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Tuesday, Sep 02nd

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UK firm Octel bribed Iraqis to keep buying toxic fuel additive

Octel chemicalsOfficials in Iraq were bribed to overlook effects of leaded petrol on children's health. The former chief executive of a British chemical company faces the prospect of extradition to the US after the firm admitted million-dollar bribes to officials to sell toxic fuel additives to Iraq.

Paul Jennings, until last year chief executive of the Octel chemical works near Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, and his predecessor, Dennis Kerrison, exported tonnes of tetra ethyl lead (TEL), to Iraq. TEL is banned from cars in western countries because of links with brain damage to children. Iraq is believed to be the only country that still adds lead to petrol.

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UK Court ruling: British soldiers abroad 'not protected by human rights laws'

Supreme Court ruling: British soldiers abroad 'not protected by human rights laws'The country's highest court has quashed a landmark ruling that British soldiers serving abroad are protected by human rights laws at all times.

Six of the nine justices who heard the case in March at the Supreme Court overturned High Court and Court of Appeal judgments over the death of Private Jason Smith in Iraq while serving with the Territorial Army.

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Israeli FM: Absolutely no chance for a Palestinian state within next two years

Avigdor LiebermanAn independent Palestinian State is not a possibility in the next two years, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said following a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

An apparent disagreement broke out between Lieberman and Lavrov  during their meeting in Jerusalem over Moscow's increased efforts to include Hamas in Mideast peace talks.

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Jerusalem master plan: Expansion of Jewish enclaves across the city

Jerusalem master plan: Expansion of Jewish enclaves across the cityThe Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee is set to approve an unprecedented master plan that calls for the expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, a move largely based on construction on privately owned Arab property.

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee is set to approve an unprecedented master plan that calls for the expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, a move largely based on construction on privately owned Arab property.

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Israel-US relations rocked by 'tectonic rift'

Oren: Israel-US relations rocked by 'tectonic rift'Relations between Israel and its staunchest ally, the US, have suffered a "tectonic rift", according to Israel's ambassador to Washington. Michael Oren briefed Israeli diplomats on the sharp deterioration between the countries ahead of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to the White House early next month.

According to those present, Oren said the situation had moved beyond a crisis that eventually passes. "There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs," he told the diplomats in Jerusalem. "Relations are in the state of a tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart."

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Israel launches Ofek 9 spy satellite

Israel's Ofek-9 spu satelliteIsrael has launched its latest military spy satellite, reportedly increasing its capacity to intelligence-gather on enemies such as Iran. The Ofek 9 was blasted into orbit by an Israeli-made rocket on Tuesday, from the Palmachim air base south of Tel Aviv, joining three other Israeli spy satellites in space.

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German Minister Denied Entry to Gaza Strip

Dirk NiebelGerman Development Minister Dirk Niebel was denied entry to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Once again, it would seem, Israel has failed to strike the correct diplomatic tone. And it shows that the country cannot deal with criticism.

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