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Monday, Nov 24th

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Obama: Israel should sign nuclear non-proliferation treaty

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged all countries, including Israel, to sign the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

"Whether we're talking about Israel or any other country, we think that becoming part of the NPT is important," Obama said. "And that, by the way, is not a new position. That's been a consistent position of the United States government, even prior to my administration."

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Mexico drug war kills almost 23,000

The report indicated that security forces were involved in most of the violencNearly 23,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since the launch of a government crackdown on drug gangs at the end of 2006, according to a government report. The report, leaked to media on Tuesday, said gang violence has continued surging this year, with 3,365 people killed between January and March.

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Israeli stores pull book attacking settlers

Israeli bookstore chain says it has pulled a book highly critical of Jewish settlersAn Israeli bookstore chain says it has pulled a book highly critical of Jewish settlers in the West Bank after customers complained about it.
The book calls the settlers "hypnotized zombies" and attacks the Israeli right for its strong ties to the them. The Tzomet Hsfarim chain packaged the book with an Israeli flag for independence day next week.

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TVNL Comment: Contrary to the headline, the book does NOT attack settlers. It is CRITICAL of settlers.  Israel's concept of freedom of speech apparently excludes those who oppose settlements in the occupied territories.

Israel corruption trial for ex-PM Olmert suspended as associate charged in bribery scandal

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert.An Israeli court suspended the corruption trial of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday, a day after a longtime confidant of the ex-premier was arrested in a multimillion-dollar bribery scandal.

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Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US

Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today's population, that is more than $5,700 per person.

For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War.

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Belgium moves towards public ban on burka and niqab

Belgium today moved to the forefront of a campaign to restrict the wearing of the Muslim veil by women when a key vote left it on track to become the first European country to ban the burka and niqab in public.

The home affairs committee of the Brussels federal parliament voted unanimously to ban the partial or total covering of faces in public places. "I am proud that Belgium would be the first country in Europe which dares to legislate on this sensitive matter," the centre-right MP Denis Ducarme said.

Daniel Bacquelaine, the liberal MP who proposed the bill, said: "We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen. "It is necessary that the law forbids the wearing of clothes that totally mask and enclose an individual. Wearing the burqa in public is not compatible with an open, liberal, tolerant society."

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Swiss say legal immunity protects Pakistani leader

Switzerland will not reopen a money-laundering case against the Pakistani president as long as he enjoys legal immunity — a welcome answer Wednesday for the U.S-allied leader after the Supreme Court forced his government to request the case resume.

The Swiss decision marked the latest development in a monthslong struggle between the government and the court since the latter revoked an amnesty that protected President Asif Ali Zardari and thousands of other politicians, bureaucrats and party workers from corruption charges.

Washington has watched the dispute with concern that it could distract Pakistan from its fight against Taliban and al-Qaida militants, some of whom stage cross-border attacks against U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

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TVNL Comment: Another example of US support for corrupt leaders who play the game our way.

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