Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Truth About Romantic Love

The Truth About Romantic Love

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The Saturday Essay: Romantic love has never been what it’s cracked up to be. That’s why we have always needed two things: an ideal of romantic love in popular culture and a more sober, chastened picture of it in high art.

US Policeman Charged in Attack on Indian Visitor

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A police officer in the U.S. state of Alabama has been charged with assault after he threw a 57-year-old man from India to the ground and injured him. Police said the officer slammed Sureshbhai Patel, who doesn't speak English, to the ground face-first when he didn't respond to commands. The officer, Eric Parker, is being fired in connection with the Feb. 6 incident. The FBI said it also was investigating. Video recorded by a police car's dashboard camera shows two...

What chance peace in Ukraine? - Irish Times

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Irish Times

What chance peace in Ukraine?
Irish Times
A ceasefire is due to start tonight in eastern Ukraine, as agreed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France during 17-hour talks that ended on Thursday morning. O. nly the Kremlin-backed separatists in the region publicly celebrated the deal.

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Iran's Ayatollah Sends New Letter to Obama Amid Nuclear Talks - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

Iran's Ayatollah Sends New Letter to Obama Amid Nuclear Talks
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—Iran's paramount political figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has responded to overtures from President Barack Obama seeking better relations by sending secret communications of his own to the White House. The Iranian ...

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Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei sent Obama secret letter: WSJ - TODAYonline

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TODAYonline

Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei sent Obama secret letter: WSJ
TODAYonline
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran. Photo: Reuters. mail · print. View all 0 comments. Published: 8:47 AM, February 14, 2015. WASHINGTON - Iran's Supreme Leader ...

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Prisoner shot in scuffle with officer at Dallas airport - Chron.com

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Chron.com

Prisoner shot in scuffle with officer at Dallas airport
Chron.com
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — A trip to the restroom by a prisoner and his armed escort at a Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport terminal ended in a scuffle and shooting. The incident happened just after 5 p.m. Friday in Terminal C. Airport spokesman David ...

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Experts weigh insanity defense - San Angelo Standard Times

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San Angelo Standard Times

Experts weigh insanity defense
San Angelo Standard Times
Associated Press Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh comes back from a break during the second day of his capital murder trial at the Erath County Donald R. Jones Justice Center in Stephenville, Texas, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. Routh, of Lancaster, Texas, ...

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Argentina president Cristina Fernandez faces cover-up probe - euronews

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Argentina president Cristina Fernandez faces cover-up probe
euronews
The president of Argentina Cristina Fernandez is to be questioned over accusations that she tried to cover up Iran's alleged involvement in a 1994 bombing. An investigation will go forward despite the prosecutor on the case Alberto Nisman being found shot ...

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Analysis: NATO expansion at heart of Ukraine crisis - Washington Post

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The Moscow Times

Analysis: NATO expansion at heart of Ukraine crisis 
Washington Post
WASHINGTON
 — The Cold War didn't end. It just took on a 24-year pause. The East-West showdown over Ukraine makes that clear. As the non-Russian republics broke free in the Soviet collapse and Eastern European Soviet satellite countries snapped the  ...

Arsenal and Chelsea owners could help finance 2018 World Cup in Russia as...The Independent

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Ayatollah 'sent secret letter to Obama' - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Ayatollah 'sent secret letter to Obama'
The Guardian
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent a 'respectful' but noncommittal letter to Barack Obama, according to the Washington Post. Photograph: Iranian government/EPA. Reuters. Saturday 14 February 2015 00.17 EST. Share on Facebook · Share on Twitter · Share via ...
Obama Speechless on Iranian Nukes, Netanyahu Must Speak For The Free ...The Inquisitr

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Russia accuses West of distorting peace deal - RTE.ie

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RTE.ie

Russia accuses West of distorting peace deal
RTE.ie
Russia has accused Kiev and Western nations of distorting a Ukraine peace agreement hours before it was to take effect and as fighting raged in the east of the country. In a statement the Russian foreign ministry said Western countries, and in particular the ...

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Ukraine fighting rages ahead of ceasefire

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Ferocious fighting raged in Ukraine on Saturday, threatening a ceasefire deal as Kyiv and the US accused Russia of fueling a rebel onslaught to grab territory hours before the truce began.
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Shots fired at Copenhagen cafe free speech event

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Shots were fired Saturday at a cafe in Copenhagen that was hosting a freedom of speech event organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad in 2007....

Obama Summit Targets American Extremism 

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President Obama next week (February 18) hosts a summit bringing together police officials, religious leaders, and others to confront extremism in American neighborhoods. The White House Summit...
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Mexico bus-train collision kills 16, injures 30: official - Daily Times

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Daily Times

Mexico bus-train collision kills 16, injures 30: official
Daily Times
MONTERREY - At least 16 people were killed and 30 were injured when a freight train slammed into a packed passenger bus in northeastern Mexico on Friday, authorities said, warning the death toll could rise. The collision happened when the bus was ...

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One dead and three injured in Copenhagen 'terrorist attack' - The Guardian

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The Guardian

One dead and three injured in Copenhagen 'terrorist attack'
The Guardian
Police outside the Krudttønden cafe in Copenhagen after gunshots were fired during a meeting attended by Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. Photograph: Scanpix Denmark/Reuters. Chris Johnston and agencies. @cajuk. Saturday 14 February 2015 11.54 EST.

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Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Mideast

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The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror.

In aftermath of Chapel Hill shootings a community still searches for answers 

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Life on the campus of University of North Carolina is slowly returning to normal but the killings of three Muslims are a haunting reminder of Islamophobia
By Friday morning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as students walked briskly to class in the brittle February sunshine, life seemed almost to be returning to normal.
Almost, but not quite normal. This was where thousands of students, faculty and members of the community gathered on Wednesday night in a stunning vigil to show their solidarity with the family and friends of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, who police say were fatally shot by their upstairs neighbour on Tuesday.
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1 Killed, 3 Hurt as Bullets Spray Copenhagen Free-Speech Meeting 

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A gunman with an automatic weapon attacked a free-speech event Saturday in Copenhagen, killing one person and wounding three police officers. Hours later, a separate shooting near Copenhagen's main synagogue left two police officers and another person wounded. The gunman fled on foot, and police warned people to be vigilant, follow the instructions of officers and remain indoors.  It was not immediately clear whether the two shootings were related.  Danish Prime...

Record New York City murder freeze hits 12 days as experts cite extreme cold 

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  • NYPD says no murders reported overnight Friday to Saturday
  • Four days of extreme cold expected, keeping New Yorkers indoors
No murders have been reported in New York City since Super Bowl Sunday, a record stretch since the city began tracking such data in 1994.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) confirmed on Saturday morning that no murders were reported overnight in the city of 8.4 million, making for the first recorded 12-day homicide-free stretch.
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Witness: Man who killed American Sniper' Chris Kyle and friend said 'I shot them ... - Fox News

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Witness: Man who killed American Sniper' Chris Kyle and friend said 'I shot them ...
Fox News
A key prosecution witness told a Texas jury Friday that he overheard a former Marine say he shot Chris Kyle after the "American Sniper" hero ignored him. Kyle and a buddy were gunned down at a rural Texas shooting range. The accused gunman Eddie Ray ...

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Bisexuals hopeful as 1 of their own becomes a governor

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NEW YORK (AP) -- "LGBT" has become a household term amid sweeping advances for gay rights, and yet the "B" sometimes seems like an awkward fit. The sudden advent of America's first openly bisexual governor may provide a chance to ease the awkwardness and broaden understanding of the bi community....

Fears for Ukraine’s ceasefire as clashes with Russia-backed rebels intensify 

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Neither side seems to expect an end to the conflict, and both were trying to shore up their positions before the deadline
Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebel militias in the east of the country intensified on Saturday as fears grew for the durability of a ceasefire agreement that took effect at 12.01am on Sunday local time (10.01pm GMT on Saturday).
In a live midnight broadcast, the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, issued the order for the country’s armed forces to hold their fire. 
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn: the private life of a public figure can be very illuminating 

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s trial, whatever the result, gives us an insight into his view of the world
With the sexual interests of Dominique Strauss-Kahn once again to the fore, as he defends himself in a French court against charges of pimping, one would have expected, by now, a ticking-off for the press by his old friend, the button-phobic philosopher, Bernard-Henri Lévy.
When Strauss-Kahn, then head of the IMF, was first accused of sexual assaults in 2011, first by a hotel chambermaid, then by a young French woman, Lévy was swift with a counter-portrait. “Charming, seductive, yes, certainly; a friend to women and, first of all, to his own woman, naturally,” Lévy argued. “But this brutal and violent individual, this wild animal, this primate, obviously no, it’s absurd.”
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Shelling in Ukraine ahead of ceasefire

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Shelling rocked two eastern Ukrainian cities Saturday ahead of a midnight ceasefire deadline, raising fears that the deal to end a bitter 10-month-long conflict may be in jeopardy.
    


You can hear gunfire everywhere in town

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Artillery and rocket fire can be heard almost constantly in the village Talakovka, about 10 kilometers from the strategic port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine.
    


Copenhagen Cafe Event Is Shattered by Gunfire

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The cafe was hosting a meeting about freedom of speech organized by a Swedish artist who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad in 2007.

In Spanish Abuse Scandal, a More Open Vatican

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The case, which includes allegations of a sex ring and a cover-up involving as many as 10 priests, has become among the most serious abuse scandals to emerge under Pope Francis.

Venezuela's currency plummets but President Maduro keeps talking coups 

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LIMA — You might think that devaluing a currency by more than two-thirds is a big deal.

Greek Threats to Court Russian Loans Anger European Leaders

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Greece has threatened to seek financial help from Russia if negotiations to ease the terms of its European Union bailout collapse, angering European leaders who feel Moscow has been fueling the conflict in Ukraine. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

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Greek Threats to Court Russian Loans Anger European Leaders

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Greece has threatened to seek financial help from Russia if negotiations to ease the terms of its European Union bailout collapse, angering European leaders who feel Moscow has been fueling...
From: VOAvideo
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Ukraine: Poroshenko Orders Forces To Cease Fire

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Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has ordered his forces to cease firing in line with a peace agreement worked out in Belarus last week.

Post reporter and his wife accused of espionage, Iranian hard-liner says 

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An arch-conservative member of the Iranian parliament and outspoken critic of the country’s centrist president has claimed that there is an “espionage case” against imprisoned Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his wife.Read full article >>

Top officials close rank around Argentina's embattled president

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Top government officials rallied behind Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez on Saturday after a state prosecutor said he would keep investigating accusations that she tried to cover up Iran's alleged involvement in a 1994 bombing.
  

Canadian Police Say They Foiled a Plot by 3 Suspects to Kill People at a Halifax Mall 

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One suspect is said to have fatally shot himself on Friday, and two have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

New York’s streets are suddenly safer. Why? 

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After the Big Apple’s 12-day run without killings, experts struggle to find the reason for a trend repeated across the nation
It is 15 below zero – using what US meteorologists call RealFeel temperature – in Brooklyn’s notorious Marcy Projects. The cold has driven the drug dealers off the streets; police, who have taken to patrolling in fours since two officers were gunned down in a police car last December, are scarce; and at the Ponce Funeral Home the trade is all of the natural-causes kind.
Although there was an attempted murder in Queens on Friday that left a man on life-support, New York has enjoyed an almost unprecedented 12-day streak without a homicide. While many pointed to the weather, the embattled New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, sought to improve his strained relationship with the police department, attributing the lull to its hard work.
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Page 7

Scientists show cannabis TRIPLES psychosis risk: Groundbreaking research blames 'skunk' for 1 in 4 of all new serious mental disorders

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Researchers at Institute of Psychiatry at King's College in London, highlighted the dangers of skunk, which is four times as strong as cannabis smoked by previous generations.

London mayor Boris Johnson to renounce US citizenship

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Move by Conservative politician, born in New York, is to remove potential obstacle to him becoming prime minister
Boris Johnson is to renounce his US citizenship, removing a potential obstacle to him becoming British prime minister.
The London mayor has dual nationality because he was born in New York – but has now revealedthat he wants to hand back his American passport. “The reason I’m thinking I probably will want to make a change is that my commitment is, and always has been, to Britain,” the Conservative politician told the Sunday Times during a week-long trip to the US. “It’s an accident of birth that has left me with this thing. I’ve got to find a way of sorting it out,” he said.
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Killed hours before the ceasefire: Russian rebel dies in bitter last-gasp battle for control of key targets in eastern Ukraine as fragile deal to suspend fighting begins

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The body of a deceased pro-Russian soldier was pictured in Donetsk - just hours before a ceasefire with Ukrainian government troops was enforced. He is among at least 26 people to die in the last 24 hours.

Shelling halts in Ukraine's Donetsk as Poroshenko orders ceasefire

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DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Shelling suddenly stopped at midnight in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk after President Petro Poroshenko gave the order to government forces to halt firing in line with a ceasefire agreement reached last Thursday.
  

David Carr had aggressive lung cancer, heart disease - New York Daily News

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New York Daily News

David Carr had aggressive lung cancer, heart disease
New York Daily News
New York Times columnist David Carr died of a particularly aggressive strain of lung cancer and heart disease, the city's Medical Examiner ruled Saturday. The renowned 58-year-old scribe, who wrote the influential Media Equation column, was suffering from ... 
Autopsy Cites Cancer as Cause in Death of Times ReporterNew York Times

NYT media reporter Carr died of cancer, cardiovascular disease - officialsReuters 
David
 
Lung Cancer Is Cited as a Cause in Death of Times ReporterNew York Times
Autopsy shows New York Times writer Carr died of Lung CancerRickey.org
Newsday
all 72 
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Shots fired at Copenhagen synagogue: Danish police

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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - One person was shot in the head and two police were wounded in an attack on a synagogue in central Copenhagen, Danish police said, adding that it was too early to say whether the incident was connected to an earlier one at an arts cafe.






  
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Man Shot In Head At Denmark Synagogue

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Police say it is too early to say whether two shooting attacks in the Danish capital are connected.

Autopsy shows New York Times writer Carr died of lung cancer - Bryan-College Station Eagle

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Bryan-College Station Eagle

Autopsy shows New York Times writer Carr died of lung cancer
Bryan-College Station Eagle
NEW YORK (AP) — Autopsy results show New York Times media columnist David Carr died of complications from metastatic lung cancer. Julie Bolcer (BOHL-suhr), a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office, says the autopsy shows ...

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Are we being dragged into war with Russia? A brilliant frontline dispatch - and an ominous question from ASKOLD KRUSHELNYCKY

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In Mariupol (pictured), the notion that conciliation could be found any time soon seemed ludicrous. This city is a key prize for the pro-Russian separatists writes ASKOLD KRUSHELNYCKY.

Bank Hackers Steal Millions via Malware

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A report by a Russian cybersecurity firm says the scope of the attack on more than 100 banks in 30 nations could make it one of the largest bank thefts ever — and one conducted without the usual signs of robbery.

khamenei - Google Search

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Iran's Khamenei sent Obama 'secret letter'

Al-Arabiya-1 minute agoShare
Shared on Google+.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reads a note during his speech in a public gathering at his residence in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan ...
VP: Iran Trying to Reduce Dependence on Oil Revenues
International-Fars News Agency-11 hours ago
Iran's Ayatollah Sends New Letter to Obama Amid Nuclear Talks
In-Depth-Wall Street Journal-17 hours ago
Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Iran's Khamenei sent Obama 'secret...

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Iran's Khamenei sent Obama 'secret letter'

Al-Arabiya - ‎2 minutes ago‎
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian ...

Iran Ayatollah Khamenei Sent Obama Secret Letter: WSJ

Huffington Post - ‎17 hours ago‎
(Adds Iran's U.N. mission declines to comment) WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street ...

Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei sent Obama secret letter: WSJ

Reuters - ‎18 hours ago‎
Khamenei said this week he could accept a compromise in the nuclear talks and gave his strongest defense yet of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's decision to negotiate with the West, a policy opposed by powerful hardliners at home. The nuclear talks ...

Report: Obama, Khamenei Exchange Letters

Voice of America - ‎6 hours ago‎
Iran's supreme leader and the U.S. president have exchanged correspondence as the two sides try to reach a nuclear accord, according to a report in the The Wall Street Journal. In a story posted online Friday, the Journal says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "has ...

Report: Iranian leader Khamenei sent Obama secret letter

Ynetnews - ‎2 hours ago‎
WSJ cites Iranian diplomat saying Khamenei replied to letter sent by US president in which he suggested possibility of US-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if nuclear deal was secured. Reuters ...

Obama receives secret letter by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei

Washington Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with Iranian ambassadors in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian ...

Iran's Ayatollah Sends New Letter to Obama Amid Nuclear Talks

Wall Street Journal - ‎17 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON—Iran's paramount political figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has responded to overtures from President Barack Obama seeking better relations by sending secret communications of his own to the White House. The Iranian ...

Iran's Khamenei sends secret letter to Obama: newspaper

The National - ‎3 hours ago‎
The newspaper cited an Iranian diplomat as saying Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had written to Mr Obama in response to the president's letter sent in October. Mr Obama's correspondence had suggested potential US-Iranian cooperation in fighting ISIL if a deal on ...

Iran's Khamenei sends letter to Obama: Report

Times of India - ‎5 hours ago‎
Current and former US officials who viewed the correspondence said Khamenei's letter outlined a string of abuses he claimed the United States had committed against the Iranian people during the past 60 years. Neither the White House nor the Iranian ...

Khamenei said to write to Obama as nuclear talks deadline nears

The Times of Israel - ‎16 hours ago‎
Khamenei's letter, which the White House declined comment upon, was “respectful,” but was noncommittal in responding to Obama's suggestion of of US-Iranian cooperation in battling Islamic State forces in Iraq in Syria should the two sides reach a nuclear ...

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 'sends secret letter' to Obama ...

International Business Times UK - ‎9 hours ago‎
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has reportedly sent a secret letter to US President Barack Obama calling for better relations between the two countries. Responding to Obama's overture that the US would step up cooperation with Iran in the ...

Ayatollah 'sent secret letter to Obama'

The Guardian - ‎10 hours ago‎
Khamenei's letter was “respectful” but noncommittal, it quoted the diplomat as saying. Both the White House and the Iranian mission at the United Nations declined to comment on the report. Khameneisaid this week that he could accept a compromise in the ...

Ayatollah Khamenei sent Obama secret letter, report claims

Irish Times - ‎6 hours ago‎
Ayatollah Khamenei's letter was said to be “respectful” but noncommittal. Both the White House and the Iranian mission at the United Nations declined to comment on the report. Ayatollah Khameneisaid this week he could accept a compromise in the nuclear ...

Khamenei agrees with Congress: no deal better than a bad deal

Al-Monitor - ‎Feb 12, 2015‎
Khamenei said that he would agree to a “good agreement” and that just like the United States, he believes that no deal is better than a bad deal. This news was highlighted by Reformist media and media in favor of resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear ...

Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 'Noncommittal' on Joining America to Fight ISIS

International Business Times, India Edition - ‎8 hours ago‎
In a "secret" response to US president Barack Obama's letter last October wherein Obama had proposed to Iran to jointly fight the ISIS if a nuclear deal is finalised between Iran and the Western powers, Khamenei was "noncommital," Wall Street Journal cited ...

Ayatollah Khamenei and Obama in agreement

Al-Arabiya - ‎Feb 12, 2015‎
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Obama have mostly appeared to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. Nevertheless, the recent speech by the supreme leader suggests that both leaders are on the same page when it comes to ...

Khamenei sends letter to Obama: WSJ report

Global Times - ‎56 minutes ago‎
Iran's supreme leader has sent a secret but noncommittal letter to US President Barack Obama in response to American overtures, amid talks to strike a nuclear accord, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The newspaper cited an Iranian diplomat as ...

Iran's Supreme Leader exchanges 'secret letter' with US president

The Independent - ‎6 hours ago‎
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's foremost political figure, allegedly wrote to US leader Barack Obama after a presidential letter in October that suggested the possibility of US-Iranian cooperation against Isis. Details of the letter were uncovered by the Wall Street ...

Khamenei's letter to Obama is noncommittal on nuclear accord

DEBKA file - ‎9 hours ago‎
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday on private correspondence between US President Barack Obama and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dating back to 2009. The last Iranian note “in recent weeks” responded to Obama's letter from ...

Iran`s Khamenei sends secret letter to Barack Obama: Report

Kasmir Monitor - ‎12 minutes ago‎
Iran`s Khamenei sends secret letter to Barack Obama: Report. Tehran: Iran`s supreme leader has sent a secret but noncommittal letter to US President Barack Obama in response to American overtures, amid talks to strike a nuclear accord. The newspaper ...

iran s khamenei sends letter to us president obama

Sahara Samay - ‎10 hours ago‎
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sent a secret but noncommittal letter to US President Barack Obama in response to American overtures, amid talks to strike a nuclear accord. An Iranian diplomat said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had written a ...

Khamenei's disgraceful defeat in February

Scoop.co.nz (press release) - ‎20 hours ago‎
Despite the mobilization of the revolutionary guards and all governmental resources by Khamenei for some time to shape the largest possible gathering on the occasion of February 11, the inception of the Islamic Republic, and in spite of both threatening and ...

Behrooz Behbudi, Founder of The Centre for a Democratic Iran: "Iran's ...

PR Newswire (press release) - ‎Feb 13, 2015‎
In a speech last week to commemorate the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei defended Iranian nuclear negotiators for "making efforts to secure the removal of hostile international sanctions against ...

Signs point to US and Iran closing in on a nuclear deal

Al Jazeera America - ‎Feb 13, 2015‎
Iran's supreme leader is often opaque in his pronouncements on the Islamic Republic's dealings with foreign powers. That's why many observers deemed significant the unmistakably supportive tone of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Feb. 8 comments on the matter ...

Iran Supreme Leader Sends Reply to Obama's Letter Seeking Better Relations

Sputnik International - ‎12 hours ago‎
Khamenei's response to Obama's letter, which raised the possibility of cooperation between the United States and Iran in fighting against Islamic State militants, was "respectful" but "noncommittal", the Wall Street Journal said, citing an Iranian diplomat.

Iran negotiator told to control temper in talks with Kerry

Washington Post - ‎3 hours ago‎
Zarif said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, told him to speak softly and with a smile - the same as he would in public. Zarif said in comments published in the Shargh daily newspaper Saturday that Khamenei made the ...

Where does Iran's supreme leader really stand on nuclear negotiations?

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - ‎Feb 13, 2015‎
On February 8, in a speech to his country's air force, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneimade his latest public comments on the ongoing nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions ...

Iran Nuclear Negotiator Told Off By Supreme Leader: Control Your Temper With ...

Huffington Post - ‎3 hours ago‎
Zarif said in comments published in the Shargh daily newspaper Saturday that Khamenei made the recommandations during a private meeting earlier this week. "The exalted Supreme Leader told me not to quarrel ... he asked: 'Why do you scream?

Political stakes high for Iran's president in nuclear talks

Economic Times - ‎9 hours ago‎
Khamenei has kept his stance vague from the start. When talks began, he said he would not oppose them but did not expect success. Last month, he said the U.S. can't be trusted to lift sanctions and that Iran must develop an "economy of resistance."

The Real Problem of 'Getting to Yes' With Iran

<a href="http://Antiwar.com" rel="nofollow">Antiwar.com</a> - ‎13 hours ago‎
The only reason Iran has not accepted the deal offered by the United States, according to the standard official view, is that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is a hardliner who is constraining the more reasonable Iranian negotiating team from making the ...
Read the whole story
 
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Page 9

Report: Iranian leader Khamenei sent Obama a secret letter - Middle East - Israel News

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REUTERS - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.
Obama's letter suggested the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if a nuclear deal was secured, the paper said, quoting the diplomat.
Khamenei's letter was "respectful" but noncommittal, it quoted the diplomat as saying.
Both the White House and the Iranian mission at the United Nations declined to comment on the report.
Khamenei said this week he could accept a compromise in the nuclear talks and gave his strongest defense yet of Iranian President Hassan Rohani's decision to negotiate with the West, a policy opposed by powerful hardliners at home.
The nuclear talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are aimed at clinching an accord that would ease Western concerns that Tehran could pursue a covert nuclear weapons program, in return for the lifting of sanctions that have ravaged the Iranian economy.
Negotiators have set a June 30 final deadline for an accord, and Western officials have said they aim to agree on the substance of such a deal by March.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is due to address the U.S. Congress on Iran on March 3 - to the annoyance of the Obama administration - has vowed "to foil this bad and dangerous agreement."

Iran’s Ayatollah Sends New Letter to Obama Amid Nuclear Talks

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WASHINGTON—Iran’s paramount political figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has responded to overtures from President Barack Obama seeking better relations by sending secret communications of his own to the White House.
The Iranian cleric wrote to Mr. Obama in recent weeks in response to an October presidential letter that raised the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if a nuclear deal is secured, according to an Iranian diplomat. The supreme leader’s response was “respectful” but noncommittal, the diplomat said.
A senior White House official declined to confirm the existence of that letter. But it comes as the first details emerge about another letter Mr. Khamenei sent to the president early in his first term.
That letter outlined a string of abuses that in the supreme leader’s view the U.S. had committed against the Iranian people over the past 60 years, according to current and former U.S. officials who viewed the correspondence.
The White House official confirmed that the president received that letter in 2009, but declined to comment on the content of any presidential correspondence.
Neither the White House nor the Iranian government has officially confirmed any correspondence between the two. Iranian officials, in recent months, though, have told Tehran’s state media that some of Mr. Obama’s letters were answered, without specifying by whom.
“The letters of the American president have a history of some years, and in some instances, there have been responses to these letters,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in November. He added that there were “contradictions” between policies laid out in the letters and U.S. actions, according to a translation of Mr. Shamkhani’s comments by Al Monitor, a Mideast-focused website.
Despite its airing of grievances, the first letter in many ways began in earnest the recent historic thaw after more than 30 years of frozen U.S.-Iranian ties, because Mr. Khamenei also didn’t rule out the possibility of accommodation with the U.S.
That omission—and the sheer fact of the letter itself—fueled initial White House hopes for some sort of breakthrough in relations on Mr. Obama’s watch.
“He left the door open,” said one former Obama administration official who saw the letter, the contents of which have never been reported.
That effort is now at a crossroads, with Mr. Obama saying this month that nuclear negotiations with Iran either yield a comprehensive agreement by March 31 or Washington will take steps, including possibly military action, to deny Tehran the capacity to build a nuclear bomb.
Congressional Republicans have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress next month on Iran, setting off a political firestorm in Washington.
Iran says its program is purely peaceful.
Mr. Khamenei’s ambiguity about his willingness to strike a landmark deal has left U.S. officials waging little more than a guessing-game. This unsophisticated art mostly involves picking apart the supreme leader’s speeches to try to decipher his state of mind.
Mr. Obama has said that a breakdown in the negotiations could fuel further instability in the Middle East and undercut U.S. efforts to combat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, whom Tehran is also fighting. He has also said Iran could use the end of diplomacy to “break out” and attempt to rapidly build the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon.
Into this mix, Mr. Khamenei has offered conflicting signals to the West.
Last weekend, he appeared to lend support to his nuclear negotiators, saying in a speech he agreed “with the progress in the work our statesmen have done.”
Many of Iran’s negotiators studied in the U.S., including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and are believed to support a rapprochement with Washington.
Still, Iran’s supreme leader also set down terms for an agreement in the speech, particularly concerning the pace at which Western sanctions on Iran would be removed, which would almost certainly be rejected by the White House and Congress, said U.S. officials.
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks to the crowd during a ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran on Wednesday.ENLARGE
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks to the crowd during a ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran on Wednesday. Photo: European Pressphoto Agency
“I will agree with a deal if one is made, but I will not approve a bad deal,” Mr. Khamenei said in the speech. “No deal is better than any deal which contradicts national interests, a deal which humiliates the great Iranian nation.”
Mr. Obama believed previous U.S. overtures to the Islamic Republic failed because they had circumvented the supreme leader’s office, the country’s most powerful. He moved quickly to write Mr. Khamenei just weeks after taking office in 2009, according to U.S. officials.
In his written response, Mr. Khamenei complained of Washington’s long-ago military alliance with the late Persian monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and its support for Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s.
Some administration officials viewed the fact the Iranian cleric responded at all as a signal he might be willing to forge a compromise on the nuclear file. Neither he nor his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had ever directly communicated with the U.S. since the 1979 Islamic revolution, said U.S. and Iranian officials.
Mr. Khamenei’s failure to reject outright the possibility of a compromise on the nuclear file also raised hopes. “You don’t know how important it is for the supreme leader of Iran to actually write a letter to the U.S.,” said a second former U.S. official briefed on the correspondence. “It’s a sign he recognizes the country.”
Other administration officials, including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, were deeply skeptical.
The two-term defense chief, in his book, “Duty,” released last year, briefly described an “exchange of letters” between Mr. Obama and Mr. Khamenei in the spring of 2009, but without offering any specifics.
He said he supported Mr. Obama’s correspondence “because I thought that when it failed—as I believed it would—we would be in a much stronger position to get approval of significantly stricter economic sanctions.”
Mr. Khamenei never responded to a second letter sent by Mr. Obama that year, according to U.S. and Iranian officials. Obama administration officials had accused Iran’s government of rigging the 2009 re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , a hard-liner.
The election of the more moderate Hasan Rouhani in mid-2013, however, breathed new life into the diplomatic process.
Mr. Obama spoke for 15 minutes by phone with Mr. Rouhani that year. And Secretary of State John Kerry and Mr. Zarif now have regular meetings on the nuclear agreement.
Mr. Obama, meanwhile, wrote another letter to Mr. Khamenei in October, raising the possibility of cooperation in fighting Islamic State, according to people briefed on the exchange.
In his latest response, Mr. Khamenei said improved relations could only be based on mutual trust, said the Iranian diplomat.
The 75-year old Iranian leader received treatment for prostate cancer last September and briefly was hospitalized. But he is believed to have recovered and could seek to weaken Mr. Rouhani, and other more moderate Iranian leaders, if the diplomacy collapses.
“You could see a real escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. It’s very dangerous for the Mideast,” said Vali Nasr, a former Obama administration official who now leads the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “The moderates in Tehran could be effectively purged.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Khamenei has increasingly asserted himself into the nuclear diplomacy.
In July, he appeared to blindside his negotiators in Vienna by publicly stating Iran would need nearly 200,000 centrifuge machines to produce nuclear fuel in the coming years. The Obama administration has been trying to negotiate them below 5,000.
In his Feb. 8 speech, the supreme leader also said any agreement reached next month must include the complete dismantling of Western sanctions on Iran. U.S. negotiators have been discussing a phased repeal that could take years.
“The sanctions must literally be taken away from the hands of the enemy. The sanctions must be lifted,” Mr. Khamenei said.
Iran experts worry Mr. Khamenei is demanding terms so high that they will sink the talks and underpin his narrative that the Americans can’t be trusted.
“Khamenei has had a three-part approach toward the nuclear talks,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank. “Support the negotiations, undermine the negotiations with impossible redlines, and prepare the country for a ‘resistance economy,’ which implies no deal.”
Write to Jay Solomon at jay.solomon@wsj.com and Carol E. Lee at carol.lee@wsj.com