Letter From Cairo: Egyptians Full Of Hope

The morning after Mubarak stood down was a brand new day which felt so fresh and exhilarating for so many of us. It was like a weight was lifted from our collective shoulders. Read more of this post

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Oil $101/barrel Gold Nearly $1500/oz

New York oil prices briefly hit $101 on Wednesday, as Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s regime loyalists clashed with opposition rebels, while safe-haven gold struck another record high point. Read more of this post

Armada Of U.S. And Israeli Warships Head For Iran

More than twelve U.S. and Israeli warships, including an aircraft carrier, passed through the Suez Canal on Friday and are headed for the Red Sea. Read more of this post

Israel Attacks Gaza Aid Fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country’s siege on Gaza. Read more of this post

Israeli Nuclear Subs ‘to set sail for Iran’

Amid speculations about Israel’s hostile future policies against Iran, a report says Israel is to deploy three submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf. Read more of this post

Israel Vows To Block Aid Ships To Gaza

Israeli authorities have warned that they would block a contingent of aid ships carrying construction materials and humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza. Read more of this post

US Begins Massive Air-Sea-Marine Buildup Around Iran!

Debkafile’s military sources report a decision by the Obama administration to boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with an extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants. Read more of this post

Israel Police Uncovers Organ Trafficking Ring In North

Police on Tuesday arrested six men suspected of being involved in an organ trafficking ring in northern Israel. Among the suspects are an IDF reserves brigadier-general and two lawyers. Read more of this post

Russia Blasts US Over Afghan Drug Scheme

Russia accuses the United States of consiring with Afghanistan’s drug producers by refusing to eradicate opium plantations in the country. Read more of this post

NATO Won’t Destroy Afghan Poppy Fields

NATO has rejected an appeal made by Russia for eradication of opium fields in Afghanistan, arguing that the sole source of income in the region cannot be removed. Read more of this post

Former PM Olmert Ranked Most Corrupt Leader In Israeli History

While just over half of Israelis think the Benjamin Netanyahu regime is just as corrupt as Ehud Olmert’s government was, the former prime minister won the contest for most corrupt ever, hands down. Read more of this post

“Israel Spy Planes Flew Over Budapest”

Two Israeli aircraft appearing to be spy planes flew near Budapest’s international airport last week but did not land there, Hungarian media reported Thursday. Read more of this post

Final Destination Iran?

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. Read more of this post

Israel Shrugs Off Calls For Arrest Of Top Spy

Israel on Friday shrugged off calls for its top spy to be be arrested in the killing of a Hamas commander, as pressure mounted after Interpol issued arrest warrants for 11 suspects in the Dubai hit. Read more of this post

Rihanna Free To Be Raunchy At New Year’s Gig

Organisers behind Rihanna upcoming New Year’s Eve gig (31Dec09) in the United Arab Emirates have dismissed reports they’ve ordered the singer to tone down her act.

Tabloid reports suggest the Umbrella singer is set to cover up for her concert at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi to avoid offending any conservative fans. Read more of this post

Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower Under House Arrest

Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu arrives at a Jerusalem court. Photograph: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images

Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 years in prison after he revealed Israel’s secret nuclear programme, has been placed under house arrest pending criminal charges for allegedly breaching the terms of his 2004 release, which includes a ban on contacts with foreigners.

A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said Vanunu was accused of meeting with “a number of foreigners”. The spokesman, however, did not specify who the foreigners were or where they came from. Read more of this post

Israel Harvested Organs Illegally

Israel has admitted that in the 1990s, its forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without their families’ permission.

The issue emerged with publication of an interview with the then-head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, Jehuda Hiss. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic, who released it because of a huge controversy last summer over an allegation by a Swedish newspaper that Israel was killing Palestinians to harvest their organs. Israel hotly denied the charge. Read more of this post

Dubai World Given Chance To Pay Debts

Dubai World’s leading banking creditors will attempt to force smaller lenders to accept a restructuring of the company’s $22 billion (£13.6 billion)debt at a meeting today.

State-backed Dubai World will hold talks with representatives of more than 90 banks in an effort to secure agreement for a six-month suspension of all debt repayments.

The Times has learnt that leading creditors have signalled before the meeting that they are prepared to agree to the standstill and will attempt to force smaller banks into accepting a restructuring of the debts. Read more of this post

Turkey Warns Israel Against Using Airspace

If Israel were to violate Turkish airspace in order to conduct reconnaissance operations on Iran, Ankara’s reaction would resemble an “earthquake,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Egyptian journalist Fahmi Huwaidi published Thursday morning.

Erdogan also alluded during the interview to last winter’s Operation Cast Lead, saying that Israel could not reasonably have expected to participate in a joint military drill with Turkey after “sweeping” the people of Gaza. Read more of this post

Shock Waves From Dubai Default About To Hit Markets

What happened in Dubai just over a week ago was the bright flash, and the media have used the intervening period before the shock wave hits to reassure everyone that everything is going to be just fine – “You just relax, nothing will come of it, it’s only $60 billion down the drain or whatever – have a cup of tea”. The trouble is that it’s not $60 billion at all – the reality is that this is a default on a massively larger scale. 

Dubai was a vast sinkhole into which western banks and governments unquestioningly poured not just billions but trillions of dollars which was then leveraged enormously by means of derivatives enabling Dubai to build itself up into a latter day Rome, with a level of opulence and extravagance that would have made Caesar green with envy. Read more of this post

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