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Israeli High Court: Tax benefits inequitable, discriminate against Arabs

Israeli Supreme Court PresidentThe High Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that the state's issue of tax benefits to Israeli citizens based on their place of residence was inequitable and discriminated against certain sectors of society, particularly Arabs.

Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch, Justice Eliezer Rivlin and Justice Asher Grunis questioned the legality of these benefits, as no Arab community has been included as a recipient of the benefits. "The government and the Knesset systematically refrained from resolving this issue, contrary to the position of the attorney general," the judges wrote in their decision.

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Israel could drag out peace deal over decades

Israel reportedly hopes that a protracted timetable would test the viability of a peace deal by gradually building confidence that its security needs would be met even as it withdrew from territory that would become part of a Palestinian state.

Israel Hayom, a pro-government newspaper controlled by allies of Mr Netanyahu, said Palestinian officials were deeply opposed to dragging out the implementation phase for decades. It quoted an associate of Mr Abbas as saying that the proposal was proof "that Netanyahu wants to buy time."

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Foreign report: Israel has one of world's largest 'eavesdropping' intel bases

According to the report, the base has 30 antennas and satellite dishes of different sizes and types, capable of eavesdropping on telephone calls and accessing the e-mail of "governments, international organizations, foreign companies, political groups and individuals."

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Anger at EU chief's Middle East outburst

EU trade commissioner Karel de GuchtA top European official was accused of antisemitism tonight after declaring that there was little point in engaging in rational argument with Jews and suggesting that the latest Middle East peace talks were doomed because of the power of the Jewish lobby in Washington.

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Fidel Castro takes blame for persecution of Cuban gays

Fidel Castro takes blame for persecution of Cuban gaysFidel Castro has said that he is ultimately responsible for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba after the revolution of 1959. The former president told the Mexican newspaper La Jornada that there were moments of great injustice against the gay community.

"If someone is responsible, it's me," he said. In the 1960s and 70s, many homosexuals in Cuba were fired, imprisoned or sent to "re-education camps".Mr Castro said homosexuals had traditionally been discriminated in Cuba, just as black people and women.

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Influential Israeli rabbi says Abbas and Palestinians should perish

Influential Israeli rabbi says Abbas should perishAn influential Israeli rabbi known for his vitriolic pronouncements against Arabs says Palestinians and their leader should "perish from this world."

Israel Army Radio quoted Ovadia Yosef Sunday as saying the Palestinians were "evil, bitter enemies of Israel" and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should be struck with a plague. He made the remarks in a Saturday night sermon.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are to resume this week.

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How Bush and Blair plotted in secret to stop Gordon Brown

Bush and BlairTony Blair attempted to prolong his time as prime minister after he was warned that George W Bush’s US administration had “grave doubts” about Gordon Brown’s suitability to follow him into No10, well placed sources have revealed.

The White House warnings, which were reiterated by other leading US-based figures, played a key role in Mr Blair’s attempt to cling on to power until at least 2008, and to groom David Miliband as his successor, The Sunday Telegraph has been told.

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