World Briefs 10-18-11

The latest news in the global Jewish community. 

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 (Click photo to download. Caption: David Cameron. Credit: World Economic Forum/Remy Steinegger.)

British PM Severely Tightens Immigration Laws

In a speech to the London-based Institute for Government, British Prime Minister David Cameron laid out a list of reforms to the current immigration laws, Hudson New York reported.

The changes, which include a clause that all immigrants pass a British history exam before receiving a passport, also require that immigrants prove their fluency in English. While according to the previous Labour Party’s regulations, immigrants were asked to demonstrate their understanding of how to claim social welfare benefits, Cameron now requires that immigrants prove they can support themselves financially.

Cameron also vaguely singled out Muslim immigrants, vowing to crack down on bogus or forced marriages (an illegal method used by many Muslim immigrants to get their relatives into the country), and asked that British citizens report any suspected illegal immigrants to the authorities.

—JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: A heavy water facility in Arak, Iran.)

Iran Nuclear Program Stumbling

Aging equipment seems to be responsible for the slow-down of Iran’s nuclear program, the Washington Post reports. International sanctions have led to a shortage of parts, and an inability to update the old equipment.

While the nuclear plants are still producing enriched uranium, the amount produced is declining as the machinery breaks down.

“Without question, they have been set back,” said David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Washington Post. Although the problems will not halt the nuclear program altogether, Albright insists that they will “hurt Iran’s ability to break out quickly.”

—JointMedia News Service

 

Report: Saudi Arabia takes steps against Iran at UN

Saudi Arabia has taken a first step to have Iran reported to the U.N. Security Council, a move that could lead to new sanctions, over an alleged plot to assassinate its ambassador in Washington, Saudi-owned newspapers reported on Sunday.

The U.S. on Tuesday said it had uncovered a plot by two men with links to Iran's security forces to assassinate Adel al-Jubeir by planting a bomb in a Washington restaurant.

Tehran has denied the charges.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the U.S. on Sunday that any measures taken against Tehran over an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington would elicit a “resolute” response.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

 

Government Forces Take Over Gadhafi Stronghold As Violence Escalates in Yemen

On Monday, National Transitional Council forces took over the city of Bani Walid, one of the last outposts of Gadhafi loyalists,CNN reported. This move leaves only Sirte, Gadhafi’s hometown, to be overtaken by the new government’s forces. 

Back in Tripoli, resistance fighters began to bulldoze Gadhafi’s compound.

Meanwhile, there has been a recent escalation in violence between government and opposition forces in Yemen, according to the New York Times. On Sunday, demonstrators entered a government stronghold and were immediately fired upon, resulting in at least five deaths.

The Security Council is expected to vote this week to demand that President Ali Abduallah Saleh, who has repeatedly rejected calls for his ouster, step down.

—JointMedia News Service

 

King Abdullah Fires His Government

For the second time in eight months, King Abdullah II of Jordan fired his government for reasons of lawlessness and corruption.

“We have accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, taking into consideration the views of the various sectors of society as well as a letter we have received from the parliamentary majority,” King Abdullah said, according to the New York Times.

While the New York Times reported that many felt that Bakhit was slow on instituting political reform, his recent actions—instituting a new law to make it a crime to falsely accuse someone of corruption and attacking opposition gatherings—created a swell of concern.

Abdullah appointed Awn Khasawneh, 61, former judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague as the new prime minister.

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on October 18, 2011 and filed under World.