[An Nahar] Spain announced Thursday it had seized 28 million euros ($37 million) in financial products, luxury cars and buildings linked to ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... Egypt requested Spain's help under U.N. anti-corruption conventions to find and block assets owned by Mubarak, his family, top aides and their related companies, a national police statement said.
Police blocked 18.4 million euros in financial products held in three Spanish banks; two buildings in Madrid's wealthy Moraleja district worth a combined seven million euros; and seven properties in the holiday resort of Malaga worth more than three million euros.
They also seized seven luxury cars.
"The assets could be the proceeds of crimes such as the embezzlement of public funds, corruption, or the illegal enrichment committed during his mandate," police said.
The Egyptian request targeted some 130 people, they said.
[Magharebia] Carrying out a coup d'état is now punishable by law in Mauritania. Offenders would be subject to imprisonment, fines and other penalties such as forfeiture of civil rights. Good idea. Make 'em against the law. That'll stop 'em in their tracks...
During a November 29th cabinet meeting chaired by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the Mauritanian government examined and approved a bill criminalising putsches and other forms of anti-constitutional changes of authority. These offenses will now be considered "crimes against the stability of the state", the final communiqué stated.
"This draft law stems from the national dialogue between the consolidated governing majority and opposition parties, and in particular the provisions of constitutional law no. 2012-015 of 20 March 2012," the statement read.
Legal expert Baba Ould Cheikh explained that on March 6th, "parliament voted to adopt a number of constitutional amendments including one making the prime minister accountable to both chambers and another outlawing coups d'état."
"Six of the seven heads of state it has had since the overthrow of Moktar Ould Daddah in 1978 have come from the military," Ould Cheikh added.
Ould Cheikh noted that the new legislation "should quell the ardour of would-be putschists as the penalties in the event of a coup d'état provide an adequate deterrent and will pose major setbacks for those who orchestrate them"
"The fact that coups d'état are being outlawed in Mauritania marks a real turning point as this is a decision which strengthens democracy and encourages changes of authority by democratic means - that is, peaceful handovers of power," remarked Professor Ball Mohamed.
Damn! They've got an aluminum well! Who knew?
[Al Ahram] Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... on Thursday began aluminium production at its first smelter built through a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) and US giant Alcoa, a statement said.
"Today we see the first aluminium produced in Saudi Arabia, and the launch of a new industry," Ma'aden President and CEO Khalid al-Mudaifer said at the inauguration of production in Ras al-Khair in Eastern Province.
The Ma'aden Aluminium joint venture is 74.9 percent-owned by the Saudi group, with the rest held by Alcoa.
The smelter is part of a joint venture agreed in 2009 to construct a giant industrial complex costing $10.8 billion.
In addition to the smelter which will have an initial annual capacity of 740,000 metric tonnes, the complex includes a bauxite mine with an initial capacity of four million metric tonnes per year, and an alumina refinery with an annual initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tonnes.
[Guardian.Co.UK] Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba that required "corrective measures" to stanch the flow, his government said Thursday. "Stanch the flow"? Yeah, I'll bet he's doing just great...
A tourniquet firmly tightened about the neck will do it every time.
But in the latest of a series of unusually frank reports about the president's delicate condition, information minister Ernesto Villegas also said Chavez has been making a "progressive and favourable" recovery after the complications from Tuesday's surgery.
"This recovery process, nevertheless, will require a prudent period of time as a consequence of the complexity of the surgery performed," Villegas added.
The government has begun providing regular updates on the president's recovery after the six-hour surgery in what appears to be a slight easing of the secrecy that has surrounded Chavez's medical treatment since he fell ill last year.
The latest details about Chavez's health came as supporters held church services to pray for him and as Venezuelans increasingly acknowledged that their country might be on the verge of political change if the leftist leader cannot be sworn in for his fourth term early next year.
Grave stone is a keeper. I have never seen that before.I suggest a new line of political dolls. Fidel and Chavez life size puppets operated by puppeteers.I think they have been using them for years with Fidel. HA,Ha,Ha,SILENCE I KILL YOU. OK,OK,OK Accchmed.
[An Nahar] Violent scuffles broke out in the Ukrainian parliament Thursday as dozens of opposition and pro-government politicians brawled for a second day in a chamber notorious for its physical confrontations.
Deputies in suits and shirtsleeves climbed on tables, shouted and grappled with opponents as a protest against the practice of politicians pressing electronic buttons to vote for absentee colleagues descended into violence.
While politicians are legally obliged to vote in person, many of them run around pressing buttons for absent colleagues.
The parliament's opening session on Wednesday also saw fighting erupt between opposition politicians and deputies whom they accused of defecting to the pro-government camp.
Pro-government politicians tried to push back the opposition politicians who blockaded the speaker's tribune, while some clambered on to the desks of the parliamentary leaders and jumped down on their opponents.
The brawls were an ugly start to a new parliament dominated by President Viktor Yanukovych's Regions Party, which claims to have won a majority in legislative elections on October 28.
The fighting postponed a vote on reinstating Yanukovych's ally Mykola Azarov as prime minister, which was due to take place Thursday.
The towering boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, whose opposition party with the acronym UDAR, or punch, has won 42 seats in the parliament, refrained from joining the skirmishes.
"You could call the fists of a world champion a nuclear weapon. I don't think we will use this weapon yet," Klitschko said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.
But he added: "We do support the blockading of the tribune."
[Al Ahram] Finance ministers of the 17-nation eurozone Thursday agreed to release 34 billion euros of bailout funds to Greece which had been frozen since June, the spokesman for Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said. "The meeting is over. The release of the financial aid has been accepted," the spokesman told AFP.
PA officials say a confederation would only take place after the creation of a Paleostinian state within the pre-1967 lines
Paleostinian Authority officials confirmed Thursday that they were studying the possibility of establishing a confederation with Jordan, but stressed that this would take place only after the creation of an independent Paleostinian state within the pre-1967 lines.
So it's a useless intellectual exercise. I didn't realize the PA was so .. academic...
President Abbas is not the only one there with a highly specialized PhD, after all.
The officials were commenting on a report in the London-based Al-Quds al- Arabi newspaper that claimed that PA President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... had asked senior Fatah leaders to prepare for the formation of a confederation between a Paleostinian state and Jordan.
The newspaper said that Abbas has instructed his advisors to provide him with "detailed strategic reports about the best way to conduct negotiations with Jordan about reviving the confederation plan."
Abbas reportedly met with seven top Fatah and PA figures and discussed with them the idea, the report said, adding that the PA president had asked that the meeting remain confidential.
The report quoted an informed Paleostinian source as saying that Abbas told participants that the confederation plan would come soon "and we must be prepared for it."
Abbas's rapprochement with Jordan is the result of a Saudi-Qatari-Turkish alliance that backs Hamas and ignores the PA, the politicians noted
. Jordan and the PA are scheduled to launch talks on their future relations on February 21, the report revealed.
On Saturday, the Fatah Central Committee is expected to discuss the confederation plan during a meeting in Ramallah, according to the source.
Jordanian politicians quoted Abbas as saying that the Paleostinian state would not be able to survive without forging a confederation with Jordan.
Abbas hinted that he discussed the idea with Jordan's King Abdullah, when the latter visited Ramallah earlier this week.
Abbas's rapprochement with Jordan is the result of a Saudi-Qatari-Turkish alliance that backs Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, and ignores the PA, the politicians noted.
Abbas's front man, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said in response that the confederation idea would be discussed only after the establishment of an independent Paleostinian state.
Abu Rudaineh said that the idea was first discussed in 1988 and the two sides agreed that when a Paleostinian state is established this option would be on the table.
He said that any decision taken by the PA leadership would be brought before the Paleostinians for approval through a referendum.
PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusef said that the confederation plan was just a "study" during the current phase.
Abu Yusef said that any talk about the confederation plan now would hinder efforts to establish an independent Paleostinian state within the pre-1967 lines "because Israel is hoping that a Paleostinian state would be part of Jordan."
Any confederation would be announced only after a Paleostinian state is established, he added.
"What is happening now is only a discussion and a study about future options of a Paleostinian state."
Diplomatic sources would not comment on the report.
E.g. the KURDS, I have said that an outbreak of "Arab/Islamic Spring" = "Jordan Spring" + consequent destabilization or fall of the ruling Hashemite Dynasty could give the Paleos the opportunity they need to forcibly or violently create their own unique homeland via merger wid the large Paleo community already residing inside Hashemite Jordan.
As said before, the PA in Gaza-West Bank is a Govt widout any physical land or territory [sovereign]to call its own - EGYPT CLAIMS GAZA AS ITS SOVEREIGN TERRITORY, JORDAN CLAIMS DITTO PER THE WEST BANK, + NEITHER EGYPT OR JORDAN IS SEEMINGLY WILLING TO TRANSFER SAME TO THE PA + PALEO PEOPLE.
At best, the PA + Paleos are nothing more than "guests" of Egypt + Jordan until such time Israel is defeated or destroyed - EVEN THEN, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. Safe to say the Paleos are likely on their own.
Safe to say the Paleos are likely on their own.
Everyone loves the Paleos - until they want to come and visit (cue John Belushi "Thing That Would Not Leave" skit). Everyone needs the Paleos to torment the Juice, but no one wants them as neighbors and houseguests. Is there anyplace they haven't been thrown out of?
[Ma'an] A Paleostinian court on Monday sentenced two men from Bethlehem to 10 years hard labor for selling land to Israel.
The men are both from Husan village and were convicted of selling land in the West Bank to Israeli settlers.
The court said one of the accused, a 64-old identified by his initials F.H., brought papers from his brothers that gave him power of attorney to sell land inherited from their father, official news agency Wafa said. The land is located near the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit.
The other defendant, named only as Y.Z., 49, worked as a contractor in the settlement and arranged for F.H to sell the land to a settler for $45,000.
The court suspended their sentences as the defendants wish to appeal, a Ma'an news hound said.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.