Amr Moussa calls for peaceful transition

For anyone who’s not read in other threads, Moussa was “much loved” in Mubarak’s gov’t before leaving to be Sec Gen of the Arab League-possibly pushed out of Mubarak’s gov’t because he was more popular and people wanted him to stand for President in the future election….he is also the cousin of ElBaradei–coincidence ElBarabdei shows up just prior to the big protest on Wed, meets with Moussa and Muslim Brotherhood and “offers to help in the transition”?

Arab League Chief Amr Moussa said that “there must be “a peaceful transition” in Egypt, AFP reported.

The former Egyptian foreign minister emphasized that “it is incumbent upon politicians or people working in politics to help that process,” according to the report. When asked whether he planned on leaving his post in the Arab League and return to Egyptian politics, Moussa simply pointed out that his mandate in that job ends in two months. Pressed on the issue, he said he is “not willing” to serve again as the Arab League’s secretary-general.

World's oldest woman dies at 115 in Texas

World’s oldest woman dies at 115 in Texas: caretaker

Jan 31 04:19 PM US/Eastern

The world’s oldest woman died Monday in her Texas home at the age of 115, her caretaker told AFP.

Eunice Sanborn held the title of world’s oldest person for less than three months after the death of Eugenie Blanchard, a nun from the French West Indies on November 4, 2010.

While an organization which tracks and verifies supercentenarians listed Sanborn’s age as 114, her family claims the US Census Bureau erroneously recorded her birth year as 1896 rather than 1895.

Sanborn celebrated her 115th birthday on July 20.

Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, she moved to Texas after her first husband, Joseph Orchin, died.

Although she never worked outside the home, Sanborn stayed busy with community activities her entire life. She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville and sang in the choir there for many years.

Sanborn has credited her long life and good health to her belief in Jesus Christ and her salvation.

Her “adopted” son David French — a longtime friend of Sanborn who first met her when he was five years old — and his wife Rena provided 24-hour care for Sanborn so that she could remain in her home. …

Rockets fired from Gaza-first since Egypt uprising,7340,L-4022042,00.html

For first time since Egypt riots began, rockets fired from Gaza towards south Israel; four suffer shock. ‘We’re terrified; we have no shelters,’ resident says

Tensions in Egypt appear to be spreading to Gaza: Grad rockets fired from the Hamas-ruled territory Monday night landed near the southern Israeli cities of Ofakim and Netivot.

During the rocket attack on Netivot- the first attack on Israel since the mass protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began a week ago Ð four people suffered from shock, and damage was caused to a road and a parked car.

The rocket landed near a residential neighborhood.

Another Grad hit the Ofakim area a few minutes later, but there were no reports of injury or damage……

…..Earlier this month Egypt warned Hamas that the IDF may launch an offensive if the rocket attacks on Israel are not halted, as was the case in Operation Cast Lead.

Histamine May Be A Possible Drug Target For Multiple Sclerosis

Histamine May Be A Possible Drug Target For Multiple Sclerosis

Posted on: Monday, 31 January 2011, 14:31 CST

New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that histamine plays an important role as an immune modulator, which could be a significant finding for multiple sclerosis research

If you think histamines are your nemesis during allergy season, here’s something that might change your perspective. New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology ( shows that histamine could be an important molecule to developing new treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS). In the study, the scientists analyzed the role of histamine in an animal model of multiple sclerosis and found that histamine plays a critical role in preventing MS or lessening its effects.

“We hope that our study will help design new therapies for autoimmune diseases and in particular MS, for which there is still not a definitive cure,” said Rosetta Pedotti, MD, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Neuroimmunology and Neuromuscular Disorders Unit at the Neurological Institute Foundation Carlo Besta in Milan, Italy.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in allergic reactions and other physiological and pathological processes. It is best known for the role it plays in hypersensitivity reactions like allergies, and it generally works by dilating blood vessels and making vessel walls permeable so immune cells can move more easily. Scientists studied the direct effects of histamine and two similar molecules that bind specifically on histamine receptors 1 or 2. Using a mouse model of MS, researchers generated MS-causing T lymphocytes and then treated these cells with histamine or the two other molecules. The effects of these treatments were evaluated by T cell functions analysis including proliferation, cytokine production, intracellular signaling pathways activation, and adhesion to brain vessels. Results showed that histamine reduces the proliferation of myelin autoreactive T lymphocytes and the production of interferon-gamma, a crucial cytokine involved in brain inflammation and demyelination. Additionally, histamine reduced the ability of myelin autoreactive T cells to adhere to inflamed brain vessels, a crucial step in the development of MS.

“This research is very exciting for several reasons. First, it points to unexpected connection between pathways involved in autoimmunity and …

U.N. told North Korea has more secret atomic sites: envoys

U.N. told North Korea has more secret atomic sites: envoys

(Reuters) – A U.N. Security Council committee has been told that North Korea, which has exploded two nuclear devices, may have additional secret atomic facilities, council diplomats said on Monday.

The diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the assessment was included in a confidential report prepared by the so-called U.N. Panel of Experts, a group that monitors compliance with two rounds of U.N. sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear arms program.

The report to the U.N. North Korea sanctions committee was based on conversations with a U.S. nuclear scientist, Siegfried Hecker, who saw hundreds of centrifuges used to enrich uranium during a rare visit to North Korea last year, as well as the panel’s own investigations and analysis, the diplomats said….

White House: Changes in Egypt 'not for us to determine'

White House: Changes in Egypt ‘not for us to determine’


01/31/2011 21:42

The White House called for “orderly transition” to take place in Egypt on Monday, amid ongoing protests throughout that country.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Egypt must change “the way it looks and operates,” but added that it is not for the United States to determine what the parameters of that change are. Asked whether US President Barack Obama would ever call for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign or leave Egypt, Gibbs reiterated that “it is not for our government to determine, that is for the people of Egypt to determine.” He added that “how that change is met or how it happens is not for us to determine.”

Gibbs repeatedly called for “free and fair elections,” but declined to specify what type of regime the United States would like to see in Egypt. Asked if the US would deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said that any increase in democratic representation has to include “a host of important non-secular actors.He said that the US Embassy has been in contact with Mohamed ElBaradei, but did not know if the US had spoken with the opposition figure in the past week….

US sends special envoy to Egypt

US sends special envoy to Egypt


01/31/2011 22:36

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has sent a retired senior diplomat to Egypt to press the U.S. case for democratic reforms to top Egyptian officials amid spiraling anti-government protests that aim to topple the country’s authoritarian president.

The State Department said Monday that former ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner is now on the ground in Cairo and will be meeting with Egyptian officials to urge them to embrace broad economic and political changes that can pave the way for free and fair elections.

Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Wisner, who was U.S. ambassador to Egypt from 1986 to 1991, has vast experience in the region, has close relationships with many Egyptians in and out of government and will report back to Washington on his findings…

Israel shocked by Obama's betrayal of Mubarak

Israel shocked by Obama’s “betrayal” of Mubarak

(Reuters) – If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday

JERUSALEM | Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:54pm EST

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel’s President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

“We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East.”

Newspaper columnists were far more blunt.

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled “A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam.” It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.

Who is advising them, he asked, “to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president … an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?”

“The politically correct diplomacy of American presidents throughout the generations … is painfully naive.”.

Obama on Sunday called for an “orderly transition” to democracy in Egypt, stopping short of calling on Mubarak to step down, but signaling that his days may be numbered.


Netanyahu instructed Israeli ambassadors in a dozen key capitals over the weekend to impress on host governments that Egypt’s stability is paramount, official sources said.

“Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications,” Haaretz daily quoted one official as saying.

Egypt, Israel’s most powerful neighbor, was the first Arab country to make peace with the Jewish state, in 1979. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty, was assassinated two years later by an Egyptian fanatic.

It took another 13 years before King Hussein of Jordan broke Arab ranks to made a second peace with the Israelis. That treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated one year later, in 1995, by an Israeli fanatic.

There have been no peace treaties since. Lebanon and Syria are still technically at war with Israel. Conservative Gulf Arab regimes have failed to advance their peace ideas. A hostile Iran has greatly increased its influence in the Middle East conflict………………..

Judge rules healthcare reform unconstitutional!

Judge rules healthcare reform unconstitutional

(Reuters) – A judge in Florida on Monday became the second judge to declare President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law unconstitutional, in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.

MIAMI | Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:28pm EST

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, ruled that the reform law’s so-called “individual mandate” went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications,” Vinson wrote.

He was referring to a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and sided with governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans, in declaring it unconstitutional. The issue will likely end up at the Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs represent more than half the U.S. states, so the Pensacola case has more prominence than two dozen lawsuits filed in federal courts over the healthcare law.

The healthcare overhaul, a cornerstone of Obama’s presidency, aims to expand health insurance to cover millions of uninsured Americans while also curbing costs. Administration officials insist it is constitutional and needed to stem huge projected increases in healthcare costs.

Two other federal judges have rejected challenges to the individual mandate.

But a federal district judge in Richmond, Virginia, last month struck down that central provision of the law in a case in that state, saying it invited an “unbridled exercise of federal police powers.”…………………..

Worldwide Islamist revolution explodes

Worldwide Islamist revolution explodes

As powder keg spreads across Mideast, clerics celebrate rise of Muslim power

Posted: January 30, 2011

By Aaron Klein

© 2011 WorldNetDaily

TEL AVIV Ð Islamists, in particular the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, seem poised to take power throughout the Middle East as a result of riots that have already toppled one Arab regime and are threatening others, in what some are calling only the latest wave of an Islamic “tsunami” sweeping the globe.

In Egypt, members of President Hosni Mubarak’s family reportedly have fled the country as a flood of violent, fatal street protests threatens the stability of this most populous Arab nation, a longtime U.S. ally and the only Muslim nation with a long-lasting peace agreement with Israel.

The White House has been championing the protests, calling for a transition to democratic rule in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood formed the main opposition to Mubarak.

The Obama administration’s support for the unrest is strikingly reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s support of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, which marked the birth of modern Islamist expansion now seemingly sweeping the Mideast.

In fact, some Muslim clerics are already calling the riots in Egypt simply an extension of 1979’s Islamist conquests.

“Thirty-one years after the victory of the Islamic Republic, we are faced with the obvious fact that these movements are the aftershocks of the Islamic Revolution,” said Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, as reported by Iran’s Radio Zamaneh. “The fate of those who challenge [our] religion is destruction.”

Speaking of media and government leaders, Khatami added, “They want to highlight the labor, liberal and democratic issues, but the most important issue, which is the religious streak of these protests, [is] being denied.”

The leader of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hammam Saeed, warned that the unrest in Egypt will spread across the Mideast until Arabs succeed at toppling leaders allied with the United States.

“The Americans and Obama must be losing sleep over the popular revolt in Egypt,” Saeed said at a sympathy protest held outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman. “Now, Obama must understand that the people have woken up and are ready to unseat the tyrant leaders who remained in power because of U.S. backing.”

And on the Internet, the Middle East Media Research Institute reports, prominent Salafi cleric Abu Mundhir Al-Shinqiti issued a fatwa in the website Minbar Al-Tawhid Wal Jihad encouraging the protests in Egypt, claiming Islamist jihadis are now on the verge of a historic moment in the history of the Islamic nation, an “earthquake” he likened to the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City.

As the clerics are accurately noting, Egypt is only one of many recent cases where Islamic unrest has surged in the Middle East and North Africa.

In Tunisia, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled following rioting and street protests and widespread looting.

In Yemen, last week witnessed the largest protests in years against Yemen’s leader, Ali Abullah Saleh, who is considered a crucial ally in the U.S. fight against al-Qaida in his country and in the Middle East. The protests further escalated yesterday.

Banners wielded by protesters in Yemen demanded the country’s president abandon changes to the constitution that would grant Saleh another 10 years in power.

Algeria, Jordan and Morocco are taking note, fearing similar outbreaks.

In Pakistan, even the “peace-promoting,” so-called “moderate” Islamic Barelvi sect is organizing rallies demanding the release of a policeman who confessed to the assassination of Punjab governor Slaman Taseer, a liberal politician who criticized federal blasphemy laws.

In Lebanon, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia seems to be hijacking the country’s government using legal means.

Earlier this month, Hezbollah used its veto power to topple the government of the Western-oriented prime minister, Saad Hariri. Hezbollah feared Hariri would use security forces to arrest members of its militia following indictments expected to be issued in the near future against Hezbollah for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Last week, the Hezbollah-backed candidate for prime minister, Najib Mikat, seemed poised to form the next government, sending Hariri into the opposition amid the threat of sectarian clashes.

Hezbollah members reportedly deployed on the streets of Beirut this week in a clear signal intended to deter Hariri backers from rioting.

The news media largely have painted the revolts in Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt as popular unrest, citing the use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to make the arrangements for the demonstrations.

White House championing

The White House itself has been almost openly championing the unrest.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today called for an “orderly transition” to democracy in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is the main opposition group.

Obama himself reportedly voiced support for an “orderly transition” in Egypt that is responsive to the aspirations of Egyptians in phone calls with foreign leaders, the White House said.

Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, speaking in a White House webcast, also urged the government and protesters in Egypt to refrain from violence.

Egyptian officials speaking to WND, however, warned the Muslim Brotherhood has the most to gain from any political reform.

The Brotherhood seeks to spread Islam around the world, in large part using nonviolent means. Hamas and al-Qaida are violent Brotherhood offshoots.

An Egyptian security official noted the Muslim Brotherhood was directly involved in protest organization.

Similarly, it is Islamists allied with the Muslim Brotherhood who stand to gain in Pakistan, Jordan, Tunisia and Yemen. Already, the Shiite fundementalist Hezbollah organization is poised to exert enormous influence over Lebanon.

WND reported the Egyptian government suspects elements of the current uprising there, particularly political aspects, are being coordinated with the U.S. State Department.

A senior Egyptian diplomat told WND the regime of Mubarak suspects the U.S. has been aiding protest planning by Mohamed ElBaradei, who is seen as one of the main opposition leaders in Cairo.

ElBaradei, former International Atomic Energy Agency chief, has reinvented himself as a campaigner for “reform” in Egypt. He is a candidate for this year’s scheduled presidential elections. ElBaradei arrived in Cairo just after last week’s protests began and is reportedly being confined to his home by Egyptian security forces. He is seen as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force in Egypt.

Last week, ElBaradei gave an interview to Der Spiegel defending the Brotherhood.

“We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. … [They] have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them,” he said.

Just today, the Muslim Brotherhood said it was in talks with other anti-government figures, including ElBaradai, to form a national unity government without Mubarak.

David Rubin, former mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh and author of the book “The Islamic Tsunami,” however, warns that the Obama administration cannot continue to ignore the Muslim Brotherhood’s and other Islamist groups’ greater goals.

“There is a plan to take over Western civilization,” Rubin told The Washington Times, “and we need to recognize it for what it is.”

“Confronting the growing threat to Western civilization first involves admitting the problem exists, something President Obama not only refuses to do but strongly denies,” a Times editorial on Rubin continues. “The administration has censored any discussion of the problem in these terms within the government, preferring to focus on ill-defined ‘violent extremism’ when the real extremist threat is only partly violent and wholly Islamicist.”

Muslim Brotherhood declares war on U.S.

Multiple prominent U.S. commentators have also been claiming the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate organization and denying any Islamist plot to seize power.

On Friday, President George W. Bush’s former press spokeswoman, Dana Perino, told Fox News, “Don’t be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This has nothing to do with religion.”

Bruce Reidel, a former CIA analyst and advisor to President Obama, penned a Daily Beast article in which he claimed, “The Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago. … Its relative moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by more radical Islamists.”

Reidel’s assertion the Brotherhood renounced violence, however, is contradicted by the Brotherhood’s own statements in recent months, including a call to arms against the West.

In November, the Brotherhood’s new supreme guide, Muhammad Badi, delivered a sermon entitled, “How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny.”

“Resistance is the only solution,” stated Badi. “The United States cannot impose an agreement upon the Palestinians, despite all the power at its disposal. [Today] it is withdrawing from Iraq, defeated and wounded, and is also on the verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan because it has been defeated by Islamist warriors.”

Badi went on to declare the U.S. is easy to defeat through violence, since it is “experiencing the beginning of its end and is heading toward its demise.”

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center, noted Badi’s speech evidenced “the likelihood that more Brotherhood supporters in the West will turn to violence and fund-raising for terrorism.”

Frank Gaffney, president of the American Center for Security Policy, takes it a step further.

“In short, the Muslim Brotherhood Ð whether it is operating in Egypt, elsewhere in the world or here Ð is our enemy,” he wrote.