After big Florida victory, Romney heads to Minnesota, Nevada
MINNEAPOLIS-Buoyed by his decisive primary victory in Florida, presidential candidate Mitt Romney headed to Minnesota and Nevada to campaign Wednesday, declaring that the Sunshine State results should put to rest charges that he is not conservative …
After Florida win, Romney says he's ready for Obama fightLos Angeles Times
Romney, Eye Still on GOP Foes, Turns to Face ObamaNew York Times
Romney heads for Nevada and predicts 'vitriolic, spiteful' White House electionThe Guardian
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Stock Act advances to debate in Senate
By Paige Winfield Cunningham Sen. Scott P. Brown, Massachusetts Republican, warned his colleagues to avoid unrelated amendments so the Stock Act can sail through Congress this week. (Associated Press) The Senate paved the way Monday to begin debating a …
Bill to Prohibit Insider Trading by Members of Congress Advances in SenateNew York Times
STOCK Act advances in the SenateCBS News
Insider-trading billYoungstown Vindicator
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Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat during a telephone interview, the Tunisia political leader stressed “I completely deny these comments.” He added “these comments are fabricated and aim to harm our relations with the US, and Western and Arab states, particularly the Gulf States.
As for Tunisia’s post-revolutionary relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ghannouchi told Asharq Al-Awsat that “we want only good things for the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia], and our policy is one of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states.”
Ghannouchi accused Zionist parties at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy of “fabricating” these comments, adding “I attended a seminar and we agreed that [my comments] would not be for publication. When they published them we complained about this issue and they apologized, but then they distorted the content [of my words], and that is in order to harm our international relations.”
As for what he will do now, Ghannouchi said “we will consult with lawyers on this issue and we are accustomed to taking newspapers that libel us and attribute statements to us which we did not say to court” adding “dozens [of newspapers] have been found guilty and forced to pay compensation.”
As for the criticism that he was subject to as a result of this misquote, Ghannouchi said “it was incumbent upon these journalists [who criticized him] to verify what they published, and not take quotes from known Zionist sources…especially if this harms Arab and Islamic relations” adding “Zionism is not happy to see Islam having good relations [with others].”" (thanks “Ibn Rushd”)
Washington Post, Muslims combat radicalization with online tools, 25 Oct 2011
"A Muslim organization is working to counter radicalization by providing the work of progressive Islam scholars online in simple, youth-friendly language.
"Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), a nonprofit group that has established liberal Muslim communities in the U.S. and Canada, created the
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Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post, Iran cyber police cite U.S. threat, 29 Oct 2011 "An Iranian police unit that was formed this year to counter alleged Internet crimes is playing a key role in an escalating online conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic."
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“Today’s Washington Post’s lead editorial mourns the passing of the US/Iraqi “Strategic Alliance.” What rot! There is no such alliance. There never was such an alliance. All else is neocon delusion. The elected Iraqi gocvernment asked us to leave. We are leaving. The war was a stupid mistake, stupidly fought until internal Iraqi forces were harnessed to bring the present Shia dominated Iranian inclined government to power. Brave men and women fought, died and some will live with there mutilations forever. The Washington Post is a miserable rag that serves egregious and foreign interests.”
This is an important story in the Washington Post about the USAID underwriting of Egyptian crony capitalism in the 1990s and 2000s:
Formed with a $10 million endowment from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies gathered captains of industry in a small circle — with the president’s son Gamal Mubarak at the center. Over time, members of the group would assume top roles in Egypt’s ruling party and government.
According to this Washington Post feature, Cairo has only a handful of remaining craftsmen makkng the fanoos, the Ramadan lanterns, in the traditional way. Most of those sold today are made in China. I suppose it’s no surprise; Zeinobia’s blog noted earlier in Ramadan (along with a photo gallery) that this year one of the Chinese lanterns is in the shape of a tank.
It made me recall how back in the 1970s there were still two tarbush-makers in Cairo making and blocking the fez in the old-fashioned way; both were in the Ghuriyya suq, the cloth merchants’ suq. They had elaborate old brass instruments for blocking the hats; I imagine they too have faded away since even then no one except waiters at Groppi’s was wearing the fez.
The picture chosen by The Washington Post for its lead article today
The speculation about the health and future of President Ali Abdullah Salih of Yemen is wild today. On Friday he was wounded by a rocket attack on his compound that killed several others. I first heard about this when someone called me and mentioned that in Pakistan they were saying he had been killed in the attack. When he only gave an audio message afterwords, and that with a clearly heavy breathing voice, it was still not clear what his injuries were. Since government sources are certainly not believable and no reporters were on the scene, all kinds of rumors spread easily. Now it is known that Salih with a number of family members and some of the other wounded are in Saudi Arabia for treatment.
So what next? The BBC takes a cautious approach with the headline “Yemenis rejoice as Saleh leaves but fighting continues” while The Washington Post is more optimistic, leading the headlines with “Yemeni crowds cheer as Saleh transfers power,” and stating “The departure of Yemen’s president for Saudi Arabia raises the prospect that a key U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda has lost his grip on a nation tumbling into chaos.” Over at Waq al-Waq Gregory Johnsen reflects the hopes and fears of the situation:
“My guess is that his wounds are much more severe than Yemeni officials have let on, as Salih was well aware that leaving Yemen would make it incredibly difficult for him to return.
"Disseminating the Obama Administration’s propaganda: ‘Assad as “illegitimate” as Qaddafi & Iran propping him up!’
“Last year, we took The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick to task for stories he published that relied “almost entirely on unnamed U.S. officials and a known terrorist organization” to advance “Iraq-redux” claims that the Islamic Republic is seeking to build nuclear weapons, see here and here. Now, Warrick published a front-page story in The Washington Post—a story which relied entirely (no “almost”) on unnamed “U.S. officials and a diplomat from an allied nation” to report that
“Iran is dispatching increasing numbers of trainers and advisers—including members of its elite Quds Force—into Syria to help crush anti-government demonstrations that are threatening to topple Iran’s most important ally in the region. The influx of Iranian manpower is adding to a steady stream of aid from Tehran that includes not only weapons and riot gear but also sophisticated surveillance equipment that is helping Syrian authorities track down opponents through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.”
We would directly challenge Warrick’s assertion that “anti-government demonstrations” in Syria “are threatening to topple Iran’s most important ally in the region”. Another story, see here, in the same edition of The Washington Post as Warrick’s offers a far more accurate characterization of the Syrian protests as having “failed to muster the numbers that brought down the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia earlier this year”, and further notes that “despite [protestors’] efforts, there has been no indication that the army would be willing to break ranks with the regime.” We would add that the demonstrations in Syria, while persistent, have been concentrated in essentially peripheral areas of the country.
But to explore such issues would constitute serious journalism, and that is not what Warrick is doing here. What he is doing is helping to disseminate what amounts to the Obama Administration’s chosen propaganda line: popular unrest is making President Assad as “illegitimate” as Qaddafi in Libya, and the Islamic Republic of Iran—unlike the United States, which is valiantly standing by the “people” of Libya in their efforts to overthrow a dictator—is propping up a dictator in Syria. We would argue that reality is quite different from this propaganda line: the United States, without having done its homework, intervened on behalf of one side in a civil war in Libya, and still has not managed to oust Qaddafi. Conversely, the unrest in Syria does not come anywhere close to a “civil war” threshold. In our view, President Assad continues to command the support of at least half of Syria’s population. But the Administration is worried about Iran’s rising standing and influence across the region—and is turning to every propaganda tool it can think of to “push back” against the Islamic Republic’s popularity in the Middle East—something attested to over several years by multiple public opinion polls.
In his story, apart from the very obvious limitations on his sourcing, Warrick makes no effort to offer an alternative perspective on the line he was fed by the Obama Administration. Warrick cites one outside commentator—Michael Singh, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. We know, like, and respect Michael Singh. But, before Warrick’s story was published by The Washington Post, Michael had already published his own Op Ed, see here, in The Wall Street Journal subscribing to the Obama Administration’s narrative about Iranian involvement in Syria [link]. Moreover, the Washington Institute is an AIPAC-created entity with its own agenda regarding both the Islamic Republic and Syria. By going to Michael Singh as his sole outside commentator, Warrick assured that the Obama Administration’s preferred propaganda line would not be challenged in his “news story”… (continue, here)