23-Jan-12 World View — Report: Israel Will Attack Iran Without U.S. Permission

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Welcome to the Year of the Dragon!
  • Yemen’s president Saleh comes to U.S. for medical treatment
  • Arab League tells Syrian president Bashad to step down
  • China’s Octomom gives birth to national scandal
  • Greece’s bailout talks remain deadlocked
  • Croatia votes to join the European Union in 2013
  • Report: Israel will attack Iran without U.S. permission

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon!

In Asian culture, the Dragon is the most desirable birth year, especially for boys, since the Dragon is believed to bring luck, strength, nobility, royalty, wisdom and promising future.

Zodiac series on Asian Lunar Calendar
Zodiac series on Asian Lunar Calendar

Year 2012 marks the reign of the legendary Dragon, the fifth animal in the Zodiac series on the Lunar calendar. It’s hoped to bring good fortune for people – promotion, wealth, health, properties, good marriages and new children. Though just a creature of the imagination, the Asians believe that dragons do exist and live in the sky among the clouds — the nearest place on Earth from heaven. VietnamStamp

Yemen’s president Saleh comes to U.S. for medical treatment

This has been kicked around for a few months, but finally the State Department issued a statement saying:

“Ali Abdullah Saleh’s request to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment has been approved. As we have indicated, the sole purpose of this travel is for medical treatment and we expect that he will stay for a limited time that corresponds to the duration of this treatment. Specific questions regarding his travel plans should be directed to the Yemeni government.”

Saleh has committed to step down next month. Saleh said he would return to Yemen before the official power transfer next month to serve as the head of his ruling party, which some people are interpreting to mean that he’d find a way not to step down, or at least to remain in actual control behind a figurehead he controls. State Department and AP

Arab League tells Syrian president Bashad to step down

The Arab League met in Cairo on Sunday and, in a dramatic, historic announcement, said that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad should step down. Oh, wait. There have been a dozen similar announcements in the last few months, so I guess it isn’t historic after all. There were other details in the announcement, but they’re irrelevant since al-Assad is just going to blow the whole thing off anyway. In related news, the Arab League’s observer mission into Syria is in turmoil, because of the following announcement by Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal on Sunday:

“My country will withdraw its monitors because the Syrian government did not execute any of the elements of the Arab resolution plan. We are calling on the international community to bear its responsibility, and that includes our brothers in Islamic states and our friends in Russia, China, Europe and the United States.”

I’m not sure why al-Faisal expects the international community to “bear its responsibility,” when the Arab League doesn’t seem to bear any responsibility at all. LA Times and Jerusalem Post

China’s Octomom gives birth to national scandal

Octomom's babies
Octomom’s babies

Ordinary Chinese are furious that a wealthy couple was able to violate the one-child policy to the extent of having eight children. They had four girls and four boys, born in September and October, 2010, using in-vitro fertilization. The Octomom carried two children herself, while two surrogates each carried three children. The procedure cost nearly a million yuan ($160,000). LA Times

Greece’s bailout talks remain deadlocked

Talks continued in Athens on Sunday over the terms of the next bailout for Greece, even though Charles Dallara, the chief negotiator for the private investors, walked out of the talks, saying that he’d be available by phone. On Sunday, Dallara said that the private investors had reached the limit on what they would concede if the Greek default plan was to remain “voluntary,” saying that the ball was now in the court of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). With private investors being asked to “voluntarily” take 60-70% losses on their investments, investors are trying to keep the losses at 60%, while the EU and IMF want to push them up to 70%. Reuters

Croatia votes to join the European Union in 2013

Putting aside fears about the European Union’s chaos and turmoil, 66% of voters in Croatia on Sunday checked “Yes” to a referendum question to joining the European Union in 2013. Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said, “With this, we leave behind political instability, but the rest will depend on our ability and creativity. Our chances will be better, but no one will do the job for us.” Reuters

Report: Israel will attack Iran without U.S. permission

There are reports that Israel will not ask for the permission of the US to attack Iran and will only give America a 12-hour warning before the attack. According to the report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not trust President Obama and is concerned that the American leader would do everything in his power to prevent an attack if he knew about it in advance. The report said that Israel was shocked when it learned that the US-Israel security exercise that had been planned for two years was postponed by the U.S. Al-Bawaba and Israel National News