Posts Tagged ‘nukes’

On Monday,Barack Obama met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Their main point of discussion was Iran’s nuclear program. Obama, while still pushing for a diplomatic solution to the problem, expressed a growing impatience with Iran’s recalcitrance.  Erdogan, however, maintained his view that the world could only coerce Iran through diplomatic efforts, and called criticism that his country’s close relationship with Iran isolating it away from the West “ridiculous.”

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee passed a same-sex marriage bill Tuesday night. Heading to the floor tomorrow, the bill is not likely to pass. Regardless, this is the first time the NJ legislature passed an equal-marriage bill out of committee.

A Chicago man has been charged with “conspiracy to murder and maim in a foreign country” because of his involvement in last year’s terrorist attack on Mumbai. David Coleman Headley, from Chicago, went to India to do recon for Laskkar-e-Taiba He, along with former military man Abdur Rehman, are also connected to a plot to bomb the Danish newspaper that ran controversial cartoons negatively depicting Islam. Headley has, fortunately, begun to cooperate with the FBI in their investigation. Chicago business man Tahawwur Rana has also been charged.

It is getting harder and harder to separate truth from hype on the border of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Iranian news source Alalam claims that Houthi rebels have pushed Saudi away from the Sa’ada, the Yemeni province where Saudi and Yemeni forced are carrying out“Operation Scorched Earth.” The BBC, however, reports that Yemeni commanders have announced that they will have the city of Sa’ada under their control by the end of today. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate has passed a non-binding resolution on the conflict, calling for the global community “to use all appropriate measures to assist the people of Yemen to prevent Yemen from becoming a failed state.”

In an address to an audience of families of those killed during the 1980’s war against Iraq, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahjmadinejad claimed to have documented proof that the U.S. is trying to stop the coming of the Mahdi, the Imam that Muslims believe will save man-kind. “They have devised all these plans to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam because they know that the Iranian nation is the one that will prepare the grounds for his coming and will be the supporters of his rule.”  He also said that the West was caught in a quagmire in Afghanistan and asked – “Is there not one sane person in your country to tell you these things?”

Russia and India have agreed to work more closely on nuclear power in a round of discussions to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Of the total number of crimes with filed complaints, 15% to 20% are committed by police officers, particularly those involving most violence such as homicide and kidnapping” said the Interior minister during the program “Aló, Presidente” anchored by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In a renewed effort to revive nuclear disarmament talks, President Barack Obama has sent veteran diplomat Stephen Bosworth to North Korea to meet with high level North Korean officials.  “The main question is whether Bosworth will meet with Chairman Kim Jong Il,” said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul’s Dongguk University. “Such a meeting would demonstrate that both the U.S. and North Korea intend to resolve the nuclear issue.”

Through French President Nikolas Sarkozy, Syria has informed Israel that it is ready to return to peace talks without the precondition that Israel pull completely out of the Golan Heights. Talks may resume with a mediator, the question is who. Israel would like to continue discussion through Sarkozy, but Syrians prefer Turkey. To that, Netanyahu responded that an “honest broker” is needed, and he is “not certain” the Turks fit the bill given their behavior since Israel’s war in Gaza nearly a year ago.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Monday “the time has come” for the government to make a decision on the fate of the Futenma military facility in Okinawa Prefecture and convey it to the United States, but he wouldn’t say what it will be or precisely when it will be.

Google on Tuesday unveiled a new approach to presenting news online by topic, developed with The New York Times and The Washington Post, and said that if the experiment was successful, it would be made available to all publishers.

Also on Tuesday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared greenhouse gas a threat to human health. This “endangerment finding” could lead to the modification of power plants, factories, refineries, and automobiles with new technologies, and caused an almost immediate jump in solar energy holdings & drop in crude oil.

Carbon dioxide output from the U.S. energy sector has already fallen half as much as needed to meet the 2020 emissions reduction target the Obama administration took to the Copenhagen climate-change summit.  Falling U.S. emissions are the result of the “weak economy,” which grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the third quarter after shrinking for a year, and a cleaner fuel mix in the electricity sector, according to a new report.

Pakistan has been a nuclear power for two decades, and has an estimated eighty to a hundred warheads, scattered in facilities around the country. The success of the latest attacks raised an obvious question: Are the bombs safe? Asked this question the day after the Rawalpindi raid, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We have confidence in the Pakistani government and the military’s control over nuclear weapons.” Clinton—whose own visit to Pakistan, two weeks later, would be disrupted by more terrorist bombs—added that, despite the attacks by the Taliban, “we see no evidence that they are going to take over the state.”

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Pulitzer prize winning writer Seymour Hersh defends his article, “Defending the Arsenal” in this week’s New Yorker. The piece revealed that America has a security agreement with Pakistan allowing the U.S. military to maintain special forces set to act in the event that Pakistani nuclear arsenals are in danger.

He claims that there is a stand-by group of U.S. forces based in Pakistan that its government can call upon in the event of an incident that might endanger national security, specifically defenses around nuclear arsenals. The U.S. government has denied Hersh’s findings. “The US has no intention of seizing Pakistani nuclear weapons or material — we see Pakistan as a key ally in our common effort to fight violent extremists and to foster regional stability,” said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly.

Hersh responded to the State Department with more detail about the program. “There certainly is a rapid response force; I’ll take it a step further – it is called a ‘Tailored Fest’… I just wish they would not deny stuff that is actually publicly available if you know where to look for it. It is a force that [will act] in case of any nuclear incident or any other terrorism-related incident.”

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OBAMA WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!!! Only three American Presidents have won before, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter. More opinions on this forthcoming. (Reuters)

Iran accuses the United States in the disappearance of Shahram Amiri, who went missing after a trip to Saudi Arabia in June. Iran has, so far, only referred to Amiri as a “citizen,” but he is a nuclear scientist that, according to his wife, worked on nuclear technology for medicinal use. Iran’s Foreign Minister went so far as to complain to the United Nations, which we at Pressed find slightly ironic. America says it has no information about his whereabouts. (Al Jazeera) (NY Daily News)

Polish President Lech Kasczynski has said that he will follow Ireland and sign the Lisbon Treaty. That leaves the Czech Republic as the only country yet to ratify the document that would strengthen the European Union.  (France 24)

Scientists find that volcanoes wiped out almost all life on earth 250 million years ago in something called “The Great Dying.” (Nat Geo)

The Palestinian Authority is calling for a special session to review the Goldstone report, which criticizes Israel’s conduct in its last conflict against Palestine. This ends days of silence from the Palestinians on this issue, while Libya has already requested and was denied a special session. A vote to endorse the findings in the report would be the first of many steps to bring Israel in front of a war crimes tribunal. (Al Jazeera)

White House Economic Adviser Larry Summers says he would be very reluctant to accept the idea that the American economy no longer has the potential to grow rapidly,” amid questions that slow growth is the new normal for the U.S. economy. (Bloomberg)

NFL experiencing highest ratings in 20 years. (Crain’s NY)

Forty-nine people have died in a bombing in the north-western Pakistani town of Peshawar. Meanwhile, the Pakistani army prepares for an offensive in North Waaziristan. (BBC World)

Pope Benedict warns Africans of "new colonialism" on Tuesday

Pope Benedict warns Africans of "new colonialism" on Tuesday

Pope Benedict warns African bishops of “new colonialism” from the West during the opening of his 3-week meeting with the continent’s clergy. Benny names Africa’s oil “treasures” the “spiritual lung” of the earth, warns that the developed world continues to export dangerous “toxic spiritual rubbish,” irony goes unnoticed, and whatnot. (BBC)

President Obama considers a mix of spending and tax cuts to stem job losses that would amount to a second stimulus — but without carrying such a name. (Bloomberg)

It was the Taliban: the Sunni Islamist group said it carried out Monday’s suicide-bomb attack on the heavily fortified office of the U.N.’s World Food Programme in Islamabad. (AFP)

Palestine delays its vote on the Goldstone Report, the U.N. fact-finding mission which concluded that Israeli forces committed serious war crimes and breaches of humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip from Dec. 2008 to Jan. 2009. Many are urging President Mahmoud Abbas to step down for permitting what they deem a major setback. (Al Jazeera)

A BBC timeline of the Nuclear North

A BBC timeline of the Nuclear North

After it’s meeting with China, North Korea might be open to six-nation talks — with the two Koreas, China, the US, Russia and Japan, that is — on its nuclear program, but only if it sees progress in bilateral talks with the U.S. Meanwhile, the South Korea press reports that its secretive neighbor is “close to completing” the restoration of its main nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. (NYT)

Way. Rival Hamas and Fatah factions to sign a reconciliation agreement later this month in Egypt. The deal was brokered by Abul Gheit, Egypt’s foreign minister, and Omar Suleiman, the country’s intelligence chief. (Al Jazeera)

New federal guidelines will force product-reviewing bloggers to divulge the  “financial benefits” — payments, gifts, vacations — associated with such plugs, under new advertising regs in effect Dec. 1. (LAT)

Egypt’s highest Muslim authority says will ban the growing trend of the women’s niqab veil, deeming that the full-face veiling has nothing to do with the Islamic faith. (BBC)

House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-MA) announces he will introduce legislation that will dedicate the $2 billion collected in TARP funds to jobless homeowners poised to default on their mortgages. He has also said that his committee will consider how to create more jobs in January after discussions on financial regulation. (Bloomberg)

The thing to do now would be to withdraw the tens of billions we’re putting into Iraq and reprogram that into job creation efforts in the U.S.

Bloomberg News looks like the front runner in the bidding to buy McGraw Hill’s Business Week. The acquisition would be a major boon to Bloomberg, as it set to expand consumer and media services last year. (Crain’s)

Staff

Chicago out of the running for 2016 Olympics. Honestly though, wouldn’t you rather go to Rio? [Guardian]

Rio wins bid, Tweeters freak.

Hizzoner Michael Bloomberg tells those with crackberry addictions to “get a life.” (video) [NY Daily News]

Talks between Iran and European officials went well yesterday. Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, stated that Iran will never give up “absolute rights” to proceed with its atomic program, but that it would allow inspectors into Qom, their second nuclear site, in the next two weeks. [AlJazeera ENG]

GE and Comcast are discussing splitting NBC Universal. GE owns 80% of NBCU but would cede a controlling interest of 51% to Comcast in the merger. The motivation here? Besides the fact that NBCU is fourth among major TV networks, GE also wants to raise capital to expand into emerging markets. [Reuters]

Today Irish voters will go to polls to decide on the Lisbon Treaty, which would streamline and strengthen the European Union. Irish voters have rejected the Treaty once before and remain the only EU holdouts along with the Czech Republic and Poland. [France24]

The U.S. Unemployment rate jumped to 9.8% in September, the highest its been in 26 years.  [NPR]

The NY Post reports that former Merrill Lynch head John Thain feels vindicated by Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis’ resignation. Thain helped to orchestrate the sale of ML to BofA but has since been taken off center stage.  [NY Post]

Gregor Robertson, the Mayor of Vancouver, is negotiating with California Governor Arnold Schwazenegger to create “low-carbon economic development zones” to create a market for green energy technology.  [Vancouver Sun]
Chicago out of the running for 2016 Olympics. Honestly though, wouldn’t you rather go to Rio? [Guardian]

Rio wins bid, Tweeters freak.

Hizzoner Michael Bloomberg tells those with crackberry addictions to “get a life.” (video) [NY Daily News]

Talks between Iran and European officials went well yesterday. Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, stated that Iran will never give up “absolute rights” to proceed with its atomic program, but that it would allow inspectors into Qom, their second nuclear site, in the next two weeks. [AlJazeera ENG]

GE and Comcast are discussing splitting NBC Universal. GE owns 80% of NBCU but would cede a controlling interest of 51% to Comcast in the merger. The motivation here? Besides the fact that NBCU is fourth among major TV networks, GE also wants to raise capital to expand into emerging markets. [Reuters]

Today Irish voters will go to polls to decide on the Lisbon Treaty, which would streamline and strengthen the European Union. Irish voters have rejected the Treaty once before and remain the only EU holdouts along with the Czech Republic and Poland. [France24]

The U.S. Unemployment rate jumped to 9.8% in September, the highest its been in 26 years.  [NPR]

The NY Post reports that former Merrill Lynch head John Thain feels vindicated by Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis’ resignation. Thain helped to orchestrate the sale of ML to BofA but has since been taken off center stage.  [NY Post]

Gregor Robertson, the Mayor of Vancouver, is negotiating with California Governor Arnold Schwazenegger to create “low-carbon economic development zones” to create a market for green energy technology.  [Vancouver Sun]

According to a new report from the EU, while Georgia triggered conflict with Russia one year ago, it was Russia that broke international law by invading Georgia, and subsequently declaring war. (WSJ)

Monday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in no uncertain terms that Iran’s nuclear plan was a danger for the Middle East. (Iran Focus)

Top American U.N. official is removed from his position in Kabul, this after he publicly campaigned against Afghanistan presidential election fraud.  (Reuters)

Now that the Senate Finance Committee has voted down two key Democratic public-option amendments to the health care bill, the fate of such reform lies in Obama’s hands. (Politico)

After years of increased government control, deep economic strife is causing Russia PM Vladimir Putin to push for privatization at the country’s big businesses. (WSJ)

The New York Times is still weighing pay-model options. The paper thinks it could make everyone happier if it could just figure out how to make money out of that new-fangled internet, but at this point they lack a clear proposal from any party. (New York Observer)

SAMOA BEARS BRUNT: Earthquake in the South Pacific triggers a deadly tsunami that rips through Samoa killing over 100 people.

The Age | Al-Jazeera | CS Monitor | Economist | NYT | Reuters | WSJ

Honduras’ de facto government attempts to curb protests and limit free speech, but fails with no congressional support. (NYT)

China is seeking to double its African oil reserves by bidding for up to 6 billion barrels of Nigerian crude, according to a leaked letter from the Nigerian president. (Telegraph)

A cash-rich China has used the global financial crisis as an opportunity for a strategic expansion in oil and other commodities that it needs to fuel its rapidly expanding economy.

While it won’t happen this decade, Time Warner is considering selling Time Inc., its media conglomerate. (Crain’s)

The Egyptians have presented a peace proposal to the two Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah… and they actually like it! The two groups will go to Egypt in October to discuss it more at length. (Al Jazeera)

A British 14-year-old girl dies just a few hours after receiving the vaccine for cervical cancer. (AP)

Shots still ring out in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, one day after 128 opposition protesters were killed in clashes with government forces. (News24)

Five months ago, swine flu anxieties caused Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to order all the country’s pigs be slaughtered. Now, the waste that was once their job to devour is piling up in the streets, causing a garbage crisis. (Bloomberg)

Iran says it’ll refuse to discuss a newly declared nuclear plant during forthcoming talks, and also warns it will avoid future cooperation if the West continues “past mistakes.” O-kay… (Reuters)

Staff

Iran's nuclear sites

Iran's nuclear sites

 Testing missles capable of striking Israel, U.S. military bases in the Middle East and parts of Europe, right after the G-20 and just ahead of nuclear talks with world powers? BBC analysis:

The big fear is that ultimately Iran will have a fully-fledged inter-continental ballistic missile.

These missiles already cover pretty much the whole of the Middle East and a good chunk of Turkey as well, and maybe the fringes of Europe.

I think Iran would say with some justice its missile programme is the strongest deterrent it has got.

It probably cannot prevent Western jets getting through and Western missiles getting through. But it could – and I think Israel knows for example – that if it did strike Iran, it would have to take into account the possibility of really substantial casualties if Iran did unleash its long-range missile pack.

View the full story & video here.

Iran says it has a new nuclear enrichment facility. Whoop-dee-doo. (Al Jazeera)

And to be clear, peep the world’s official nuclear powers: U.S., Russia, France, Britain and China. Then there are those other (self?-) declared ones: North Korea, India, Pakistan. Then the stealthily unofficial: Israel, and Iran. (Reuters)

Hamas has been having problems consolidating its power in Gaza since the most recent Israeli Invasion. What does this mean for Palestinians? (Foreign Affairs)

Somali pirates took another ship off the coast of Mogadishu. (BBC)

India’s first lunar mission data uncovers water in moon soils. For shame, NASA. (Bloomberg)

The Economist is not impressed with world leaders at New York’s climate change meeting. (Economist)

Yesterday, Eric Cantor (R-VA) defended his callous treatment of a constituent with a sick relative. I mean, telling her to find a charity or like, “an existing government program” is totally sympathetic or whatever, right? (TPM)

US Ambasador to Russia says the “heavily edited video” of his second secretary with Russian prostitutes is a fake effort to “smear him in the eyes of his contacts.”  The old Russian editing tactic is nothing new… (Moscow Times)

Thanks Hipsters! Brooklyn’s economy is fairing better than the rest of New York City’s. (Crain’s)

Staff