Night market morning

Originally posted on Without an H:


Long Bien night market is where Hanoi’s market traders come to buy their fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. Every night, trucks come in from the countryside, piled high with fresh produce. It’s a frenetic, chaotic place, full of energy and life, despite the hour (very early or very late, depending on your point of view). Purposeful merchants push carts and carry baskets laden with food; motorbikes and trucks plough through the narrow, muddy channels between makeshift stalls. In the midst of the frenzy, other traders take time out to play cards or nap in hammocks. Above it all, Long Bien bridge, built at the start of the last century and showing its age, but now one of the symbols of the city.

When I arrived, at around five this morning, the only light was from the bare bulbs hanging under coloured awnings or in the open back doors of the…

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The Coming Deal that Iran Wrote

Originally posted on Beyond the Cusp:

The defection of Amir Hossein Mottaghi, Rouhani’s public relations manager during his 2013 election campaign for President, removed any doubts or glimmers of hope that what was being acted out in Lausanne, Switzerland, nestled in the Alps, was an actual deal meant to deny Iran anything they desired and packaged it as an accomplishment. The crux of the problem is that the Iranians have neither desired nor needed any form of a deal as they always were and are going to do exactly that which best serves their purposes, and that is to build as many nuclear warheads and as many missiles on which to place those warheads and do so at whatever speed they desire. The warning signs have been everywhere for all to see. Even the French and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) claim the deal is so pathetic as it does not limit or even begin…

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But What Does The Supreme Leader Say?

Originally posted on PA Pundits - International:

caruba_alan20080111By Alan Caruba ~

What Americans have a hard time understanding is that, for all the Iranian negotiators, the outcome of the nuclear arms deal that the United States is leading all comes down to just one man, Sayyed Ali-Khamenei, otherwise known as the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Iran - Supreme Leader Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali-Khamenei

In the 21st century, it is hard to comprehend that a nation could be ruled by a man whose powers supersede that nation’s president, its civil government, its judiciary and its military. Iran has had only one other Supreme Leader since its founding in 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini who held the position until his death in 1989. The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew the Shah in order to secure greater freedom, but the Iranians ended up more servile than before.

This is who Obama and P5+1 team (France, Great Britain, Russia, China, plus Germany) is negotiating…

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In which a BBC Radio 4 guest compares Israel to a drug addict

Originally posted on BBC Watch:

Hosted as usual by Paddy O’Connell, the March 22nd edition of BBC Radio 4’s weekly current affairs programme ‘Broadcasting House’ (available here) included Lib Dem MP Menzies Campbell and actor David Schneider among its guests. At 53:50 listeners heard the following extraordinary conversation.Broadcasting House 22 3 15

Paddy O’Connell: “David Schneider […] I think you want to talk to us about Israeli politics.”

David Schneider: “Well, yes. So, I’m Jewish and I was very depressed this…ehm…this week because of the…Netanyahu’s re-election. Sometimes…I mean it’s very complex for me as a sort of Left-wing Jew and my attitude to Israel. Sometimes it feels like a sort of family member with a severe drug addiction.”

PO: “With that warning, what are you reading from?” […]

DS: “There was… there was a glimmer of hope – which is on page 33 of the Observer – that the Joint List – which is an Arab-Jewish alliance…

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Uncertain of Obama while U.S. policy remains unclear — Arab States Gear Up for War

Originally posted on Peace and Freedom:


A pan-Arab coalition with a patchy record steps up as Yemen falls apart and U.S. policy remains unclear

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri give a press conference at the conclusion of an Arab summit meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2015.   
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri give a press conference at the conclusion of an Arab summit meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2015. Photo: Associated Press
By  David Schenker and Gilad Wenig
The Wall Street Journal

Few organizations boast a reputation of dysfunction comparable to the Arab League’s. Over seven decades the Arab League has distinguished itself through infighting and fecklessness. But now, with the Obama administration seen as missing in action in the Middle East, the alliance of 22 countries is undergoing a renaissance. Over the weekend, the Arab League met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and endorsed the creation of an intervention force to fight terrorism in the

Regional backing for the force came days…

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Iran nuclear talks at crunch time — Still no agreement; substantial differences still remaining

Originally posted on Peace and Freedom:

The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program entered a critical phase on Monday with substantial differences still remaining less than two days before a deadline for the outline of an agreement.

With the March 31 target fast approaching, the top diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and Iran were meeting to try to bridge remaining gaps and hammer out the framework deal that would be the basis for a final accord to be reached by the…

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