From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: World Report: Iranian funds | Syrian elections | Gulf states reconciliation
Date: Mon Apr 28 19:24:44 MDT 2014
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Monday, 28 April 2014
U.S. releases Iranian funds after Iran neutralizes half its 20%-enriched uranium stockpile

The United States is set to release $450 million in frozen Iranian funds this week after the IAEA said last week that Tehran has kept its commitments under the 20 January interim deal over its nuclear program. The IAEA on Thursday said Iran had neutralized half of its higher-enriched uranium stockpile. The interim agreement, which is due to expire on 20 July, saw Iran agree to scale back its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief. Talks have started on turning the temporary agreement into a permanent one.

Syria to hold presidential election 3 June

Syria announced that presidential election will be held 3 June, and if past elections are an indication, Bashar al-Assad would win upward of 95 percent of the vote, defying widespread opposition and extending his grip on power. A late last week Assad said the civil war was turning in his favor. Western and Gulf Arab countries which support Assad's opponents have called the announced election a "parody of democracy" and said it would undermine efforts to negotiate a peace settlement. U.N.-backed talks in Geneva between the Assad regime and the rebels collapsed in February with both sides far from agreement - not least over the question of whether Assad should leave power.

Five Gulf sheikdoms patch up differences with Qatar

The six Western-allied Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said the group has agreed on the mechanisms to implement a new security pact, indicating a first step toward bridging deep divides among its six energy-rich states. In early March, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in an unprecedented public protest against Qatar’s financial and material support for Jihadist elements in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Tunisia, and its lavish support of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. The other five members of the GCC harshly criticized Qatar for interfering in other nations’ politics and supporting organizations which threaten the Gulf’s stability. They said the move to ostracize Qatar was made to protect their security.

U.S. military plans assume North Korea is a nuclear-weapon state

For the first time since the armistice in 1953, U.S. and South Korean contingency plans for a conflict with the North treat the nation as a nuclear-capable adversary, despite the administration’s official refusal to acknowledge it as a de facto nuclear state. The latest revision of U.S. OpPlan 5029, the war plan for the Korean Peninsula, assumes that if a conflict broke out, the North would be able to deliver a crude nuclear weapon, perhaps by truck or ship. The United States does not believe the North is yet able to miniaturize a bomb to a size that could fit on one of its Nodong missiles, the key breakthrough it needs.

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Critics charge Canada's definition of terrorism is too broad

Section 34 (1) (f) of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which has been in force since 2001, bars, in just 37 words long, admission to Canada to any person who has ever supported an organization “that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in” acts of subversion or terrorism. Critics of the law say that this is a description which in many countries in this conflict-ridden world could easily apply to almost anyone. If taken literally, says Toronto immigration lawyer Angus Grant, the provision would block admission by any member of the U.S. or British military — past, present, or future – because both those organizations sought to subvert the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq following 11 September 2001.

Haiti falls behind on cholera treatment, eradication

The UN, for three years, has refused to address the question of whether its peacekeepers (in this case, from Nepal) inadvertently brought a deadly strain of cholera to Haiti when they were sent there to maintain law and order after the devastating 2011 earthquake. The UN kept insisting that it was more important to help the country eradicate the disease once and for all. Trouble is, Haiti is still very far from achieving this goal, and medical experts say that in some ways, the country is even less equipped today to tackle cholera than it was three years ago. The UN raised barely a quarter of the $38 million it needed last year to provide lifesaving supplies, including the most elementary, like water purification tablets. Clinics are running short of oral rehydration salts to treat the debilitating diarrhea, and some treatment centers in the countryside have shut down.

Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Tiny Marshall Islands sues nuclear-weapon states over failure to disarm

The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands, scene of dozens of U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of "flagrant violation of international law" for failing to pursue the negotiations over nuclear disarmament required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It filed one suit, directed against the United States, in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, while others against all nine countries were lodged at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Slowdown in foreign students' enrollments threatens U.K. universities credit rating

The credit ratings of English universities may be damaged by a decline in their enrollment of full-time students from outside the European Union, Moody’s rating agency said. The agency noted that enrollments of foreign students had stagnated for the past two years, following strong growth in previous years, leading British educational experts to voice concerns that Britain might be losing out to rival international education providers in the United States, Australia, and Canada. The main reason for the slowdown in foreign student enrollments was a 1 percent annual decline in post-graduate entrants from 2011 to 2013. The slowdown hurts the credit rating of the universities, making it potentially more expensive for them to borrow money, because foreign students make an important contribution to revenues.

Also noted

U.S. and Gulf states plan missile defense system to counter Iran | Egypt court sentences more than 680 to death | Scottish independence: Scotland "committed" to EU, says Salmond |U.S., Philippines sign defense pact amid China tensions | Saudi MERS death toll passes 100 | Syrian chemical weapons deadline passes with 92 percent of materials removed |Egypt: Revise terrorism laws to safeguard rights | Watchdog says Syria must destroy toxic chemicals

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Legion of the Rearguard - Dissident Irish Republicanism from ISBS
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Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Modern and Contemporary Syria
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