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Wednesday, Oct 01st

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Bush to remove N. Korea from terror list to save nuke deal

President Bush is set to remove North Korea from the U.S. list of terrorist-sponsoring nations as early as Saturday in an end-of-term bid to save a deal to eliminate the secretive communist nation's nuclear weapons program, State Department officials said Friday.

The move was being finalized Friday after consultations with U.S. ally Japan, which opposes the action, and what appears to have been a fierce internal debate within the Bush administration, said the officials, who requested anonymity because the announcement hasn't been made yet.

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Iceland: dancing on the brink of bankruptcy

Last week, the country's third largest bank was nationalised. This week, the government dismissed the board of directors of Landsbanki, its second-largest bank, and put it into receivership. On Monday, the Prime Minister, Geir Haarde, warned its citizens the country faces bankruptcy.

Iceland, with a population the size of Bristol, is rated by the UN as the most developed society on earth. But it now faces less welcome distinction as the country worst exposed to the credit crunch, with banking debts several times bigger than its economy.

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US threatens to steal Iraq oil money

Washington has threatened to seize Iraqi assets and oil money if Baghdad rejects a controversial US-proposed security pact, Iraq says.

"Washington threatened to use any means to seize Iraqi assets if we do not support the security pact," Marsadiraq quoted Talabani as saying.

Washington currently seeks to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Baghdad to give legal basis to its military and political presence in oil-rich Iraq after a UN mandate defining its status expires on December 31. 

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Ahmadinejad Meets with Anti-Zionist Rabbis

Prof. Sternhell: Supporters of occupation are not Zionist

Professor Zeev Sternhell's house on Jerusalem's Agnon Street is easily located by the iron gate with the broken glass. Sternhell says the bombing could have ended with him having to have both legs amputated.

Are the extreme right wing and settlers anti-Zionists?

"Certainly. The right wing advocating the greater Israel is the real post-Zionist body. Whoever supports the occupation, i.e. a binational state, is no Zionist. This could also be said of politicians who drag their feet in negotiations intended to bring about a two-state solution for two nations. They're putting off this solution to the unforeseeable future, endangering the Jewish state's future."

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Olmert says Israel should pull out of West Bank

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview published Monday that Israel must withdraw from nearly all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to attain peace with the Palestinians and that any occupied land it held onto would have to be exchanged for the same quantity of Israeli territory.

He also dismissed as "megalomania" any thought that Israel should attack Iran on its own to stop it from developing nuclear weapons, saying the international community and not Israel alone was charged with handling the issue.

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U.S. missile radar to shield Israel against Iran

Israel has received an advanced U.S.-made radar, staffed by American personnel, as part of preparations to fend off any future ballistic missile attack by Iran, officials involved in the deployment said on Sunday.

The arrival of the X-band radar is a gauge of the depth of defense ties between Israel and the United States. But by cementing Israel's technical dependency on its ally, it may boost Washington's power to veto unilateral Israeli action aimed at denying Iran access to nuclear weapons.

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