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Michael James Stone
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13 Aug 12

As Muslim Brotherhood solidifies its grip on Egypt, trouble brews within
Mohammed Morsi's policies echo the way Hamas acted in Gaza after winning the 2006 election; yet his bold moves are creating new domestic enemies for the Brotherhood, with some calling for a second revolution against the Islamists. 

6.3-magnitude quake reported in China
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook northwest China's Xinjiang-Uighur region Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake, which was measured by China's earthquake networks center at magnitude 6.2, struck at 6:47 p.m. local time. 

Iran earthquake kills 306, injures 3,037
The toll from the two earthquakes that struck Iran has risen to 306 dead and 3,037 injured, Iranian Health Minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi said Monday. Dastjerdi told Iranian lawmakers Monday 116 aftershocks have been registered in the country's East Azerbaijan province since 6.4- and 6.3-magnitude earthquakes rumbled Saturday, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported. 

Stratfor emails reveal secret, widespread TrapWire surveillance system
Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it's the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. 

Israel demands nuclear ultimatum for Iran
Israel declared that international talks with Iran on its nuclear programme had failed as it demanded a deadline of "just a few weeks" be handed down to Tehran to scrap its atomic build-up. It emerged that new intelligence shared with Israel by the West indicated that Iran had moved several steps closer to developing a nuclear warhead that could be fitted on the Shahab-3 missile. 

U.S. soldier gets life sentence for planning 'massive attack' on troops
Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim, had been planning a religious mission to win "justice" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a recorded jail conservation with his mother played for jurors at trial. 

Talk of military strike ‘makes Tehran nervous’
Iran is disturbed by threats emanating from Israel to strike its nuclear sites and takes such threats seriously, a senior Iran expert told The Jerusalem Post. 

Islamist takeover complete: Morsi Fires Top Defense Brass
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has sacked the entire leadership of the country's defense establishment. Among the officials and officers fired are Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Chief of Staff Sami Anan. Morsi appointed Abdul-Fatah al-Sessi as Defense Minister and Lieutenant-General Sidki Sayed Ahmed as Army Chief of Staff. 

Israel tests SMS missile alerts as Iran chatter grows
Israel on Sunday began testing an SMS system for warning the public of an imminent missile attack as chatter over a possible strike on Iran dominated the Israeli press headlines. As testing began, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had chalked up "a significant improvement" in its home front defence capabilities, mentioning its highly-vaunted anti-missile systems such as Iron Dome and Arrow 2. 

Moscow to spend over $720 bln on new military aircraft
Russia’s air force will get 1,600 new warplanes and choppers by 2020, announced President Vladimir Putin. The program will cost Moscow some US $723 billion. ­“We are talking primarily about providing our forces with state-of-the-art modern technology,” Putin said at an air show in the Moscow Region ahead of the 100th anniversary of the country's air force. 

Darrell Issa to Sue Eric Holder Monday
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa plans to sue Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday for refusing to provide documents related to the "Fast and Furious" gun-smuggling operation. "The committee expects to file the civil contempt suit against the attorney general Monday," a Republican source said. The suit will be filed in the federal district court for the District of Columbia. 

Iran steps up relief efforts after Saturday's quakes
Iran has raised the death toll from Saturday's twin quakes in the north-west to 306 people killed, after calling off the search for survivors and stepping up the relief effort. Iran's Red Crescent has taken over a sports stadium and provided 6,000 tents to some 16,000 people left homeless. Authorities say the search-and-rescue operations have ended because most residents are accounted for. 

Japan's economic growth slows to 0.3% in second quarter
Japan's economic growth slowed in the second quarter as the eurozone crisis hurt exports and domestic consumption remained subdued. Gross domestic product grew by 0.3% during the period from the previous three months. That is down from 1% growth in the first quarter. Compared with the same period last year, the economy expanded by 1.4%. 

EU referendum idea gains momentum in Germany
German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle on Sunday (12 August) became the latest in a line of politicians calling for a referendum on handing over more powers to Brussels as part of a new EU constitution. "I hope that we have a real European constitution and that there will also be a referendum on it," he told the Sunday edition of Germany's biggest-circulation newspaper, Bild.
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