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Jordan to Go Nuclear in 2015


The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is embarking on a long-term nuclear acquisition program, according to sources. The kingdom plans to have its first reactor functional by 2015 and more to follow by 2030.

Under the new Jordanian energy strategy, nuclear power will provide at least 30 percent of the country's energy needs. The program, according to Atef Tarawneh, who heads the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the Jordanian Parliament, will include a nuclear reactor planned to be installed in the city of Aqaba, neighboring Eilat on the Red Sea.

Iran Test Fires Second Round of Missiles

By Sonja Pace (VOA-London)

Iran has fired another round of long-range missiles, the second such test in the past two days. The latest test firing came just hours after a warning from the United States about such missile launches.

Iran tested more missiles overnight. Iranian state TV showed pictures of missiles streaking through the night sky. Iranian media said the test launch included medium and long-range missiles and torpedoes. Reports said the weapons were fired from ships in the Persian Gulf and from on the ground.

This was the second such test within two days. On Wednesday Iran reported firing nine test missiles, including the long-range Shahab-3, which it said has a range of 2,000 kilometers and could reach Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East and South Asia.

The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said the missile tests show Tehran's strength against its "enemies." Iran has repeatedly said it is prepared to guard against or retaliate harshly to attacks it says Israel and the United States are planning against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel and the United States said no specific plans are in the works, although both countries say all options remain on the table to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran's missile tests come after Israel held military exercises last month that were widely seen as a practice run for a future attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Defense analyst Mark Fitzpatrick of London's International Institute for Strategic Studies told VOA the missile tests are saber rattling. "Israel had conducted a drill that obviously was to perfect a bombing campaign against Iran's nuclear establishment and made that public," he noted. "Iran wants to make something public in return to demonstrate to the outside world, but just as importantly to its own people that it has capabilities."

Fitzpatrick said Iran's missiles are not as accurate or powerful as Tehran would like the world to believe. He also said the international community should be concerned about if and when Iran does achieve nuclear weapons capability to use on those missiles.

The French news agency, AFP, said Iran appears to have manipulated a photograph of missiles being fired into the air during Wednesday's test launch. The photograph shows four missiles shooting simultaneously into the air with plumes of smoke trailing behind them.

Agence France Presse said it received the photograph from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' media agency, after Iran tested medium and long-range missiles on Wednesday.

Thursday, the French news agency reported that defense analysts and photography experts agreed that Iran manipulated the photo through computer technology. The experts said it appears there may have been only three missiles in the original photo. They say a fourth missile may have been added to the image by using elements from the smoke trail and dust clouds from two of the other missiles.

Photos of the four missiles were widely published on the Internet and on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Israel Concerned as Iran Conducts War Games

By VOA News, &

A second day of military exercises in Iran is causing anxiety in nearby Israel. Israel has responded to the Iranian war games, stating they show Iran's belligerent intentions.

Israel is especially concerned about Iran's test firing of long-range missiles capable of hitting the Jewish state. "If those missiles will one day be equipped with nuclear warheads, this will produce [an] existential threat to Israel," said Yuval Steinitz, a senior member of the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Israel has grown increasingly alarmed about Iran's nuclear program since late 2005, when the Iranian president threatened to wipe the Jewish state "off the map."

Iran said the military exercises are aimed at showing that the nation can defend itself from an attack by Israel or the United States. Iran said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Steinitz believes Iran is developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them.

"Therefore we have to do our utmost to stop the Iranian nuclear project before such missiles can really become devastating," Steinitz said. Israel believes the West is not being tough enough on Iran, and it has threatened to launch a pre-emptive strike if sanctions fail.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a strongly-worded warning on Thursday evening, warning Tehran that Israel would not hesitate to resort to military action.

"This is a challenge not only for Israel but for the entire world. The focus now is sanctions and diplomatic action. Israel is the strongest country in the region, and it has proven in the past that it is not afraid to act when its vital interests are threatened," Barak said in an address at the Labor party's Tel Aviv headquarters.

The defense minister urged, however, for caution. "The responses of our adversaries must be taken into account. Hamas, and Hizbullah, and the Syrians, and the Iranians – there is activity all around us. And there exists a potential for confrontation," he said.

The Israeli Air Force revealed its newest squadron Thursday. The "Number One" Squadron, which will be equipped with the latest model of the F-16 fighter-bomber, including Israeli-made modifications: the F-16I "Storm."

The squadron will be based in the south of the country, and resurrects a proud name from IAF history; the original "Number One" squadron operated from 1969 until the early 2000s, flying F-4 Phantom strike bombers. The squadron's missions included many daring deep-penetration raids against Egypt during the War of Attrition, and it was awarded the Chief of Staff's Unit Citation in 1973.

Lt. Col. "Shaul," the squadron commander, noted that the squadron was ready to confront Israel's enemies. "We have prepared ourselves for every scenario and all the threats that face Israel; from the closest to the furthest…We are ready. This is why Israel has invested so much time, effort, and money in us."

According to sources, any future strike on Iran would likely include the squadron, and foreign reports indicate that F-16I aircraft participated in a recent long-range IAF exercise over the Mediterranean.

Israel Long Knew its Kidnapped Soldiers Were Dead


Israel has had information during the past two years indicating the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by the Hezbollah terror group in 2006 were most likely dead, WND has learned.

It wasn't until two weeks ago that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert finally told the Knesset that Israeli intelligence strongly believed the abducted army reservists – Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev – were killed during the Hezbollah raid, which sparked Israel's 2006 war against the terrorist group in Lebanon.

Olmert dropped the bombshell just before the Knesset began voting on whether to approve a controversial prisoner exchange deal with Hezbollah that would see the release of the two abducted soldiers.

Most-Wanted Nazi Sought in Chile

By Israel Faxx News Services

Israel's chief Nazi hunter has arrived in southern Chile to step up the hunt for the Nazi fugitive Aribert Heim. Heim - known as Dr Death - is believed to be in the Patagonian regions of either Chile or Argentina.

Efraim Zuroff, director of Israel's Simon Wiesenthal Center, will spend two days in Chilean Patagonia before crossing to Argentina. "In the last few days we've received information from two different sources, both relating to Chile, which we think have very good potential.

"The reason we are going [to Patagonia]... is of course the fact that Heim's daughter lives in Puerto Montt, and we think there is a strong likelihood that he might be in that area or in the area between Puerto Montt and Bariloche [Argentina]."

Heim tortured and killed prisoners in Mauthausen concentration camp in World War II, but fled Germany in 1962 before authorities were able to arrest him.

The Wiesenthal Center, along with the German and Austrian governments, has offered $495,000 (315,000 Euros; £250,000) for information leading to Heim's arrest. Although he would now be 94, they believe Heim is still alive because his family has yet to claim around $1.6m sitting in a German bank account in his name, said the BBC's Gideon Long in Santiago. In order to make the claim, his family would have to prove he is dead.

The search for Heim is part of Operation Last Chance, a final bid to bring Nazi war criminals to justice more than 60 years after the end of WWII.

Heim kept meticulous notes of his activities at Mauthausen. According to Holocaust survivors, he performed operations and amputations without anesthetics to see how much pain his victims could endure. Injecting victims straight into the heart with petrol, water or poison were said to have been his favored method at Mauthausen.

"His crimes are fully documented by himself, because he kept a log of the operations that he carried out," Zuroff said. "He tortured many inmates before he killed them at Mauthausen, and he used body parts of the people he killed as decorations."

After the war, Heim was detained by US forces, but later disappeared. He practiced medicine in the German town of Baden-Baden until 1962, when he fled the country after being tipped off that the authorities were about to prosecute him.

Hitler's Bodyguard: The Fuhrer Was a Good Boss

By Ha'aretz

Adolf Hitler gave Rochus Misch only a momentary glance when he was first introduced to the young man who was to go on to become the Fuhrer's head bodyguard.

Misch, now 91 and the only living member of the group that was in Hitler's bunker when the Fuhrer committed suicide, reveals his own impressions of the Nazi leader in his book "The Last Witness," published earlier this month in Germany.

The pivotal period of Misch's military career began in 1940, when he joined Hitler's inner circle, and ended with Hitler's suicide in his Berlin bunker in 1945. For five years, Misch worked as a courier, bodyguard and telephone operator in the Fuhrer's office.

"In the inner circle, Hitler was a good boss," he recalled in the book. "In the living quarters and the work room Hitler was a very relaxed man. He had a deep and quiet voice. There was no need to be scared if you made a mistake."

Today Misch still receives letters at his home in Berlin. Many people contact him with requests for an autograph or for details of his connection to Hitler. In the last few years Misch has turned into somewhat of a celebrity, particularly in the wake of the popularity of the movie "The Downfall" (2004), which depicted Hitler's last days in the bunker. A year after that movie the Israeli director Yael Katz Benshalom produced a documentary on Misch, also called "The Last Witness".

In his book, Misch described Hitler's everyday life as quite banal. The reader will discover, for example, that Hitler spent his nights clutching a hot water bottle, and will learn about the mosquitoes that disturbed the Fuhrer's relaxation time in the military headquarters. Hitler particularly enjoyed the parties thrown by his friend, Eva Braun. "She was a nice woman and very sporty," Misch wrote of Braun, describing her dancing ability.

In contrast to what one might assume, Misch insisted that the leader's headquarters were not run like a war room. "Nobody saluted their higher-ranking colleagues within the building. Hitler was the only one who used the military salute," Misch wrote. "The young people called him Mein Fuhrer; the older called him Herr Hitler, or Boss."

The war crimes that occurred under Hitler's leadership, including the Holocaust, go almost unmentioned in the book. "At no time did they speak about the camps and what happened there. I was at Hitler's side and he never visited the camps," Misch wrote. He also mentioned that one of Hitler's favorite songs was composed by a Jew, and revealed that his personal cook was not a "real Aryan."

Misch has a strong recollection of the final days. On April 30 1945, shortly after 3 p.m., Hitler left his final followers and entered the private room with Eva Braun.

"He didn't want us to disturb him anymore," remembered Misch, who understood at the time what was about to happen. "Thirty, maybe 45 minutes later, we heard the shots, and later they ordered me to open the door. And there I saw - and I could never forget it - Eva Braun on the couch and her head resting on Hitler."

An English-language edition of the book is expected to be released by the end of 2008.

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