Ahmadinejad wraps up Latin American trip

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13 Jan 2012
Ahmadinejad wraps up Latin American trip

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in Ecuador on Friday where he told reporters, among other things, that he would continue to defy the Western powers who are intent on thwarting the progress of the Iranian nation, adding that the very idea that Iran would be pursuing a nuclear weapons capability is absurd. "They insult our country and our citizens,” Ahmadinejad declared. "The nuclear question is a political excuse. They all know full well Iran isn't interested in producing nuclear bombs. We don't believe in making atom bombs. We believe it is immoral." Ecuador is the last stop on Ahmadinejad’s Latin American tour, which took him to Cuba yesterday for meetings with President Raul Castro. During his visit there, Ahmadinejad complained to his host that the West was “punishing” his country for no reason, adding that the failure of Western style capitalism was evident and it was time for non-Western countries to forge a new world order based on “justice.”

More Arab League monitors quit in Syria
The Arab League monitoring mission to Syria was showing signs of unraveling on Thursday as several more monitors quit in disgust over the futility of their efforts to end almost a year of violence in the country. “The mission does not serve the citizens,” said an unidentified monitor who said he would leave Syria on Friday. “It doesn’t serve anything.”Anwar Malek, an Algerian who quit the monitoring team this week and told Al Jazeera the mission was “a farce” told Reuters on Thursday that many more would like to quit but are there under orders from their governments.“Neither the violence has stopped, nor the killing. The level has dropped, but it has not stopped,” conceded Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Arabi in an interview Thursday with Al Hayat television. Opposition groups claimed the regime of president Bashar Assad killed another 21 people on Thursday while several members of the security forces were also reportedly killed.

Hamas not satisfied with Jordanian clemency offer
Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk on Thursday angrily rejected a recent statement by Jordanian Prime Minister Awn Al-Khasawneh that the Hashemite Kingdom is planning to allow Hamas leaders to reside in the country but not practice politics, declaring that "one cannot prevent the Hamas leadership from practicing politics because its aim is to protect the rights of the Palestinian people. We hope Jordan will rethink its decision in this regard." Al-Khasawneh’s statement signaled a reversal in a long standing policy of outright banning the Palestinian Islamist terror militia from Jordan, but Marzouk’s statement indicates that that’s not good enough for Hamas leaders, who have recently had to evacuate Damascus due to the revolution there against the Assad regime, their long time patron.

Israel hit by hacker attacks
A group identifying itself as the Gaza Hacker Team launched a cyber attack on the website of the Israel Fire and Rescue Services Friday morning, the latest cyber-terror attack against Israeli interests following an attack last week on the website of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. The IDF has recently stood up a team of its own cyber-warriors, including a crop of 300 young Israelis recruited last month, some of whom are not even old enough to be drafted. “These are some of the top experts in their field,” a senior officer said. “We are not where we would like to be when it comes to the cyber world and we are working to improve our capabilities.”

Snow and rain usher in the weekend
Israelis living on the Golan Heights awoke up to a rare site on Friday morning as massive snowfall covered Mount Hermon and the surrounding area, leading to the closure of several roads and schools as children joyfully built snowmen and the police warned travelers to avoid the area until snow removal equipment could be brought to bear. Large areas in the rest of the country experienced heavy rains on Friday, with lower than average temperatures. Despite the heavy precipitation, the Water Authority issued a statement on Thursday that the country is still experiencing a water crisis, with the Sea of Galilee at 213.55 meters below sea level on Thursday morning, 55 centimeters under the -213- meter red line, and 4.75 meters below full capacity.

For a closer look at water issues in Israel, click HERE


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