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Egypt's Mubarak refuses to quit

Mubarak refuses to quitEgypt's President Hosni Mubarak has said he will stay in office and transfer power only after September's presidential election. His comments confounded reports he was preparing to stand down immediately. He said he would ignore "diktats from abroad".

President Mubarak said he would delegate some powers to Vice-President Omar Suleiman.
Egypt's military earlier said it was standing ready to "protect the nation".

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US Air Force sells sensor-fuzed Textron bombs to India

Textron sensor-fuzed bombTextron Defense Systems of Massachusetts will provide sensor-fuzed weapons to India through a U.S. Air Force contract. The Foreign Military Sale agreement for 512 CBU-105 sensor-fuzed bombs is worth $257 million. The company said $126 million of the total amount is funded immediately.

"We believe that SFW is truly the best area attack weapon in the world," said Ellen Lord, senior vice president and general manager of Textron Defense Systems. "Through a process of rigorous research, testing and analysis, we have created a weapon that is reliable, safe and meets current clean battlefield standards."

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Saudi asked U.S. to stop oil lawsuits: Wikileaks

Saudi AramcoSaudi Arabia in 2007 threatened to pull out of a multi-billion dollar Texas oil refinery investment unless the U.S. government intervened to stop state company Saudi Aramco being sued in U.S. courts for alleged oil price fixing, according to U.S. diplomatic cables seen by Wikileaks.

Deputy Saudi Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud at a July 8 meeting with U.S. embassy staff in Riyadh said he wanted the U.S. to grant Saudi Arabia sovereign immunity from lawsuits by ordering a Dept. of Justice statement of interest (SOI) on its behalf, one cable said.

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WikiLeaks: Israel's secret hotline to the man tipped to replace Mubarak

WikiLeaks: Suleiman's hotline to IsraelThe new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a long-standing favourite of Israel's who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret "hotline" to Cairo, leaked documents disclose. Mr Suleiman, who is widely tipped to take over from Hosni Mubarak as president, was named as Israel's preferred candidate for the job after discussions with American officials in 2008.

As a key figure working for Middle East peace, he once suggested that Israeli troops would be "welcome" to invade Egypt to stop weapons being smuggled to Hamas terrorists in neighbouring Gaza.

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Did the PA know about the Gaza war in advance?

Did the PA know about the Gaza invasion?Did the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s leadership have foreknowledge of the Gaza war? That question is raised - though never satisfactorily answered - by several exchanges revealed in The Palestine Papers.

In defending their handling of the Gaza war, Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president, has long held that the PA warned Hamas - both in Gaza and through its Syrian-based leadership - that Israel was planning an attack on Gaza.

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PA, with US encouragement, stonewalled UN vote on Goldstone Report on Gaza war crimes

PA stonewalled Goldstone Report voteOn October 2, 2009, the UN Human Rights Council was widely expected to pass a resolution supporting the Goldstone Report, the UN’s probe of war crimes committed during Israel’s war in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

The Council instead agreed to delay a vote on the report until March 2010, following major reservations expressed by the Palestinian Authority, the United States and Israel. A UNHRC endorsement of the report would have brought Israeli officials one step closer to prosecution before a war crimes tribunal, an event many Palestinians were anxious to see.

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The US role as Israel's enabler

US role as Israel's enablerThe Palestine Papers give the world an unprecedented look inside the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, but they also provide a fly-on-the-wall view of how key senior American officials view their role as negotiators which, as the paprs show, apparently means never taking any position to which an Israeli government might object.

The series of six documents that provide a core element to understanding the debates that raged over Israeli settlements show just how willing the U.S. is to acquiesce to Israeli demands – and how willing they are to pressing the PA leadership to move forward on the negotiations despite Israel’s flaunting of international agreements, including freezing all settlement activity.

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