatically."Not to be outdone, Haass addedthat Iran might interfere with theflow of oil as well.Haass said that he took part inpast U.S. deliberations on what todo about North Korea's nuclearprogram, and that force wasdiscussed then also. With NorthKorea and Pakistan now bothpossessing nuclear weapons, hisconclusion is that the world hasbeen too lax: "If there were (ever)a mix of terrorism and nuclearmaterials, that dangerous mixtureis more likely to come fromPakistan in our lifetime thananywhere else.""A nightmare scenario," sighedTurki, emphatically agreeing withhis American co-panelist at last.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readour FAQ page atfivefilters.org/ content-only/faq.php Five Filtersfeatured article:Collateral Damage - WikiLeaks InThe Crosshairs.
2Newstablet Edition
Submitted at 1/28/2011 4:57:02 PM
The U.S. economy grew 2.9percent in 2010, the biggest GDPgain since 2005, but still too weak to make a big dent in theunemployment rate which endedthe year at 9.4 percent.Egyptian protesters again took tothe streets seeking to oustPresident Hosni Mubarak fromthe job he’s held for 30 years.Rather than risk a fissure inmessages, the White House heldits press briefing, while the StateDepartment canceled. In thestrongest public message so far,the United States warned Egypt itwould review some $1.3 billion inaid based on the government’sresponse to the massive protests.“We will be reviewing ourassistance posture based on eventsthat take place in the comingdays,” White House spokesmanRobert Gibbs said.Words spoken five years ago bythe man who will replace Gibbs inthe White House press secretary job are being replayed on theInternet (in the never say nevercategory).During a 2006 interview on C-SPAN, Jay Carney made thefollowing comment about the postof White House press secretary:“It’s a tricky job. I’m sure Iwouldn’t be any good at it.”Here are our top stories fromWashington today…U.S. warns Egypt on aid, urgessecurity restraintThe United States warned Egyptit would review some $1.3 billionin aid based on Egypt’s responseto massive protests, urging thegovernment to rein in securityforces and allow peacefuldemonstrations. The protests haveput the United States into aquandary of its own. Washingtonviews Mubarak as a key partner— a linchpin for future Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and abulwark againstIran’s regionalclout — but U.S. officials havestressed this week their long-standing support for democraticreform in his country.For more of this story by Jeff Mason and Arshad Mohammed,readhere.Egypt military chief cuts shortUS visitA senior Egyptian militaryofficial intends to return home onFriday from the United States,cutting short a visit for defensetalks as unrest sweeps his country,the Pentagon said. LieutenantGeneral Sami Enan was leading adelegation in defense talks thatstarted on Wednesday and wereset to run through Feb. 2. APentagon spokesman saidAlexander Vershbow, an assistantsecretary of defense, had urged“restraint” in talks with Egypt’smilitary earlier in the week.For more of this story by PhilStewart, readhere.Mubarak skeptical of US reformpush – leaked cablesPresident Obama’s push fordemocratic reforms in Egypt hasfaced resistance from its longtimeleader, in part because PresidentHosni Mubarak believesWashington’s past pressure forchange has caused chaos in theMiddle East. Diplomatic cablesposted by WikiLeaks showObama has guided the UnitedStates to warmer ties with Egyptby avoiding the public “name andshame” tactics of George W. Bushwhile urging political reforms inprivate. But they also show U.S.pressure is viewed skeptically byMubarak, who believes ill-advisedU.S. pushes for reform in theMiddle East have producedcolossal mistakes, from the ousterof the Shah of Iranto the electionof Hamas Islamists in Gaza.For more of this story by DavidAlexander, readhere.The next generation of WikiLeaksAll across Europe, from Brusselsto the Balkans, a new generationof WikiLeaks-style websites issprouting. Like their forerunner,the fledgling whistle-blowingsites are a chaotic mixture of complex systems engineering,earnest campaigning, muckrakingand self-promotion. And thoughtheir goals are varied, the activistsbehind the sites told Reuters thatthey share one major concern:they all vow not to repeatmistakes they believe were madeby Julian Assange, thecontroversial WikiLeaks creator.For more of this exclusive storyby Mark Hosenball, readhere.Obama: will not refight battleover healthcare lawPresident Obama said hishealthcare overhaul is animportant part of efforts to cut thebudget deficit and he will not“refight” the battle to pass thelaw. “We know that health carecosts, including programs likeMedicare and Medicaid, are thebiggest contributors to our long-term deficit. Nobody disputes this.And this law will slow thesecosts.”For more of this story by PatriciaZengerle, readhere.For a factbox on lawsuitschallenging the law, click here.Consumer spending, trade buoyU.S. economy in Q4The economy gathered speed inthe fourth quarter to regain its pre-recession peak with a big gain inconsumer spending and strongexports, removing doubts aboutthe recovery’s sustainability. Still,it was not seen strong enough toknock the Federal Reserve off track from efforts to supportrecovery. “The numbers look verygood. The economy has got somereal good momentum heading intothe new year,” said JosephLaVorgna of Deutsche Bank.For more of this story by LuciaMutikani, readhere.A miss, but better-than-expectedUS GDP dataFor a worse-than-expectednumber, Friday’s GDP data look surprisingly strong. The figuresshow consumer spending growingat the fastest rate in four years andinternational trade providing asurprisingly large lift. Both showan economy that is pulling moreof its own weight, an importantdevelopment as governmentstimulus spending fades.For more of this snap analysis byEmily Kaiser, readhere.FCC seeks to dismiss challengesto Internet rulesThe FCC has filed to dismisschallenges to its new Internet
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traffic rules. A senior FCC officialsaid the agency filed severalmotions with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the courtto dismiss as prematurechallenges from Verizon andMetroPCS. “The rules that governwhen and how parties maychallenge FCC orders are clear,and Verizon and MetroPCS filedtoo early when they challengedthe Open Internet order,” theofficial said in an e-mail.For more of this story by SineadCarew and Jasmin Melvin, readhere.CFTC eyes how to build“bulletproof” ID systemRegulators seeking a barcode-likesystem to keep track of thousandsof traders and millions of swapscontracts face an uphill battle todo it quickly and efficiently. TheCFTC is crafting an identificationsystem for the swaps industry —one it wants to mesh with similarID systems under considerationby securities and systemic risk regulators in the United States andEurope.For more of this story byChristopher Doering and RobertaRampton, readhere.From elsewhere…U.S. town demolished over leadcontaminationMost of its residents left, theschool closed, the citygovernment was disbanded, andstarting this week nearly everycommercial building in Picher,Oklahoma, will be demolished.But the owner of the last-remaining open business inPicher, which has been vacatedover the years because of leadcontamination, is not ready to go.“It’s not time for me to leave yet,”said Gary Linderman, owner of Old Miner’s Pharmacy in what isleft of central Picher.For more of this story, readhere.Photo credit: Reuters/LarryDowning (Gibbs comments onsituation in Egypt)This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readour FAQ page atfivefilters.org/ content-only/faq.php Five Filtersfeatured article:Collateral Damage - WikiLeaks InThe Crosshairs.
Submitted at 1/29/2011 7:59:03 AM
CAIRO (Reuters) – Lootersbroke into the Egyptian Museumduring anti-government protestslate Friday and destroyed twoPharaonic mummies, Egypt's toparchaeologist told state television.The museum in central Cairo,which has the world's biggestcollection of Pharaonicantiquities, is adjacent to theheadquarters of the rulingNational Democratic Party thatprotesters had earlier set ablaze.Flames were seen still pouring outof the party headquarters earlySaturday."I felt deeply sorry today when Icame this morning to the EgyptianMuseum and found that some hadtried to raid the museum by forcelast night," Zahi Hawass,chairman of the Supreme Councilof Antiquities, said Saturday."Egyptian citizens tried to preventthem and were joined by thetourism police, but some (looters)managed to enter from above andthey destroyed two of themummies," he said.He added looters had alsoransacked the ticket office.The two-storey museum, built in1902, houses tens of thousands of objects in its galleries andstorerooms, including most of theKing Tutankhamen collection.(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh,Writing by Patrick Werr)This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readour FAQ page atfivefilters.org/ content-only/faq.php Five Filtersfeatured article:Collateral Damage - WikiLeaks InThe Crosshairs.
Submitted at 1/29/2011 10:13:36 AM
AFP - Moscow and two othercities shut their schools for a week Saturday and urged children notto play in groups in a bid to stampout the worst flu outbreak to hitcentral Russia in more than adecade.
Submitted at 1/29/2011 10:48:20 AM
AP - The nation's largest cableTV company, Comcast Corp.,took control of NBC Universalafter the government shackled itsbehavior in the coming years toprotect online video services suchas Netflix and Hulu.
Submitted at 1/29/2011 12:23:09 PM
AP - A subsidiary of Israel'snational airline has whiskeddozens of Israelis, includingfamilies of Israeli diplomats, outof Egypt on board an emergencyflight to escape the chaosengulfing the Arab country.
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