Emir’s Abdication Shakes Up Arab Spring

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Arab Spring Winter

 The National Post visited the world’s largest fortified underground hospital — Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.

The close calls seven years ago have given rise to an extraordinary construction project: the world’s largest, fortified underground hospital, three below-grade storeys — 20,000 square metres — that can be rapidly converted into a full-service general hospital with room for 2,000 beds.

The vast space will be used as a parking lot in peacetime, but oxygen and other gas lines, suction tubes and electricity have been installed in the walls to enable a quick makeover. Next to each parking space, locked, plastic covers hide sockets for those services until they are needed. There are even outlets for toilets and other plumbing hidden throughout the walls, and cutting-edge protection against chemical or biological warfare.

YNet gave a thumbs up to  Jon Stewart for “playing the Jewish card” on Egyptian TV. While in the Mideast, Stewart made an appearance on the show of his Egyptian counterpart, Bassem Youssef.  Washington Post blogger Max Fisher sure enjoyed the show too, judging from the effusive word count.

Egyptian villagers are proud of a mob lynch that killed four Shiite Muslims. AFP writes:

In Abu Mussalem, where residents refer to Shiites as “infidels”, men filmed the attack and exchanged mobile phone video clips and pictures with each other, describing how “proud” they were of the lynching.

“We’re happy about what happened. It should have happened long ago,” teacher Mohamed Ismail told AFP, to the approving nods of residents.

 McClatchy News updates Lebanon’s sectarian violence.

 For commentary/analysis, see Uri Dromi and Ronen Bergman.

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Iranian Atomic Urgency

Canadian foreign minister: Iran has 2-3 months to prove willingness to resolve the nuclear crisis. John Baird told the Times of Israel:

The diplomatic process, he went on, “is nearing the end, and should have been nearing the end in my judgment. If Iran wants to seek out concrete, meaningful solutions to this, they have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world in the coming weeks that they’ll do that . . . And you have someone [in Rouhani, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator] who doesn’t need to have any time to read up on the files. This person does not need anytime to be briefed up.”

And if at the end of two or three months there isn’t some kind of concrete progress? Then, said Baird, “I think fair and reasonable people will have shown that they have taken every reasonable measure, every diplomatic measure, to try to successfully bring this to a conclusion.”

And then comes the time for intervention? “I’ll just leave it at that,” the minister said.

 Another Iranian scoop at the Times of Israel: Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman told the paper that Hassan Rohani — contrary to media reports — was not involved in the Iranian leadership meeting which authorized the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center.

 Avi Jorisch (Wall St. Journal via Google News) lays out the case for stronger sanctions against the Iranian banking system — and how to do it.

(Image of emir via Wikimedia Commons/Salem.us )

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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