UMP members hold criticised debate about Islam's place in secular France, days before ban on face veils is implemented.
State Department issues statement calling on Israel to halt settlement building in light of possible building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
(AP) – 21 hours ago
CAIRO (AP) — Islamic hard-liners, some of them heavily suppressed under three decades of Hosni Mubarak's regime, are enthusiastically diving into Egypt's new freedoms, forming political parties to enter upcoming elections and raising alarm that they will try to lead the country into fundamentalist rule.
· Dec. 5, 2010: Russia signed an agreement today to help build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant.
· Turkish Prime Minister called the estimated $20 billion project "a very important step."
· Medvedev praised bilateral ties, saying, "In recent years, our relations have changed radically, and today we can say that these relations are strategic, multidimensional, and reflect in practice all aspects of our life."
Russia/Iran (unheard of)
· Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov characterized the Iranian elections as an "internal affair" and stated that "we welcome the fact that elections took place, we welcome the ... [Iranian] president on Russian soil and see it as symbolic that he made his first visit to Russia. This allows hope for progress in bilateral relations.
· Iran is Russia's biggest trading partner in the Middle East
· Russia has publicly supported Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology and has helped supply the materials and expertise to build the Bushehr nuclear plant, which Iran has claimed it will complete in 2009
· June 2009: Turkish President called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to congratulate him on his re-election and wished Iran continued success
· March 2010, Turkish Prime Minister said his belief that Iran’s nuclear program was only for civilian purposes. He called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a “friend” and added, “I told him I don’t want to see nuclear weapons in the region.”
· In July 2010, a Turkish firm sign a $1.3 billion deal with Iran to “build a gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey that would supply gas to Europe
· April 5, 2011: Foreign Minister said that he recieved an invitation to visit Tehran and that he is planning to accept this invitation at some point.
· Egypt is also working on "easing tensions" with Syria. A recent visit by Mamdouh Mawafi, the new chief of Egyptian intelligence, to Damascus last month conveyed a "message of friendship
· March 30, 2011: Foreign Minister said he wants to turn over a new leaf with Iran
TOM BROKAW: The Saudis are so unhappy with the Obama Administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt, that it sent high level adversaries to China and Russia to tell those two countries that Saudi Arabia is now prepared to do more business with them.
GLENN ON ACORN, 5/29/09
I think that when all is said and done, acorn is going to be disowned and it's going to collapse under its own weight, but none of the people are ever going to get caught, it is just going to shift over to another entity, and everybody will say, oh, it's solved, in hopes that that will
· The defunct political advocacy group ACORN has pleaded guilty to one count of an election law violation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
· ACORN attorney Lisa Rasmussen told Fox News that a plea agreement was worked out with the state attorney general. The violation was for unlawfully providing compensation for registering voters based on the total number of people registered. Sentencing for the organization is set for Aug. 10, and the potential fine is a maximum of $5,000.
· ACORN itself was named as a criminal defendant in the case for allegedly running an illegal voter registration scheme called "21," or "Blackjack," which paid ACORN workersarned bonuses based on the number of voters they registered in Nevada during the 2008 election.
· This is the only case in the country in which ACORN itself was named as a felony defendant. The organization, a one-time community-based activist group, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after dozens of its workers allegedly committed voter fraud in cases that led to numerous convictions.
· A coalition organized by New York Communities for Change of elected officials, unions, clergy, and those victimized by JP Morgan Chase is continuing a statewide campaign to urge the previously bailed-out bank to stop all filed and unfiled foreclosure actions, and take more action to protect New Yorkers from foreclosure. Frustrated by the lack of response from Chase, community leaders are beginning to take their money out of Chase.
· The village of Hempstead on Long Island is pulling its money from JPMorgan Chase and severing its ties with the bank to protest lending and foreclosure policies, according to local officials there. “Chase has been identified as one of the banks that have a high rate of predatory lending and also for not helping to modify loans,” the mayor, Wayne Hall, said on Tuesday.
· The treasurer, Ray Calame, said the village would soon begin to
slowly withdraw the $12.5 million in operating funds and investments it
had in Chase, ultimately ending Hempstead’s more than 20-year
relationship with the bank.
· The move is part of a two-month-old campaign led by New York Communities for Change, the community organization formerly known as Acorn , to urge elected officials, unions and religious leaders to divest their Chase assets.