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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Pakistan Nabs Terrorist Involved in Daniel Pearl Murder

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Pakistani officials have said they arrested a terrorist who may provide the key for unlocking the mystery of who masterminded and carried out the brutal 2002 kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pearl, who was Jewish, was murdered one month after he was taken into captivity on January 23, 2002 while traveling to interview a Muslim extremist in Pakistan. The beheading was filmed by the terrorists and sent to the U.S. Consulate. It was seen on the Internet, sending shock waves throughout the Western world.

Pearl’s body was found dismembered three months later.

The latest suspect in the kidnap-murder is Qari Abdul Hayee, whose name is similar to a suspect in a 2011 Georgetown student investigation called the Daniel Pearl Project.

Ruth and Judea Pearl, the parents of Daniel, stated after the report of the latest arrest, “We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny.”

“As with every journalist murder, any and all perpetrators in the slaying of Daniel Pearl must be prosecuted and punished,” said Committee for Protecting Journalists (CPS) Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “In order to curb growing impunity in Pakistan, it is imperative that authorities send the strongest possible signal that acts of anti-press violence will not go unpunished.”

Hayee, also known as Asadullah, was arrested on Sunday during a raid in Karachi.

It was not the first time he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the murder of Pearl.

In May 2003, he was taken into custody for allegedly murdering six Shiite Muslims and was linked in the planning and carrying out of Pearl’s kidnapping and murder.

He was sentenced to death for the murders of the Shiites but was not charged in the Pearl murder. Hayee was freed for some unknown reason.

A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that only four of the 27 men allegedly involved in his kidnapping and murder were charged and convicted, according to CPS.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the 9/11 masterminds and who was questioned at Guantanamo Bay, claimed he ordered the kidnapping of Pearl and also claimed he personally beheaded him, but he never was charged in the case.

Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Muslim terrorist, was sentenced to death for Pearl’s murder, but no one really knows who actually killed the journalist.

Hayee may provide the answers.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Adelson Sues Wall Street Journal Reporter for Libel

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson sued a Wall Street Journal reporter for libel for calling him “foul-mouthed.”

The lawsuit filed last Friday seeks “damages, including aggravated, exemplary and special damages,” for a December article co-written by Kate O’Keeffe. Only O’Keefe is named in the suit, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

“We will vigorously defend Ms. O’Keeffe in this lawsuit,” said a Wall Street Journal spokeswoman, declining to comment further.

Last August, Adelson sued the National Jewish Democratic Council for defamation after the organization quoted news reports alleging that he had approved of prostitution at his properties in Macau, China. The suit has not been settled.


Admitting the Mistake of the Disengagement

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

On Sunday, Wall Street Journal editor and columnist Bret Stephens did what too many need to do: own up to the mistake of supporting the Disengagement Plan.

At the time, Stephens was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post.

In his WSJ column Stephens wrote that on each of the points he argued regarding the Disengagement plan he turned out to be wrong. He writes:

My error was to confuse a good argument with good policy; to suppose that mere self-justification is a form of strategic prudence. It isn’t. Israel is obviously within its rights to defend itself now against a swarm of rockets and mortars from Gaza. But if it had maintained a military presence in the Strip, it would not now be living under this massive barrage.

Or, to put it another way: The diplomatic and public-relations benefit Israel derives from being able to defend itself from across a “border” and without having to get into an argument about settlements isn’t worth the price Israelis have had to pay in lives and terror.

Put simply, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza yielded less security, greater diplomatic isolation, and a Palestinian regime even more radical and emboldened than it had been before. As strategic failures go, it was nearly perfect.

He also makes a recommendation about not accepting a ceasefire, citing Netanyahu’s analysis as opposition leader during Operation Cast Lead, but I don’t want to spoil the article, so check it out yourself.

Daniel Tauber

Obama’s Attempts At Making Nice With The Mullahs

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It turns out that soon after taking office, President Obama tried to make friends – totally – with the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

The aim was to start with the opening of interest sections in Washington and Tehran, then progress to “full diplomatic ties, including U.S. and Iranian embassies and ambassadors in each other’s capitals, security cooperation…, [and] direct flights between the U.S. and Iran….”

All this amity, it was presumed, would get Iran to give up its nuclear program.

So, at least, reports the Israeli daily Maariv, basing itself on “two Western diplomats very close to the administration.”

Maariv says that, beginning in the summer of 2009, there were at least two U.S.-Iranian diplomatic meetings in this context. The second was between Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva in October 2009, on the sidelines of nuclear talks between Tehran and the P5+1 countries.

But Tehran, as they say, wasn’t into it. An Israeli source told Maariv that the regime “opposed any sign of normalization with the U.S., and refused to grant a ‘prize’ to the Americans.”

On Obama’s part, all this would have been in the spirit of his holiday video greeting to Iran in March 2009—and, more generally, his wooing of the Islamic world and all but apologizing for America’s supposed sins, most notably in his June 2009 Cairo speech.

In the mullahs’ case, Obama’s belief that he could talk them into friendship is particularly striking. U.S.-Iranian relations took something of a hit when the newly installed Ayatollah Khomeini regime seized 52 American diplomats as hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, holding them for 444 days. Last week the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens listed some additional “American victims of Iranian aggression” since that time:

The 17 Americans killed in April 1983 at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut by the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad Organization, later known as Hezbollah. The 241 U.S. servicemen killed by Islamic Jihad at the Marine barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983. Master Chief Robert Dean Stethem, beaten to death in June 1985 by a Hezbollah terrorist in Beirut aboard TWA flight 847. William Francis Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, tortured to death by Hezbollah that same month. Marine Col. William Higgins, taken hostage in 1988 while serving with U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon and hanged by Hezbollah sometime later. The 19 U.S. Air Force personnel killed in June 1996 in the Khobar Towers bombing, for which several members of Saudi Hezbollah were indicted in U.S. federal court.

And then there are the thousands of U.S. troops killed by improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most lethal IEDs were manufactured in Iran for the purpose of killing Americans.

Obama’s belief that America was at fault in having wronged and angered Iran must have been very strong to regard this record as something that could have been overcome between friends – to the extent that he was familiar with it.

The trouble is that, three years later, there are signs that Obama is still unable to grasp the fact that the Iranian regime is implacably hostile to America. It was last March, just as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in Washington warning that Iran was closing in on the bomb, that Obama chose to renew diplomatic talks with Iran – talks that, as acknowledged by all, have been an empty sham that has merely bought Tehran time just as Israel had warned.

True, Obama – under heavy pressure from Congress – finally, along with other Western countries, imposed sanctions on Iran that are taking a real toll. Just two weeks ago, though, a report by the Congressional Research Service acknowledged a “consensus” that these have in no way slowed Iran’s march toward nukes.

And it was just last week that The New York Times reported that the U.S. and Iran had agreed to still more nuclear talks after November 6. The White House denied the specifics of the report – but, incorrigibly convinced of Tehran’s potential amicability, said it remained ready, as ever, to meet with the mullahs and hash out the differences.

In other words, there are worrisome indications that when it comes to Iran’s Islamist regime, the U.S. chief executive remains dangerously delusional.

P. David Hornik

Debt Ridden NY Times Squeezing Writers, Golden Parachuting CEOs

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Is it time to say kaddish for the New York Times?

Investors in the paper may already be doing so.  The last time they received a dividend was in late 2008.

The NYT, considered by many to be the global paper of record, has incurred more than $300 million in net losses since 2005, and its advertising revenues have been declining for five consecutive years.

In fact, the paper’s own financial report made headlines when its third quarter revenues were so much worse than expected that the value of its shares plummeted 22 percent, its biggest one-day drop in at least thirty years.  Investors were warned to expect dismal news for the next quarter, as well.

But while the newspaper industry as a whole has been in a funk for years – with Internet news, blogs, and other ’round the clock news sources available—many for free—there are elements of the NYT‘s precarious financial position that make it unique.

The most significant is the stench of hypocrisy hovering over the differences in the way the NYT handles its executives versus its writers.

Remember how the New York Times lionized the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street vigilantes?  What a shock to learn about the barrels-full of money it has thrown at even departing bigwigs, while keeping its proletariat writers at stagnated pay levels, and, in the words of its own union leaders, trying repeatedly to “decimate their health plan.”

For nearly two years, the daily writers at the New York Times (whose union members are represented by the Newspaper Guild of New York), have been working without a contract. Those approximately 1100 workers have repeatedly been met with what they have described as “draconian” efforts to force not only pay cuts and alterations to their health and pension plans, but also forced, unpaid, increases in their work week.

In fact, less than two weeks ago, on Oct. 8, approximately 400 NYT reporters staged a brief walkout because the sides were so far apart and the writers felt increasingly under siege.  In a video interview during that walkout, a member of the union talks about the paper’s hypocrisy.  In a July editorial, the Times attacked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for his anti-union activity, saying:

“Labor, so long in decline in the private sector, is also losing its clout in states and cities, unable to match or withstand the unfettered bank accounts of industry. The people who kept Mr. Walker and his policies in power are just getting started.”

And yet, the NYT writers have been stonewalled for nearly two years, with management doing its best during that time to wring out still more concessions from them.

At the same time that the Times has been refusing to increase salaries or benefits by even a minimal amount, it has been throwing multiple millions of dollars at its top executives, past and future, this year alone.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. is the great-grandson of the founder and owner of the New York Times Co.  He is the Chairman of the board of the NYT and its publisher.  Sulzberger appointed Janet Robinson CEO of the paper in 2004. Robinson had spent nearly twenty years rising through the ranks on the business side of the paper, and was long viewed as a quiet complement to her boss.

Although the NYT is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, it is, essentially, a family-owned business, and in addition to rapidly declining corporate financial health, alleged competition from family members in executive positions led to Robinson’s abrupt ouster in December, 2011.

And while the NYT allowed the door to hit her backside on her way out, the bundle of dough they threw after Robinson must have made for a somewhat softer landing.  Her severance package amounted to nearly $24 million — more than the company earned in the previous four years.

But that’s not all the paper has given away to bigwigs in the last year.  The new CEO, Mark Thompson, is about to slide into place in early November, with his path greased by a total pay package of $10.5 million.  That package includes a signing bonus worth as much as $4.5 million.

Thompson’s new annual salary is an increase from what he made at his last position, as the director general of the British Broadcasting Corp.  His role in that position was to cut jobs and save money through office and plant consolidation.  That reputation isn’t likely to make him a hit with staff writers.

The NYT  announced this week, just days before Thompson is set to come on board, that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild.  Nothing, it has been repeatedly stressed, is yet set in stone, let alone laid out on paper, concerning this agreement.  Nevertheless, the Guild’s president Bill O’Meara, wrote that “the agreement preserves the workers’ pensions, protects medical benefits and boosts compensation.”

Interesting that an agreement — no matter how tentative — would have been entered into before the new CEO arrives.  Given Thompson’s past experience, it is hard to imagine he was hired to do more than continue his practice of slashing costs.  The union probably should have gotten the terms in writing before agreeing to allow the issuance of a press release announcing the deal.

So Robinson and Thompson get millions of dollars. Robinson was paid to get out, while Thompson will be paid to make the lowly writers miserable enough to get out.

And this, from an October, 2011 NYT editorial rhapsodizing over the Occupy Wall Street mission:

Income gains at the top would not be as worrisome as they are if the middle class and the poor were also gaining. But working-age households saw their real income decline in the first decade of this century. The recession and its aftermath have only accelerated the decline.

Research shows that such extreme inequality correlates to a host of ills, including lower levels of educational attainment, poorer health and less public investment. It also skews political power, because policy almost invariably reflects the views of upper-income Americans versus those of lower-income Americans.

Tell that to the union. And perhaps the members will say kaddish.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Sheldon Adelson’s Casino Reaching Deal with Feds on Money-Laundering

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Federal prosecutors and pro-Israel Republican stalwart Sheldon Adelson’s casino company Las Vegas Sands Corp. may have come to an understanding on issues pertaining to money-laundering laws allegedly violated in the cases of two criminal high-rollers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Lawyers for the Sands and federal prosecutors met on Thursday after the Sands failed to obtain a dismissal.  Prosecutors threatened to charge the Sands and a company executive with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Now, the prosecution may indeed drop the case, with the Sands paying a fine and updating regulations on handling customer money.

Sands representatives stated that the casino was cooperating with federal investigations and denied any wrongdoing.

Las Vegas Sands was investigated when it allegedly failed to report a potentially suspicious financial transaction by two wealthy gamblers to the federal government.  The two apparently worked millions of dollars in “dirty” money through the accounts of the casino operator.  The cases hinge on whether it was possible for executives of the Sands to know that the money could have come from illegal activities, and whether they should have had reasonable enough suspicion to alert law enforcement.

One, Zhenli Ye Gon, a Chinese citizen with a Mexican pharmaceutical factory, was charged in 2007 with manufacturing a component of methamphetamine, during which time evidence showed he had spent over $100 million at Las Vegas casinos.  Charges against him were later dropped by federal prosecutors.  But the case raised concerns over whether the Sands failed to report deposits made by a suspicious person.

For their part, the Sands said it performed due diligence measures to ensure the cleanliness of the money, even hiring a private investigator to determine whether Ye Gon was legitimate.

The second case, of former Fry’s Electronics executive and admitted 2009 kickback schemer Ausaf Umar Siddiqui, who made major transactions at the Sands despite an apparent history of being unable to pay gambling debts.

The Sands is also being investigated regarding alleged bribes paid overseas.  The company has maintained its innocence.

Adelson, owner of the Sands, is also the owner of the Israel HaYom newspaper, has contributed over $100 million to the Birthright Israel project to connect Jewish youth to their roots through his family foundation, and is married to an Israeli physician, Miriam Ochsorn.

Malkah Fleisher

The Canada Factor: Policies for a Stronger Continent

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Building U.S.-Canada relations is more urgent than ever, both economically and in foreign affairs. If America intends to keep its advantage as a superpower, it will greatly help to ally with its neighbor, Canada. While Canada has depended upon the U.S. historically as the stronger military might, it has, under a Conservative Government, demonstrated global leadership in economic policy and foreign affairs. Given the rise of economic superpowers such as China and India, and the challenges from our enemies, such as Islamists, a strong foreign policy and a functional economy are key.

Under its current policies, the U.S. faces the threat of becoming a lesser nation, starving its golden goose, pro-growth investment policies; governed by unsustainable socialist domestic ideologies like Europe (and California domestically); inviting aggression by hollowing out its defense with often irreversible deep cuts to military spending.

In the meantime, China, a potential adversary, surges ahead with its plans to control space, the presumed next theater of war; while the U.S. radiates a shaky, undefined foreign affairs mandate which sends the message to global adversaries that America is without a captain; and to Israel, not to count on America’s tradition of support.

Canada, by contrast, has demonstrated economic leadership and an unwavering support for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, which several countries in the Middle East outspokenly seek to destroy — as specified under the Charters of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and as the Palestinian government-controlled media continues daily calls for its obliteration.

For most Americans, the economy takes precedence in the upcoming elections. Romney came out swinging in the first of three debates for the Presidency, which Gallup polls called the biggest debate victory in recorded history. According to Romney, America is faced with tax hikes — for both modest businesses as well as the wealthy — that would not only slow job creation, but cause partial lay-offs as employers cut back working hours to sidestep new tax requirements.

Then, however, came the realities of what Romney pointed out: that over the last four years, gas prices have doubled, food prices and health insurance costs have increased while median family income has continued to decline. Even though Obama continuously repeated that the economy he inherited was one of the worst since the Great Depression, Obama’s “recovery” according to Forbes, has ended up worse than the Bush recession that Obama’s election was supposed to reverse. It would have been hard to imagine the economy worsening even further, but in the face of the failed promises of “hope and change,” it did.

Americans, especially youth, cannot afford to gamble on the current brand of fiscal policy seen in the States: nearly 50% of college graduates over the last five years are either unemployed or underemployed, according to a study by Rutgers University.

As if to make a bad situation worse, President Obama then said of the “Occupy Movement,” “we are on their side.” Foremost among this disparate movement was early advocate David Graeber, an anarchist, anthropologist and proponent of communism. Occupy Wall Street spilled over into Canada, lugging along with it the same lack of order with no central message, except calls to nationalize the banks, “Free Palestine,” and hate the rich while wanting their money, an economic plan referred to in television clips by the U.S. President as a desirable “transfer of wealth.”

Souvenirs of “Occupy” stopovers consisted of waste and filth in respectable communities and in their camps, and even physical attacks. New York police alone had to spend over $5 million in overtime for work related to the “Occupy” protesters  That was the movement whose side the President of the United States had declared he was on.

In looking at the contrast between the U.S. and Canada during the economic downturn, the conservative fiscal leadership of Canada, reflected on how it had fared. Canada had experienced an expanding economy and when the G20 gathered in Toronto, the nation excelled on the world stage. The Huffington Post advised Americans : “Need A Job? Try Canada, Where Hiring Is Booming And Home Prices Are Rising.” Forbes also put Canada at the top of its list of places to do business, while another report highlighted that even Moody’s believes in Canada’s housing market and economy.

Christine Williams

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-canada-factor-policies-for-a-stronger-continent/2012/10/15/

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