Veteran military and foreign affairs analyst and author Mark Perry reports that CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus dispatched a team of senior military officers in January to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perry reports that the briefers told Mullen that “Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing US standing in the region.”
On January 18, 2007. Ardeshir Hassanpour, a nuclear physicist with extensive knowledge of Iran's nuclear program is found dead in his apartment. Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with the private intelligence firm Stratfor, believes the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, was behind his assassination.
"Hassanpour was someone that we deemed as critical to the program and would have been a likely target of an intelligence service like the Israeli Mossad," Bhalla said. A month later in February. Ali Reza Asgari, a top general in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, disappears while on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey. Some believe that he defected to the United States.
Noted Israeli military historian Martin Karfeld stated that Israel could find itself one day forced to exterminate the European continent using all kinds of weapons including its nuclear arsenal if it felt its demise neared, stressing that Israel also considers Europe a hostile target.
Pope Benedict once unwittingly approved housing for a priest accused of child sex abuse, his former diocese has said. The episode dates back to 1980 when he was archbishop of Germany's Munich and Freising diocese and known as Joseph Ratzinger.
However, a former deputy said he - not the future pope - made the decision to rehouse the priest, who later abused other children and was convicted. Roman Catholic clergy have recently been linked to paedophilia scandals.
TVNL Comment: 'Unwitiingly' is an unacceptable defense. Try it in court, some time.
The strongest aftershock since Chile's devastating earthquake rocked the South American country Thursday as President Sebastian Pinera was sworn into office.The 7.2-magnitude aftershock was stronger than the quake that destroyed the Haitian capital on Jan. 12.
There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries but the temblor - and at least three other aftershocks - strongly swayed buildings - shook windows and provoked nervous smiles among the dignitaries attending Pinera's inauguration at the congressional building in coastal Valparaiso.
The biggest aftershock happened along the same fault zone as Chile's magnitude-8.8 quake on Feb. 27, said geophysicist Don Blakeman at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, has pulled out of planned peace talks in the wake of Israel’s announcement it is to build 1,600 new homes in the occupied West Bank.
"The Palestinian president decided he will not enter into those negotiations now ... the Palestinian side is not ready to negotiate under the present circumstances,” Amr Moussa, the Arab League Secretary-General, told reporters in Cairo.
“The talks have already stopped,” he said.
Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, admitted hitting students while he was director of the most prominent Catholic boys' choir in Germany. The allegations of abuse of children in Germany have raised questions about Pope Benedict, who spent his early career as a professor of theology and bishop of Munich before becoming a top Vatican official in 1982.
Ratzinger denied knowing boys were sexually abused. He said the choirmaster was "a king without a kingdom" in the school hierarchy and that the tone was set by the "very violent" headmaster who served from 1953 to 1992. One former student, Franz Wittenbrink, now a composer, has described the headmaster as a sexual sadist.
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