Did Israel Really Assassinate Arafat?

Iranian Atomic Urgency

NY Times: With no interested buyers, 65 Iranian oil tankers aimlessly ply the Persian Gulf waters:

The unsold crude is being stored in what has been estimated to be two-thirds of the Iranian tanker fleet. Most of the ships are sailing in circles around the Persian Gulf as Iran tries to sell the mostly heavy crude at bargain-basement prices.

International oil experts estimate that Iran is now warehousing as much as 40 million barrels — roughly two weeks of production — on the tankers. An additional 10 million barrels are in storage on shore.

Arab Spring Winter

The BBC caught up with Ghatan Sleiba, the Syrian news anchor who defected to Turkey. The inside scoop on Assad’s propaganda machine is a disturbing story of reporters coaching interviewees, Baath party officials involved in content decisions, and gullible viewers.

“The Syrian nation is a simple nation. They believe whoever smiles at them on TV and they believe whoever cries. God help the Syrian nation.”

UN Watch: Syria’s actively pursuing a seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council.

As part of the U.N.’s 53-nation Asian group, Syria’s candidacy would be virtually assured of victory due to the prevalent system of fixed slates, whereby regional groups orchestrate uncontested elections, naming only as many candidates as allotted seats.

 That’s how non-democracies like China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia won their current seats, and how Pakistan and Venezuela are about to do the same.

AFP: Switzerland suspends arms sales to the UAE after a journalist in Syria photographed rebels using Swiss grenades. If this is bringing on feelings of deja vu, that’s because last year, a journalist discovered crates of Swiss weapons in Libya.

How can you not like Mohammed Morsi’s “open door” policy, as described by AFP? For days, hundreds of Egyptians have streamed to the presidential palace, taking their problems straight to the top.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Former CIA chief James Woolsey pulls a reverse on Jonathan Pollard, saying he’s served enough time. His letter to the Wall Street Journal ends on this remarkable note:

For those hung up for some reason on the fact that he’s an American Jew, pretend he’s a Greek- or Korean- or Filipino-American and free him.

WikiLeaks began releasing 2.5 million Syrian government emails. According to Haaretz, a preliminary look shows ties between Syria’s security apparatus and a subsidiary of an Italian firm providing secure communications equipment and training. The Guardian‘s live-blogging the dump. Big yawn.

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

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