ISRAEL + PALESTINE peace accord by 2014?/*666 ALERT:HUMAN ORGANS fabricated in computer chips/CONGO’s conflict/CANNIBALISM in SYRIA and more signs of JESUS’ SOON return

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BREAKING NEWS: US intelligence suggests Syria may hide some chemical weapons

BREAKING NEWS -The United States is looking at new classified intelligence indicating the Syrian government may not fully declare its chemical weapons stockpile, CNN has learned. That would mean it will still have a secret cache of chemical weapons even after the current agreed-upon destruction effort is carried out. The intelligence is not definitive but “there are various threads of information that would shake our confidence,” one U.S. official said. “They have done things recently that suggest Syria is not ready to get rid of all their chemical weapons.” CNN has spoken to several U.S. officials with access to the latest intelligence on Syria, who confirmed the information. All declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the data. U.S. intelligence agencies, the Defense Department, the State Department and White House are all reviewing the information. One official cautioned there is not yet a definitive U.S. conclusion about Syrian intentions based on this intelligence, but there is an effort to gather corroborating information and better understand what the regime may be up to. There is agreement among U.S. officials that Syria’s official declarations to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have been made largely in good faith after the threat of military action by the United States for Syria’s use of chemical weapons against civilians. The United States believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad understands not to do that again. National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan issued a statement Tuesday evening saying: “We continue to review and assess the completeness and accuracy of Syria’s declaration to the OPCW. However, in accordance with OPCW regulations, Syria’s declaration is confidential, and we will not publicly discuss its details or our assessment of it. For further details, we would refer you to the OPCW.” More

PRAYER BATTLE ERUPTS IN CALIF. AFTER ATHEIST GROUP SUES TO STOP A CHAPLAIN’S PUBLIC INVOCATIONS

Just as the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to tackle prayer at public meetings, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a church-state separatist group, filed a related lawsuit on Nov. 1 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court against the city of Pismo Beach, Calif. This atheist group is using the case to take aim at an unpaid city chaplain and the allegedly sectarian prayers he utters during city council meetings. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is attempting to prove that these invocations violate the California Constitution as well as the state’s civil rights laws. Additionally, the group is seemingly hoping to remove the Rev. Paul Jones from his post. Jones, a Pentecostal pastor, has been Pismo Beach’s chaplain since 2005. The Freedom From Religion Foundation charges that Jones delivered 112 of the 126 prayers during council meetings between Jan. 1, 2008 and Oct. 15, 2013. Aside from one invocation, each of these invocations was purportedly delivered in the name of Christianity, the group charges in a press release surrounding the matter. More

Obamacare forces school district to consider substitute teachers…

BRISTOL , Va. – City school leaders could decide next month to get substitute teachers from an employment agency due to cost concerns related to the Affordable Care Act. On Monday, the city School Board tabled a proposal to contract with Kelly Educational Services for substitute teachers. The board is now expected to make that decision at its December meeting.  “We’ve got a tough decision to make and this is new ground for us,” Superintendent Mark Lineburg said. “We’re trying to figure out how to navigate some of our part-time employees and be fiscally prudent. Costs are going up for part-time employees with the Affordable Care Act and substitutes fall under that. We’re trying to figure out whether it’s best to keep them or to out-source them to a company that deals with substitute teachers as temporary workers.” The division’s current budget for substitute teachers is $175,000 and is expected to rise either way, Lineburg said. More

Rich families hoarding cash

A new survey of family offices by Citi finds that the wealthy are cash heavy—meaning they may fall short of the investment returns they’re expecting. Wealthy families have about 39 percent of their assets in cash, according to a recent poll of more than 50 large family office representatives from 20 countries conducted by Citi Private Bank.  Stocks represented about 25 percent of portfolios on average. Bonds were about 17 percent of the asset mix and various classes of less liquid and alternative investments amounted to 19 percent. ”Using these weightings, our own return expectation for the portfolio … comes to just 4.4 percent. This matches what we at Citi Private Bank observe generally among high end investors: very high cash holdings, with a current asset allocation unlikely to achieve return targets,” Steven Wieting, the bank’s global chief investment strategist, wrote in a recent client note. More

Netanyahu to meet with Putin in 2 Weeks

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to Moscow in two weeks to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin announced Tuesday. According to the statement, Netanyahu will arrive in Moscow on November 20 for a brief working visit. The two men last met in May in the the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Netanyahu reportedly urged Putin not to sell S-300 anti-aircraft batteries to Syria. The talks this time are expected to center on a number of different issues, including Iran, Syria and the diplomatic process with the Palestinians. Israel has a regular dialogue with Russia, and Israeli prime ministers fly not infrequently to Moscow to meet Russia’s leaders. Putin has visited Israel twice as president, the last time in June 2012. Jerusalem Post

Congress Participates in First-Ever Hindu Diwali Observance on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON – Approximately two dozen U.S. Congressmen and women recently participated in the first-ever observance of the Hindu festival of lights, known as Diwali, on Capitol Hill. The observance was a bi-partisan effort organized by Democratic Representative Joe Crowley of New York and Republican Representative Peter Roskan of Illinois. Both men co-chair the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. “I think it is a testament to the growth of the Indian-American community,” Crowley told the Roll Call. Legislators from across the country gathered as diyas were lit and a Hindu priest chanted Vedic mantras. Special jasmine garlands were distributed to attendees, who also were marked with the traditional red tilak on their forehead.  Among the attendees was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “I have come here to say Happy Diwali,” she told those gathered, according to the Huffington Post. “[The] United States owes a great debt of gratitude to India. Because our civil rights movement was built on the non-violent movement in India. Martin Luther King studied there, spoke there. We are blessed not only by that legacy, but also by the presence of so many Indo-Americans in our country.”More

‘Biohacker’ implants chip in arm

Kids, don’t try this at home: A self-described “biohacker” had a big electronic chip almost as large as a deck of cards inserted beneath the skin of his arm. Without a doctor’s help. And without anesthetics. Tim Cannon is a software developer from Pittsburgh and one of the developers at Grindhouse Wetware, a firm dedicated to “augmenting humanity using safe, affordable, open source technology,” according to the group’s website. As they explain it, “Computers are hardware. Apps are software. Humans are wetware.” The device Cannon had inserted into his arm is a Circadia 1.0, a battery-powered implant that can record data from Cannon’s body and transmit it to his Android mobile device. Because no board-certified surgeon would perform the operation, Cannon turned to a DIY team that included a piercing and tattoo specialist who used ice to quell the pain of the procedure. More

Women of Faith Conference Urges Women to Expect Impossible From God

More than 10,000 Christian women’s voices were raised to sing the hymn “Ten Thousand Reasons” at Hartford’s XL Center Nov. 1 and 2 during the regional stop of the Women of Faith “Believe God Can Do Anything” tour. Women from many different denominations, from all over New England, gathered together for worshipprayer and sisterhood during the two-day nondenominational Christian conference. Women of Faith showcased musical performers, worship services and Christian speakers who spiced up their presentations with “girl power” jokes, hilarious one-liners and personal stories of their struggles, failures and epiphanies along their faith journeys. Christian author Liz Curtis Higgs, whose books include Bad Girls of the Bible, related her journey out of what she called “the pit” in her youth. “I turned 16, I got a license to drive and a license to sin,” she said. “I spent 10 years doing everything we pray our kids won’t do.” Copious amounts of promiscuous sex, drugs and alcohol fueled Higgs’ life, but she said when she gave her life over to Christ, “He said, ‘I have always been with you.’” Her mortified response was, “Please tell me You weren’t there then!” Higgs said she is “living proof that nothing is impossible with God. God loves the impossible.” She asked her listeners to identify their own “anything” and trust in a response in God’s own time. “God is in this,” she said. “Believe it. He’s in it, and He’s got this.”  More

FALLING AWAY – Vatican issues unprecedented Questions to the Catholic Church

Vatican City  – The Vatican on Tuesday launched an unprecedented worldwide consultation on modern families including same-sex couples as part of Pope Francis’s drive to reform the Catholic Church. A questionnaire has been sent to bishops around the world asking them for detailed information about the “many new situations requiring the Church’s attention and pastoral care”. ”Concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago have arisen today as a result of different situations, from the widespread practice of cohabitation… to same-sex unions,” it said. Religious watchers said the 39 questions were unusual because of their non-judgemental, practical nature in what could be a signal of greater openness and increased pastoral care regardless of a believer’s background. Referring to gay couples, one questions asks: “What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live in these types of union?” ”In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?” On remarried divorcees, who under the current rules are not allowed to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic church, the questionnaire asks: “Do they feel marginalised or suffer from the impossibility of receiving the sacraments?” On divorce and separated couples in general, it asks: “How do you deal with this situation in appropriate pastoral programmes?” The initiative is part of preparations for a synod of bishops next year and another in 2015 that the Vatican said will formulate “working guidelines in the pastoral care of the person and the family”. More

West Coast Starfish Turning to ‘Goo’ Is Latest in Mass Wildlife Deaths

Marine biologists have reported widespread starfish die-offs along the West Coast, precipitated by a disease that causes their arms to fall off and the creatures to disintegrate and turn to “goo.” ”Sea star wasting disease,” has been flushing out a vast number of a particular five-legged species from tide pools, even wiping out up to 95 percent of the population, the AP reported. Along the western coastline stretching from southeast Alaska to Santa Barbara, the Pisaster ochraceus starfish, also known as the purple sea star or ochre starfish, are dying of the disease which causes white, abscess-like lesions to form and spread across their bodies. Wasting disease has been reported before in southern California in 1983-84, but it remained localized then. The starfish population die-off is the latest in a series of mass animal deaths to occur this year. Click through to take a look at some more curious cases of late. More

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: November brings Comets, Meteor Showers and Planets,

There are many reasons to cast your eyes skyward this month. November began with a rare solar eclipse and could end with the potentially dazzling “comet of the century” Comet ISON streaking through the sky. There are also plenty of celestial fireworks to keep avid skywatchers occupied all month long. Interested observers can catch sight of many planets in the night sky throughout November. [Best Stargazing Events of November 2013 (Gallery)] ”Soon after sunset, Venus emerges to shine like a beacon over the southwestern horizon,” said narrator Nancy Calo, in November skywatching video guide released by the Hubble Space Telescope science team. “A telescope provides a slightly better view. Late in the evening, look for magnificent Jupiter in the east. Watch as it climbs higher into the autumn night sky.” Mars can be spotted in the east before sunrise and Mercury can also be seen in the morning during November, Calo said. On Sunday (Nov. 3), skywatchers along a narrow band of Earth that extends for 8,345 miles (13,430 kilometers) across the Atlantic and Africa were treated to a “hybrid” solar eclipse.
Through the course of the cosmic event, the eclipse transitioned from an annular (or “ring of fire”) eclipse into a total eclipse. The sun appeared as a ring of fire because the moon’s dark shadow fell short of making contact with Earth. Observers in the eastern part of North America could also see a partial eclipse of the sun early on Sunday. You can see amazing skywatcher photos of the eclipse in many of its stages on SPACE.com. The South Taurid meteor shower peaks Monday (Nov. 4) night into dawn on Tuesday and can be seen best from the Northern Hemisphere. The North Taurid meteor shower peaks a little later, overnight on Nov. 11 into Nov. 12. Both showers produce about 10 meteors per hour during peak. Moonlight will not wash out the South Taurid display, however, the North Taurid shower might be somewhat obscured by the waxing moon, according to EarthSky.orgMore

Hagel warns of dangers in deep cuts to defense

The Pentagon is preparing top-to-bottom changes, including a push to limit the growth of military pay, as it adjusts to steep budget cuts and the winding down of war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday. In a speech on U.S. defense priorities, Hagel said that as the Obama administration preserves the military’s strength it will make it a less prominent tool of foreign policy. That’s not a new goal but one Hagel said is more achievable now that the U.S. is ending more than a decade of foreign conflict and the public is weary of war. He sketched a future focused on investments in space and cyber technologies, missile defense and a strategy that assumes the world will not soon resolve challenges posed by terrorism and “heavily armed” states like North Korea. He advocated a more humble U.S. approach to foreign policy. ”We must also make a far better effort to understand how the world sees us, and why,” he said. “We must listen more.” Cautioning against national arrogance, the former Republican senator from Nebraska and Vietnam combat veteran said “the insidious disease of hubris can undo America’s great strengths. We also must not fall prey to hubris,” nor to the idea of American decline. More

Island of debris the size of TEXAS from 2011 Japanese tsunami is headed straight for the U.S.

A floating island of debris the size of Texas has been crossing the vast Pacific Ocean to the western shores of the Americas since a devastating tsunami inundated Japan in 2011, says a new study. Five million tons of wreckage – the remains of homes, boats, and other remnants of shattered lives in eastern Japan – were swallowed by the ocean that day in March, and more than one million tons of flotsam continues to head towards the west coast of the US. While the first documented debris from the tragedy has already been found in California, scientists fear these new findings mean there could be a lot more to come and it might arrive all at once.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released its updated findings last week, which show the huge island floating northeast of the Hawaiian Islands. NOAA scientists add that a larger and less-concentrated debris field stretches from Alaska to the Philippines. More

PROPHETIC ALERT: United States ‘Will Force’ Israel-PA Peace Deal

The United States intends to try and force a peace agreement on Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), IDF Radio reported Monday. The radio station says the US has informed Israel and the Palestinian Authority that if negotiations between them do not advance, Washington will propose its own solution, that will include a US position on every point that is in contention. In effect, according to the report, this will be an attempt to force the sides to agree on a solution formulated by the US. MK Zehava Galon (Meretz) was quoted as saying Monday that senior US officials told her the US offer would be presented in January of 2014. PA sources also cited January as the month in which the US intends to propose, or impose, its plan. The US moves comes after three months of talks between the sides which have reportedly made very little headway. The US plan reportedly is similar to the Clinton outline, offered by President Bill Clinton in late 2000, which is based on an Israeli retreat to 1949 Armistice lines, and some swaps of territory. More

Isaiah Smith, Gay Teen Who Ripped Out Bible Pages, Suspended By Texas School

DAYS OF LOT – The American Humanist Association has formally sent a complaint to Birdville Independent School District in Texas, citing that Isaiah Smith’s First Amendment rights have been violated after the teen was suspended for ripping out pages of his Bible as a protest against anti-gay bullying. Smith, who is gay and Christian, said that he was repeatedly told that “being gay is a sin,” and that “gays go to hell,” by students at his school. He brought his personal Bible to his first period class on Monday, October 28, and tore out pages from Leviticus, a portion of the Bible which contains prohibitions against homosexuality, as a way of protesting their statements, and because he doesn’t believe the Bible condemns gay people. Smith was subsequently sent to the assistant principal’s office, who told him that though he could continue carrying around the ripped Bible, he shouldn’t tear out any more pages. However, on Wednesday the assistant principal reportedly called him into his office again to reprimand him for carrying the torn book and asked, “How would Muslims feel if a student was tearing up the Qur-an?” He was then suspended for three days and had his Bible confiscated, according to the letter. More

Anonymous prepares for ‘Million Mask March’ protests around the world

Rallies are expected to soon occur around the globe as protesters aligned with the hacktivist movement Anonymous prepare for mass demonstrations scheduled for Tuesday in hundreds of cities from Sydney to Seattle. Tuesday’s happening will coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, an annual celebration that started centuries ago in Britain upon an unsuccessful attempt by the date’s namesake to blow up the British Parliament as part of the Gunpowder Treason Plot on November 5, 1605. And though there are no plans in the mix to annihilate any federal office buildings this time around, activists involved with the Anonymous movement — an international legion of like minded individuals who’ve adopted a representation of Fawkes as an emblem of sorts — are staging a series of protests near political institutions around the world this year. The Anonymous movement has exploded in the last several years after almost a decade of nurturing on the Web, and protests around the globe have been led by the group on Guy Fawkes Day regularly in recent memory, at times in tandem with hacks that have targeted the online presence of the same institutions. More

EMERGENCY PLANNERS UNPREPARED FOR CATASTROPHE

Emergency planners across the country may be ill-prepared to respond to a catastrophic blackout from either an electromagnetic pulse or cyber-attack that could knock out the nation’s electrical grid system, an expert confirms in a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.  Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the congressional advisory boards of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, has issued a new warning that U.S. utilities have been resisting efforts to harden the grid and local utilities against such an event. He pointed out that the SHIELD Act, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., would give the federal government authority to get the utilities to undertake protective measures to guard against an EMP either from a natural solar flare that would hit Earth or a man-made high-altitude nuclear explosion that would emit powerful gamma rays, a form of electromagnetic energy. However, the legislation may not be going anywhere in Congress. “When emergency planners from the White House down to local police and fire departments find themselves tasked to plan for an EMP catastrophe in the context of an unprotected electric grid, this will bring enormous pressure to bear on the electric utilities and the NERC,” Pry said. The NERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, represents the electric utility industry to protect bulk power transmission on the grid. However, the federal government currently lacks authority to get local utilities to protect against an EMP. More

The Movement of “Progressive Christianity” on the Rise

Nadia Bolz-Weber bounds into the University United Methodist Church sanctuary like a superhero from Planet Alternative Christian. Her 6-foot-1 frame is plastered with tattoos, her arms are sculpted by competitive weightlifting and, to show it all off, this pastor is wearing a tight tank top and jeans. Looking out at the hundreds of people crowded into the pews to hear her present the gospel of Jesus Christ, she sees: Dockers and blazers. Sensible shoes. Grandmothers and soccer moms. Nary a facial piercing.  Nadia Bolz-Weber bounds into the University United Methodist Church sanctuary like a superhero from Planet Alternative Christian. Her 6-foot-1 frame is plastered with tattoos, her arms are sculpted by competitive weightlifting and, to show it all off, this pastor is wearing a tight tank top and jeans. Looking out at the hundreds of people crowded into the pews to hear her present the gospel of Jesus Christ, she sees: Dockers and blazers. Sensible shoes. Grandmothers and soccer moms. Nary a facial piercing.More

Doctor Shortage Crisis on the Horizon?

A doctor shortage is threatening to make the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act even more difficult — and it could create lines for care and services. New Yorkers are notorious for wanting things immediately, and that includes medical care. But even doctors who support Obamacare say there could be delays due to more patients and fewer doctors, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Monday. “It’s like shopping during Christmas time. I mean, you’re going to have a tough time if you have all of these people demanding services at the same time,” said Dr. Steven Lamm of the NYU School of Medicine. Lamm said the Affordable Care Act could mean an explosion of demand for doctors and services, but will the system be able to handle it? “I think the concern would be that the system will be overwhelmed, that there will be a greater demand that we can meet in a quality fashion and that we will have to delay services for a lot of individuals,” Lamm said. Right now, there is already a shortage of 20,000 doctors nationwide, and with healthcare expansion, plus increasing population, there will be a need for about 52,000 primary care doctors by 2025. More

North Korea developing ‘electromagnetic pulse weapons’

South Korea’s spy agency said Monday that North Korea was using Russian technology to develop electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at paralysing military electronic equipment south of the border. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a report to parliament that the North had purchased Russian electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry to develop its own versions. EMP weapons are used to damage to electronic equipment. At higher energy levels, an EMP event can cause more widespread damage including to aircraft structures and other objects. The spy agency also said the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un sees cyberattacks as an all-purpose weapon along with nuclear weapons and missiles, according to lawmakers briefed by the NIS. The North is trying to hack into smartphones and lure South Koreans into becoming informants, it said. It has collected information on where South Korea stores chemical substances and oil reserves as well as details about subways, tunnels and train networks in major cities, it said. The spy agency also said North Korean spies were operating in China and Japan to distribute pro-Pyongyang propaganda. North Korea is believed to run an elite cyber warfare unit of 3,000 personnel. A South Korean lawmaker, citing government data, said last month that the North had staged thousands of cyberattacks against the South in recent years, causing financial losses of around $805 million. In addition to military institutions, the North’s recent high-profile cyberattacks have targeted commercial banks, government agencies, TV broadcasters and media websites. North Korea has denied any involvement in cyberattacks and accused Seoul of fabricating them to fan cross-border tension. Yahoo

Solar activity heads for lowest low in four centuries

The sun’s activity is in free fall, according to a leading space physicist. But don’t expect a little ice age. “Solar activity is declining very fast at the moment,” Mike Lockwood, professor of space environmental physics at Reading University, UK, told New Scientist. “We estimate faster than at any time in the last 9300 years.” Lockwood and his colleagues are reassessing the chances of this decline continuing over decades to become the first “grand solar minimum” for four centuries. During a grand minimum the normal 11-year solar cycle is suppressed and the sun has virtually no sunspots for several decades. This summer should have seen a peak in the number of sunspots, but it didn’t happen. Lockwood thinks there is now a 25 per cent chance of a repetition of the last grand minimum, the late 17th century Maunder Minimum, when there were no sunspots for 70 years. Two years ago, Lockwood put the chances of this happening at less than 10 per cent. More 

Turkey Scrambled Fighters to Intercept Russian Warplanes

MOSCOW, – Turkey scrambled four F-16 fighter jets on Sunday to intercept Russian Il-20 reconnaissance warplanes flying along the country’s Black Sea coast, news agency PzFeed reported. The Russian Defense Ministry declined to comment. The Turkish government has not released any information about the reported incident.Rianovosti

GOP Senators Backing Bill to Ban ‘Gender Identity,’ ‘Sexual Orientation’ Discrimination

DAYS OF LOT – Gay rights advocates from both parties are newly upbeat about the prospects for Senate passage of legislation that would bar employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The outlook for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act reflects the nation’s growing tolerance of homosexuality and the GOP’s political calculation as it looks for supporters beyond its core base of older voters. The first test vote is Monday. “I think society continues to evolve on the issue of gay rights,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of the measure. “As more and more gay individuals are open about their sexual orientation, people come to realize that they are their neighbors, their family members, their friends, their co-workers. That’s made a big difference.” Opinion polls underscore Collins’ assessment. A Pew Research survey in June found that more Americans said homosexuality should be accepted rather than discouraged by society by a margin of 60 percent to 31 percent. Opinions were more evenly divided 10 years ago. More

DAYS OF LOT – Baylor University Students Propose Generalization of Conduct Code to Make Sexual Sins ‘Equal’

WACO – Students at Baylor University recently presented a proposal to re-word the school’s conduct code to make sexual sins more equal. The Baptist university’s current sexual misconduct policy specifically prohibits sexual activity outside of marriage and mandates that students and staff provide examples of purity. “In all disciplinary procedures, Baylor University will seek to be redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved and to witness to the high moral standards of the Christian faith,” it states. “Baylor will be guided by the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from the creator God and that the purposes of this gift include (1) the procreation of human life and (2) the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love.” “These purposes are to be achieved through heterosexual relationships within marriage,” the code continues. “Misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include, but not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts.” But some students at the university recently proposed to remove the term “homosexual acts” and replace it with “non-marital consensual deviate sexual intercourse” so as to make both homosexual and heterosexual fornication equal.Students also opined that they didn’t want to specifically “target” or “discriminate” against homosexuals, so they believed it would be best to declare that all sex outside of God’s plan for marriage is wrong. More

Obama just paying ‘lip service’ on Iran military option, says top MK

US leaders, up to and including President Barack Obama, are merely “paying lip service” when they talk of the military option against Iran, said Tzachi Hanegbi, a leading Likud Knesset member who is one of Prime Minister Benjamin Nentayahu’s closest confidants. When Netanyahu threatens the use of force if all else fails to stop Iran, said Hanegbi, “he’s not making empty threats.” By contrast, “When the speaker is [Secretary of State] Kerry or the White House spokesperson, or even the president and other people, you see that they’re just paying lip service.” The Americans are full of “good intentions,” they have military systems prepared and deployed for tackling the Iranian nuclear program, and it’s clear that Obama understands that the way Iran’s rogue nuclear program is handled will be central to his legacy, Hanegbi told The Times of Israel. Nonetheless, he said, that did not guarantee that the US would show the necessary decisiveness in negotiations with the Iranians. More

PROPHETIC ALERT: Obama wants major Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough in 2014

Says US eyeing final status agreement, will lean heavily on both sides to reach it; agreement to be based on Clinton parameters, 67 lines and land swaps.  The head of the left-wing Meretz party, Zahava Gal-On, said Monday that the Obama administration is determined to achieve a major diplomatic breakthrough next year in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, including arrangements for a final status agreement. ”There will be a new diplomatic program, based on the pre-1967 lines with agreed land swaps,” Gal-On said in a statement after meeting with Palestinian and American officials on Monday morning.  The statement said that the US has made a subtle but significant switch from a “third-party trying to bring the two sides together, to a role of direct involvement in the process.” Gal-On attributed the American’s preparedness for increased involvement to the general feeling of skepticism among the public on both sides regarding the talks. US Secretary of State John Kerry is touring the Middle East this week. He is set to arrive in Israel from Egypt on Tuesday evening, and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the latest developments surrounding the peace talks. More

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