Lawmakers: PA risks US aid freeze if Hamas joins government | Maan News Agency

“No US governmental money will go into any government that includes Hamas until Hamas accepts the Quartet conditions. And that’s renouncing violence, recognizing previous agreements and most explicitly recognizing Israel’s right to exist.”

via Lawmakers: PA risks US aid freeze if Hamas joins government | Maan News Agency.

I think that Hamas will find a way to accept those conditions and put ball back in Israel’s court.

Saudi Wahhabi leaders see Turkish threat over caliphate – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

There is nothing new in al-Khayil’s attack on the Turkish leadership. Since the mid-18th century, Saudi Wahhabi clerics have excelled in denouncing Turkish Islam as innovation amounting to blasphemy and fought the Ottoman empire. They were willing to ally themselves during the First World War with the British, obviously an infidel power in their classification, to expel the Ottomans from Arabia. Their main differences with the Ottomans were not only religious, but also grounded in local, pre-modern nationalism. Wahhabis aspired to control the Hijaz, where the holy cities of Mecca and Medina are. The Ottoman caliphate had nominal suzerainty over the region and indirectly ruled through the Sherifs of Mecca. Wahhabis wanted to control this city not only to shape Islam for all Muslims, but also to increase their revenues from the pilgrimage season.

This history of animosity has not faded with the vanishing Ottoman caliphate. It remains alive in the Wahhabi imagination but is rooted in a new political context. The university director considers Turkey’s support for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood a direct threat not only to Saudi Salafist hegemony, but also to the status of the Saudi state in the Muslim world. Perhaps al-Khayil sensed the danger in an alternative politics endorsed by Erdogan that may be attractive to contemporary Saudis seeking a way out of the Saudi version of Salafist thought and practices. He denounces the secret Muslim Brotherhood cells that allegedly corrupt the creed of Muslims and contaminate their tradition, and perhaps encourage them to rise against unelected rulers like Al-Saud.

via Saudi Wahhabi leaders see Turkish threat over caliphate – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

Jewish extremists spray anti-Muslim graffiti on mosque | Maan News Agency

Vandals left anti-Muslim graffiti on a mosque in northern Israel, police said on Tuesday, the latest in a string of racist and religious attacks against Palestinians.

“Unidentified people drew a Star of David and wrote ‘close the mosques and open yeshivas’ (Jewish seminaries) on the outer wall” of the mosque in Fureidis, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

“The tires of several cars parked nearby were slashed,” he said, adding that “crimes committed for nationalist motives are extremely serious.”

On April 18, suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a mosque and sprayed racist graffiti in the town of Umm al-Fahm.

A week earlier, Jewish extremists sprayed anti-Christian graffiti on the walls of a convent west of Jerusalem and damaged vehicles parked nearby.

Slogans including “Mary is a cow,” “price tag,” and “America (is) Nazi Germany” were sprayed in Hebrew on the walls of the Roman Catholic sanctuary.

In March, vandals slashed the tyres of more than 40 cars in East Jerusalem, spraying a slogan reading: “Gentiles in the land are enemies.”

via Jewish extremists spray anti-Muslim graffiti on mosque | Maan News Agency.

Gunman Shoots Six at FedEx Center Near Atlanta – NYTimes.com

“People in Georgia feel safer now that the Legislature passed a law that allows people to carry guns almost everywhere in the state!”

Police in northern Georgia said Tuesday that six people had been hospitalized after a gunman opened fire in a FedEx facility in an Atlanta suburb. The gunman then apparently took his own life.

Sgt. Dana Pierce of the Cobb County police said in a telephone interview that reports of the shooting in Kennesaw, Ga., came in shortly before 6 a.m. The police then quickly locked down the sorting facility, which is just south of the runway at the Cobb County Airport-McCollum Field. The airport, northwest of Atlanta, does not offer passenger service.

via Gunman Shoots Six at FedEx Center Near Atlanta – NYTimes.com.

Avian Flu Diary: MERS: The Limitations Of Airport Screening

As the graphic above illustrates, airline traffic is a very effective conduit for infectious disease, able to transport someone to nearly anyplace in the world in less than 24 hours.  The world’s airlines carry 2.6 billion passengers each year, on more than 17 million flights.

 

In 2003, we saw the SARS virus hop the Pacific on a flight taken by a 78-year-old woman who fell ill in Toronto after visiting Hong Kong, and before that outbreak was contained, 251 people in Canada had been infected, and 44 died (see SARS And Remembrance).

via Avian Flu Diary: MERS: The Limitations Of Airport Screening.