Category Archives: News, Politics, Government

UK downplays economic sanctions against Israel

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has downplayed the possibility of European economic sanctions against Israel for its latest settlement-building plans, saying there is “no enthusiasm around the European Union” for such measures. Asked in Parliament about whether Britain would put some economic muscle behind its condemnations of Israel, Hague said that imposing sanctions is not the U.K.’s approach. He added he does not believe “there would be anywhere near a consensus” on the issue in Europe. Hague said Tuesday that Britain will continue to try to bring both sides back into peace talks, and consider what further diplomatic steps European countries can take if Israeli settlement building continues. Israel on Monday rejected American and European condemnations over its plans to build thousands of new homes in West Bank settlements.
Source: Fox World News  

US sues Puerto Rico banana company over wages

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against a banana company in Puerto Rico accusing its owners of paying workers less than the minimum wage. The government accuses Bananera Fabre of paying workers $6.25 and $6.50 an hour instead of the required $7.25. The lawsuit states that the owners, Jose Fabre Laboy and his son, Jose Fabre Santiago, owe workers more than $191,000 in back wages. The two men run a farm in the southwestern town of Sabana Grande that also produces tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. A department statement Tuesday says the company previously violated the minimum wage law and recently paid more than $38,000 in back wages and more than $6,000 in penalties. Company officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Source: Fox World News  

Correction: Guatemala Hospital Abuse Story

In a story Nov. 30 about allegations of abuse at a Guatemalan psychiatric hospital, The Associated Press reported erroneously that 300 children were found held in isolation there. The rights group Disability Rights International says it found a total population of about 340 patients but saw only a few in isolation, including a teenager. The story also said that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights participated in the investigation. Two rights groups conducted the investigation, then submitted their findings to the commission. A corrected version of the story is below: Human rights groups say they found women and children subjected to abuse at a public psychiatric hospital in Guatemala‘s capital. The investigation was conducted by the Human Rights Office of the Archbishop of Guatemala and Disability Rights International, and the findings were submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Executive Director Nery Rodenas said Friday that the probe found patients in the Federico Mora hospital suffering from a lack of medical attention, along with abuse by staff and inmates from a neighboring prison who were allowed into the hospital. The commission called for Guatemala to swiftly address conditions in the hospital. Investigators found more than 300 children and adults at the facility. It said it found that newly admitted minors were kept in isolation cells, and patients in locked cells had died of preventable diseases due to lack of medical attention.
Source: Fox World News  

UN chief urges North Korea to reconsider rocket launch

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is strongly urging North Korea to reconsider its decision to launch a rocket which would violate U.N. sanctions.

North Korea has informed the International Maritime Organization that it plans to launch a satellite between Dec. 10-22. The embarrassing misfire of its last rocket eight months ago earned the country widespread international condemnation.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Tuesday that Ban is also urging Pyongyang to suspend all such activities. A 2009 Security Council resolution bans North Korea from conducting any launch using ballistic missile technology.
Source: Fox World News  

Turkish minister barred from landing in Iraq

An official says Iraq has banned a plane carrying a Turkish Cabinet minister from landing in the autonomous Kurdish region.

The head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority Nassir Bandar said Turkish Energy Minister Tanir Yildiz’s plane was supposed to land in Irbil airport, but it was denied the permission to do so. He cited lack of legal approval.

Relations between Iraq and Turkey have been strained after fugitive Sunni vice president Tariq al-Hashemi took refuge in Turkey following accusations by the Shiite-led government that he was running death squads. Turkish officials rejected Baghdad‘s request to hand over al-Hashemi, who was tried and convicted in absentia.

The central Baghdad government and Kurds have been involved in disputes over land, power sharing and rights to develop natural resources.
Source: Fox World News  

French tycoon who former justice minister claims fathered her child ordered to take paternity test

A French court has ordered a paternity test for a multimillionaire who former Justice Minister Rachida Dati claims fathered her 3-year-old daughter.

The birth of the child while Dati was in office from 2007 to 2009 made headlines and set off guessing games about the identity of the father.

A Versailles court official said Dominique Desseigne, 68, was ordered Tuesday to take a genetic test. The official wasn’t authorized to comment and asked not to be named.

Paternity tests are voluntary in France, so Desseigne, the widowed owner of the famed Champs-Elysees establishment Fouquet’s, has a choice whether to submit. He has been quoted in the past as saying he won’t. But text messages, emails and photos can also be used to prove a relationship.
Source: Fox World News  

A look at the Patriot missiles en route to Turkey

NATO‘s expected decision Tuesday to provide Turkey with Patriot missiles returns the spotlight to an American-manufactured, anti-missile system that has undergone a series of renovations since entering service more than three decades ago. The weapon was first used to defend Saudi Arabia and Israel in the 1991 Gulf War. It was deployed again during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. It has since become a defensive system of choice for a dozen countries worldwide, including the U.S. and five fellow NATO nations. Here is a look at the Patriot’s capabilities and record: ___ MANUFACTURER: Raytheon. RANGE: About 100 miles (160 kilometers). Can reach altitudes of about 80,000 feet. CAPABILITIES: Patriots are designed to target aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones. HOW THEY WORK: Patriots come in batteries of several missiles that can be fired individually. They are guided to their targets by a tracking radar which is connected to computer systems, where military personnel can monitor them and decide which targets to engage. These monitoring stations don’t need to be near the firing positions. The Patriots are likely to be spread out to defend urban centers in southern Turkey. They are usually positioned so that they can cover a wider geographical zone, and wouldn’t be deployed exactly on Turkey‘s border with Syria. This way, they have a longer response time for mid-air adjustments and can avoid violating Syria‘s airspace, which NATO has promised to respect for now. Patriots are best against individual missiles. A deliberate attack involving multiple incoming strikes could overwhelm their capacity. DEPLOYMENT HISTORY: The U.S. military initially claimed a success rate of 70 percent against Iraqi Scuds aimed at Saudi Arabia and 40 percent of those aimed at Israel during the first Gulf War. However, a congressional report later found that of 47 Patriot missiles fired at incoming Scuds, only four missiles were downed. On 25 Feb. 25, 1991, a Scud evaded a Patriot strike and scored a direct hit on a U.S. base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 American soldiers. The military blamed a software error. Twelve years later, the U.S. Army said Patriots intercepted all nine short-range battlefield missiles fired by the Iraqis. No Scuds were fired during that war. But the Patriots were also reported to have downed two allied jets — one American and one British — in friendly fire incidents during the conflict. In the past, Patriots have struggled to counter poorly made missiles such as Iraqi Scuds and those Syria may include in its arsenal. These can wobble wildly in flight, making them harder to hit. Their inaccuracy also increases the target radius. Newer designs are supposed to address previous Patriot shortcomings. They are also supposed to be more powerful, so that interceptions result in more missiles being destroyed immediately.
Source: Fox World News  

Court orders French tycoon to take paternity test

A French court has ordered a paternity test for a multimillionaire who former Justice Minister Rachida Dati claims fathered her 3-year-old daughter. The birth of the child while Dati was in office from 2007 to 2009 made headlines and set off guessing games about the identity of the father. A Versailles court official said Dominique Desseigne, 68, was ordered Tuesday to take a genetic test. The official wasn’t authorized to comment and asked not to be named. Paternity tests are voluntary in France, so Desseigne, the widowed owner of the famed Champs-Elysees establishment Fouquet’s, has a choice whether to submit. He has been quoted in the past as saying he won’t. But text messages, emails and photos can also be used to prove a relationship.
Source: Fox World News  

Chinese military jet crashes into house; 4 injured

A military jet on a routine training flight crashed into a house in southern China on Tuesday, setting the building on fire and injuring several people inside, state media reported.

China Central Television said the pilot ejected and parachuted to safety before the crash in Shantou city in Guangdong province. It said one of the four people inside the house managed to escape. The three others were hospitalized and one, a 26-year-old woman, was in critical condition, it said.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that four civilians were injured and received treatment at a hospital.

Citing the Ministry of Defense, it said the J-7 fighter jet had a mechanical failure just after takeoff from a Shantou airport.

The mostly retired fighter jets are a 1960s-era Chinese copy of the Soviet MiG-21.

The Shantou city government‘s emergency office referred calls to its propaganda office, where calls rang unanswered. Calls to the Defense Ministry‘s news office also rang unanswered.
Source: Fox World News  

Israel’s President tweets the pope a welcome

Israeli President Shimon Peres has welcomed Pope Benedict XVI, both octogenarians, to social media with a personal tweet. Peres, 89, tweeted on Tuesday, “Your holiness, welcome to Twitter. Our relations with the Vatican are at their best and can form a basis to further peace everywhere.” The 85-year-old Pope did not immediately respond. He joined Twitter on Monday and gained 250,000 followers within hours. He plans tweets in eight languages. Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has embraced social media. He visited Facebook’s headquarters where creator Marc Zuckerberg helped him launch his official Facebook page in English. In collaboration with a well-known Israeli announcer, his office released a music video, asking people to be his Facebook friend.
Source: Fox World News