DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 20, 2009
The UN Human Right Council's endorsement Friday, Oct. 16, sent the anti-Israel Goldstone war crimes report to the UN Security Council. The Goldstone report condemned Israel and Hamas for war crimes in the January Gaza offensive, reserving special criticism for Israel. Israel has rejected the charges in the report as one-sided and untrue and said its endorsement threatens peace efforts.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 29, 2009
The US reported its first swine flu death Wednesday, April 29, a 23-year old baby in Texas.
The Mexican government said the number of swine flu deaths rose to 159 by Wednesday with another 2,428 suspected cases. Taiwan has placed all returnees from Mexico in quarantine. Germany has confirmed the first case of the disease.
The number of suspected swine flu cases in the US rose to 65 Tuesday, April 28, with two suspicious deaths in California. However, hundreds of schoolchildren are reported by the New York health commission to display symptoms.
Twenty-three delegations storm out of UN Racism conference as Ahmadinejad condemns Israel as "racist"
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 24, 2009
Protesters constantly disrupted the speech as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned Israel for "racism" at the Anti-Racism conference which opened in Geneva Monday, April 20. Some were bundled out. He went on to denounce the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as an arrogant drive to "expand its sphere of influence."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2009
Using novel, upgraded tactics, Al Qaeda and fellow Islamist terror groups are outperforming anti-terror agencies in their attacks on targeted countries. International counter-terror agencies are worried enough to start retooling their counter-measures after viewing terrorist performances in Mumbai on Nov. 2008, killing 172 people, Lahore on March 3, causing 8 fatalities, and the Jordan Valley, shooting dead 2 Israeli policemen.
India, for instance, is overhauling its special forces from top to bottom and preparing to launch the world's first anti-terror satellite RISAT 2 on short-order delivery from Israel.
British intelligence and anti-terror services have embarked on a crash program to secure the G-20 summit opening in London on April 2, fearing the posh hotels hosting the leaders and their retinues are designated for a Mumbai-style massacre.
Western terror experts have detected common traits in the recent spate of attacks:
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2008
From Tuesday, Dec. 9, at least four British, French and Greek warships, two reconnaissance planes and 150 marines will escort merchant ships sailing through the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa waters.
But meanwhile, debkafile's military and counter-terrors sources report, the pirates have set up a land-based intelligence-financial-logistic logistic network in the Persian Gulf, East Africa and... northern Europe, as revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 373, on Nov. 21.
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click DEBKA-Net-Weekly.com?ref=001">HERE.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 14, 2008
"Before the enemies touch the trigger, Iran's armed forces will cut off their hands," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency, Sunday, July 13. He spoke in the wake of the test-fire of a long-range ballistic missile that Tehran says can reach Israel and a war maneuver.
"This is only a small part of Iran's defense capabilities and in future we will unveil more of our defense capabilities if necessary," Ahmadinejad said.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 5, 2008
The Arab states were called on to honor their pledges to the Palestinians. US officials say only one-fifth of the sums promised in December were actually paid.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reading out the statement after the group's Friday meeting expressed deep concern at Israel's continued settlement building on the West Bank and called for outposts built since March 2001to be dismantled.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 25, 2008
They released the crew and carried the pirates off in chains Tuesday, April 22, to face trial on pain of death. The semi-autonomous Somali Puntland province government, determined to put a stop to surging piracy for ransom in its waters, has pledged to rescue a Spanish fishing ship held by pirates since the weekend.
debkafile's shipping correspondent reports that the Takayama, owned by the giant Japanese shippers NYK was assaulted 150 miles southeast of the Yemeni port of Mukallah
India's leading imam heads a delegation of prominent Muslim leaders on first visit to Israel. Their peace mission stirs protest at home<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 16, 2007
Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi is the President of the All India Organization of Imams of Mosques, who supervises over 250,00 imams serving an estimated 200 million Indian Muslims. The visitors arrived Wednesday for a six-day visit to meet the two chief rabbis, President Shimon Peres and foreign minister Tzipi Livni.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 8, 2007
Analysts are concerned that Iraqi Kurdish resistance could spark a larger Turkish cross-border operation and further destabilize oil production in northern Iraq.
The US Navy reported Iran is increasing its fleet of small attack boats capable of striking at warships and disrupting oil traffic in the Gulf oil export chokepoint in the Strait of Hormuz.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 14, 2007
Pyongyang agrees to shut down its main reactor at Yongbyon within 60 days for 60 metric tonnes of fuel aid. US has removed North Korea from its list of states sponsoring terrorism in response to this first step towards nuclear disarmament.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 27, 2006
The two-day 18th Arab League Summit opening in Khartoum Tuesday, March 28, looks like being a semi-washout. The rulers who announced their non-attendance were Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, Tunisia's Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Oman's Sultan Qaboos.
The Arab foreign ministers who laid out the agenda and drafted final resolutions agreed on one issue: deep resentment of the US-Iranian dialogue on Iran. The two powers had no business discussing Iraq directly without co-opting a representative Arab voice, they declared.
For lack of leverage on all the prime issues confronting the Arab world, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, the Palestinians, the ill-attended Arab summit can do little but stand by and watch while others make the running.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 11, 2006
Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, 64, was found dead in his cell at The Hague early Saturday, March 11. His lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic announced a few hours later that Milosevic had told him Friday that he feared he was being poisoned in the UN detention facility. He at once passed that information to the Russian embassy and now demanded that the official autopsy be conducted in Moscow, not The Hague.
The truth may never be known about the alleged poisoning claim.
debkafile's Balkan and Russian sources believe that the accused leader was politically cunning and manipulative enough to engineer his death in a way to cause the greatest possible international shock and embarrassment. He may have instructed his lawyer to pass the poisoning suggestion to the Russian embassy and then deliver the bombshell after his death, together with the demand for the autopsy to take place in Moscow.
The manner of Milosevic's death has opened two fronts:
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 7, 2005
In 2002, the United States, Britain and Israel strongly suspected the new Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradai, of employing secret delaying tactics to help three Muslim nations get their nuclear weapons programs off the ground. The nations were Libya, Iran and Egypt.
Intelligence data showed those programs as being nourished by the technology, experience and expertise of Pakistan and North Korea, both motivated by their dire cash shortage.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 2, 2005
Five days after Hurricane Katrina devastated three Gulf states of the United States leaving thousands dead and one million homeless and in deep distress, President George W. Bush flew in. The horrifying spectacles of suffering and the immensity of the calamity were far worse than he imagined. The US president witnessed needs of Third World proportions and a state of anarchy, with armed gangs looting, robbing and raping refugees, that recalled the streets of Somalia. Patients were dying unattended in the hospitals where even medicines had been stolen in violent attacks.
One angry charge he heard repeatedly was that the relief effort - which he admitted was "unacceptable" - was under-sourced because of Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 17, 2005
The US dollar finished last week's trading at its highest level in six months against the euro (1.2620 euro per dollar). It also made a strong showing against all other major world currencies. Another round of good economic figures - especially the surprise narrowing of the American trade deficit in March, as published on Monday, May 11 - was a contributing factor. Other boosters were the slide in oil prices, the continuing surge in dollar interest rates, the huge speculative closing positions of the punt (=gamble), wagering on a revaluation of the Chinese currency, and the weak economic figures coming out of Europe. debkafile's financial analyst sees the dollar emerging from the trough into which it began sinking in 2001 and expects a steady climb from now on and in the long term.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 29, 2005
Israeli officials are not sure what to make of Vladimir Putin's current Middle East tour, the first Russian president ever to initiate a visit to Jerusalem and the first world leader to call on Palestinian Authority leaders in Ramallah. Putin himself made much of the one million Israelis who understood every word he said in Jerusalem. Despite differences over key issues, he and his hosts basked in the warm friendliness of their encounters. Ignored most conspicuously was the enigmatic relationship revived in Ramallah, on Friday, April 29, ten minutes' drive from the Jerusalem venues of the Russian leader's Jerusalem talks the day before. Just as the Russian president made sure to enunciate words Israelis wanted to hear on Thursday ("Tehran needs to do more to assure world it is not trying to build atomic weapons." Returning spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr plant to Russia is not enough. Iran must also "abandon all technology to create a full nuclear cycle"), on Friday, he sang a tune that fell easily on Arab ears in Ramallah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2005
Sharp falls in equity markets around the globe, the $10 oil price drop from an all time high and the falling-off of US bond yields from 4.60 to 4.25% - all add up to a tremor rippling across world markets that is generated by fear of a slowdown in the making. This fear is succored by a dangerous combination of factors: an expanding trade deficit, rocketing oil and commodities prices, a weak American labor market and, most of all, looming stagflation (inflation plus recession). International Monetary Fund (IMF) heads gathered last weekend in Washington voiced concerns about growth, especially in the United States, under the burden of expensive oil and the soaring US trade deficit, which surged in February to the new all-time record of $61 billion. Finance ministers and central bankers from Europe, America and Japan, are deeply disturbed by high oil prices.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2005
The most peripatetic of all pontiffs, the waving white-cassocked figure of Pope John Paul II and his popemobile - bulletproofed since the 1981 attempt on his life - became a legendary figure as he crisscrossed the world's map for more than 20 years.
One of the longest and most moving of his trips was his weeklong millennium pilgrimage to the Holy Land, not only as a Christian but as a Pole, who grew up with Jews and mourned Jewish friends, neighbors and former playmates, who perished in the Nazi Holocaust. His tearful embrace with a Shoah survivor at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem was spontaneous and heartfelt.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 30, 2005
Rallying fast during the last two weeks of March, the US currency gained about 4% against all major currencies - the euro for example, which traded at $1.3480 on March 14 and dipped to $1.292 by March 29. This trend was the result of the change in the market's estimation of American interest rates. The continuous rise in the short-term rate (which the Federal Reserve put up again by 0.25 % on March 22), coupled with the Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's inflation warnings for the future, bumped up the yield on 10-year American bonds to 4.60%. The first to get hurt were emerging markets. In a matter of days, currencies like the Turkish lira, South African rand, Hungarian forint and polish zloty slumped sharply against the dollar by as much as 3-10%.