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Showing posts from January 7, 2013

Israel Plans to Construct a Syrian Border Fence

By ISABEL KERSHNER
Published: January 6, 2013

JERUSALEM — Israel announced Sunday that it was constructing a border fence along the length of its armistice line with Syria in the Golan Heights and that it was coordinating its intelligence with the United States in light of the deteriorating security situation in Syria.

Pool photo by Uriel Sinai
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday in Jerusalem, said his nation would defend the border against jihadist forces.
In remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu said that the Syrian Army had moved away from the frontier and that jihadist forces had moved in.

“Therefore, we will defend this border against both infiltration and terrorism,” Mr. Netanyahu said, adding, “I also submit to the cabinet the fact that the Syrian regime is very unstable, that the question of chemical weapons here worries us.” He said that Israel was coordinating with the United States and others “so that we might be prepared fo…

Ex-Officer Is First From C.I.A. to Face Prison for a Leak

Christaan Felber for The New York Times
John Kiriakou with his daughter Kate at home in Arlington, Va., last month. He has struggled with how to explain to his children that he will be going away.


WASHINGTON — Looking back, John C. Kiriakou admits he should have known better. But when the F.B.I. called him a year ago and invited him to stop by and “help us with a case,” he did not hesitate.

In his years as a C.I.A. operative, after all, Mr. Kiriakou had worked closely with F.B.I. agents overseas. Just months earlier, he had reported to the bureau a recruiting attempt by someone he believed to be an Asian spy.

“Anything for the F.B.I.,” Mr. Kiriakou replied.

Only an hour into what began as a relaxed chat with the two agents — the younger one who traded Pittsburgh Steelers talk with him and the senior investigator with the droopy eye — did he begin to realize just who was the target of their investigation.

Finally, the older agent leaned in close and said, by Mr. Kiriakou’s recollection, “In…

General Details Pentagon Tensions With Obama on Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — In a memoir, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the former American commander in Afghanistan, writes that tensions between the White House and the Pentagon were evident in the Obama administration from its opening months in office.

The beginning of President Obama’s first term “saw the emergence of an unfortunate deficit of trust between the White House and the Department of Defense, largely arising from the decision-making process on Afghanistan,” General McChrystal writes. “The effects were costly.”

The book by General McChrystal, who was fired from his post in 2010 after an article in Rolling Stone quoted him and his staff making dismissive comments about the White House, is likely to disappoint readers who are looking for a vivid blow-by-blow account of infighting within the administration.

The book, titled “My Share of the Task: A Memoir,” does not provide an account of the White House meeting at which Mr. Obama accepted the general’s resignation. General McChrystal’s tone tow…

Gaza's archaeological treasures at risk from war and neglect

Years of conflict have exacted a heavy toll on centuries of history in the Gaza Strip. While traces of its rich past remain, the race to preserve what is left beneath the surface of this battle-scarred land is fraught with problems, as Ruqaya Izzidien reports.

Settled by civilisations spanning some five millennia, Gaza has been built layer-upon-layer since the Bronze Age.

As each era ended, its people left behind remnants of their times - churches, monasteries, palaces and mosques, as well as thousands of precious artefacts.

"Underneath Gaza there is a whole other Gaza, but every archaeological site here is found by accident," says Hayam Albetar, an archaeologist at the Hamas-run Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

"We found a Byzantine Church when workers were digging to build Salahedin Street and stumbled upon a mosaic."

Very little has actually been discovered, when you compare it to what there must be hidden beneath our feet”SalimGaza historian

The ministry is the …