From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: World Report: Ukraine's energy woes | Camron's religious advice | Muslim Brotherhood
Date: Mon Apr 07 17:27:38 MDT 2014
Body:
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SECTOR REPORT
Monday, 7 April 2014
Russia-Ukraine gas war looms

The prospect of a new gas war between Russia and Ukraine drew nearer over the weekend as the Kiev government said it would not pay for gas at a new, inflated price set by Gazprom last week. The dispute comes against the backdrop of intensifying tensions in eastern Ukraine, with pro-Russian protesters in two cities storming government buildings on Sunday. Last week, Russia announced two successive price hikes in gas for Ukraine, taking it up to $485.50. It is not clear what Russia will do if Ukraine refuses to pay the new price, but in the past it has shut off the supply.

Ukraine seeking non-Russian nuclear fuel suppliers

Russia keeps pressure on Ukraine not only because Ukraine exports most of its natural gas from Russia. Almost all the fuel for Ukraine's fifteen nuclear reactors comes from Russia, too. Now that Ukraine is struggling to diversify its natural gas sources, it is also eager to diversify its supply of nuclear fuel, thus breaking Russia's near monopoly over its nuclear fuel. Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co. told various media outlets last week it will renew a contract with Ukraine's Energoatom which will extend and expand its flow of nuclear fuel to Ukraine. The deal is valued at $100 million.

Egyptians harden their attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood

A few weeks after the removal of Mohammed Morsi last July, then-Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi demanded that Egyptians give the army and police a popular “mandate” to confront “potential” terrorism. Since then, thousands of Islamists have been detained, killed, or injured in confrontations with the police or army. Terrorist attacks by Islamist militants have left hundreds of security forces dead or injured in just a few months. Is there a political solution to Egypt’s terrorism problem? Yes and no. Political inclusion of moderate Islamists would reduce the problem, but extremists believe it is their divine right to control the country. They seek domination of the political process, not participation in it. A vast majority of Egyptians, therefore, have become more hardened and less uncompromising due to the bloodshed. Having experienced the Muslim Brotherhood in power and witnessed Morsi’s entourage of convicted terrorists and murderers, many Egyptians have concluded that the country must get rid of the Brotherhood, as an organization, for good.

Netanyahu threatens unilateral Israeli action against Palestinian Authority

Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said Israel may take "unilateral action" against the Palestinians after the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, signed fifteen international conventions which could pave the way for a renewed attempt by the Palestinian Authority to gain UN statehood. Speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said: "Unilateral actions from the Palestinians will be answered with unilateral actions from our side". He blamed the Palestinians for the current impasse over the U.S.-sponsored peace talks.

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David Cameron's religious adviser is grandson of Muslim Brotherhood's founder

Tariq Ramadan is one of fourteen members of the U.K. Foreign Office’s Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, chaired by Tory peer Baroness Warsi. He is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, and was a member of a taskforce set up by Tony Blair. Ramadan, however, is grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna and his father Said Ramadan was a leading light. He is a Swiss citizen, and he was for several years banned from the United States for "providing material support to a terrorist organization." He was eventually allowed to enter the United States after a long legal battle in which he argued that no link with terrorism existed.

Australia holding secret talks with Indonesian extremists

Australian officials have been authorized to hold secret talks with an offshoot of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group, even though the organization is being subject to United States and UN sanctions because of its links with terrorism. The United States and the UN Security Council listed JAT as a terrorist organization and imposed sanctions on its leaders in March 2012 after two suicide bombings by members in Java the previous year. Australian officials are prohibited from contact with a wide range of Islamic terrorist groups, notably al-Qaeda. Jemaah Islamiah engineered the 2002 Bali bombings. Current Australia's Foreign Affairs Department guidelines allow officials to meet, "on a case-by-case basis," with a number of extremist groups that engage in violence and include terrorists.

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Former Israeli MK convitced of meeting with the enemy

Former Israeli Member of Knesset convicted of meeting with the enemy Former MK Said Nafa of the Arab party Balad on Sunday was convicted in an Israeli court of meeting with Deputy Secretary- General Talal Naji of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Palestinian terrorist group, during an illegal trip to Syria in 2007. By law, Israelis may visit enemy states only if they receive permission from the interior minister.

Hungary's governing center-right party wins impressive victory in Sunday elections

Hungarians handed prime minister Viktor Orbán and his center-right Fidesz party another four years in power in Sunday's parliamentary election. About one in every five voters backed Jobbik, the far-right opposition party whose leaders and supporters have not been shy about expressing their anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, and generally racist views. With about 75 percent of the ballots were counted, Orbán's Fidesz party would win 135 of the 199 seats in parliament, passing the two-thirds threshold required for his party unilaterally to change the constitution. The socialist-led leftist alliance was projected to win thirty-nine seats, with twenty-five seats going to Jobbik, whose share of the national vote on party lists rose from 15.9 percent four years ago to 21.25 percent on Sunday. Political observers note that Jobbik had achieved the strongest showing in the past few years for any far-right party in the EU, and that the only far-right party on the continent which had performed better was Switzerland's People's party which won 26.6 percent of the vote.

Today's snap elections in Québéc may turn on unguarded pro-separatism comments

The Parti Québécois (PQ) may lose today's snap elections in Québéc because one of its star candidates in the legislative elections, Pierre Karl Péladeau -- who is routinely described as a combination of Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi -- declared that he would support the separation of the province from Canada. The PQ was created to champion the cause of Québéc separatism, but voters in the province twice -- in 1980 and 1995 -- rejected separation from Canada, and over the past two decades the PQ has muted its calls for French separatism. The PQ has been in power in the province for the past eighteen months, and it called the elections in order to increase its majority in the provincial legislature. The impact of Péladeau's pro-separatism statements was immediate: the once-comfortable lead held by the PQ in the early part of the campaign has all but evaporated, and all major polls now suggest that it is unlikely to return as the province’s governing party.

Also noted

U.S. lawmakers propose cuts to Rwanda aid over treatment of dissidents | NATO commander says he sees potent threat from Russia | Lebanon Alawite leader charged for incitement | U.S. warns over security threat at Baghdad airport | Congressional Hispanic caucus demands deportation changes | Tory MP's young Brazillian lover was in Britain illegally after being refused entry 3 times | "Anonymous" hackers threaten Israel with cyber-terrorism | Hate preacher witness refuses to fly to U.S. because he fears arrest over shoe bomb plane plot | Arab Spring going badly, noted journalist says | Marwan Barghouti demands release from Israeli prison | Family sues BP after terrorists killed a U.S. contractor in Algeria

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State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Modern and Contemporary Syria
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