The Man Behind Gingrich’s Money
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Luo, Mike McIntire - January 28, 2012 - 1:00am

The trip to Jordan by a group of United States congressmen was supposed to be a chance for them to meet the newly crowned King Abdullah II. But their tour guide had a more complicated agenda. The guide was Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate who helped underwrite trips to the Middle East to win support for Israel in Congress. On this occasion in 1999, as the lawmakers enjoyed a reception at the Royal Palace in Amman, Mr. Adelson and an aide retreated to a private room with the king.

70 W. Bank settlements on national priority list
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - January 29, 2012 - 1:00am

Around 70 West Bank settlements were on the list of communities eligible for housing and development grants that the cabinet approved on Sunday. Most of them – 57 – are settlements located outside the boundary of the security barrier’s planned route. Israel has promised the international community that it would not provide special incentives for settlement development and construction. Still, the settlements were included in the list of 557 “national priority” communities published by the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday.

Leap in number of Israelis studying in PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Tomer Velmer - January 28, 2012 - 1:00am

A new report published by the Knesset Research and Information Center shows a 100% increase in the number of Israeli students, mostly from the Bedouin sector, studying in the Palestinian Authority. According to the report, which will be presented at the Knesset's Education Committee next week, the main reason for the sharp increase is the admission requirements in Israeli colleges, as well as a difficulty with the Hebrew language and psychometric exams.

Turkey denies providing financial aid to Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 30, 2012 - 1:00am

ANKARA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Turkish foreign ministry officials on Sunday denied the claims that the country has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to the Islamic movement Hamas that controls Gaza, local media reports said. Officials from Turkey's foreign ministry approached by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman said such allegations were "made up and did not reflect the truth." Western media have reported that Turkey would provide some 300 million U.S. dollars to Hamas following Gazan leader Ismail Haniyeh's visit to Ankara earlier this month, according to Today's Zaman.

Palestinian President Abbas says Israel spoiled latest round of talks on border, security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 29, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Sunday blamed each other for the impasse in newly launched peace efforts, raising doubts about whether the dialogue would continue just weeks after it began. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of spoiling the low-level talks, saying it failed to present detailed proposals for borders and security requested by international mediators. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Palestinians “refused to even discuss” Israeli security needs.

PLO cabinet to meet Monday over failed talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 29, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee will meet Monday in the West Bank to discuss failed talks with Israeli envoys this month, committee members said on Saturday. Wasil Abu Yousif, who is also secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Front, said the cabinet meeting would prepare for a Feb. 4 summit with the Arab League follow-up committee, after a deadline set by the international Quartet for resuming negotiations passed without agreement.

Palestinian Authority suspends plans to raise taxes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 30, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday it was suspending plans to raise income tax that have sparked widespread protests but said it was still seeking ways to cut costs in 2012 to plug a gap resulting from lower-than-expected foreign aid revenues. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said earlier this month that the Palestinian Authority was planning to double the income tax rate to 30 percent as part of efforts to cut the budget deficit to $750 million in 2012, from $1.1 billion a year earlier.

Election fever grips Israel as Netanyahu maneuver expected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - January 29, 2012 - 1:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem— Israel's current coalition government is one of its most stable in decades, and the next scheduled national poll is nearly two years off. Yet election fever has gripped the country and some believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quietly preparing to call for an early vote, perhaps in the middle of this year. The two biggest political parties — Netanyahu's conservative Likud and its main rival, the centrist Kadima — recently announced that they would hold primaries to select leaders whose names would be on the next election ballot.

Hard-line Israeli settler challenges Netanyahu for ruling Likud Party leadership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 30, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — A hard-line Jewish settler who wants to pay Palestinians to leave the West Bank and Gaza is running against Israel’s prime minister in Tuesday’s ruling party primary election. Moshe Feiglin has little chance of defeating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he could deliver an embarrassing blow to the country’s leader in his fourth try for leadership of the Likud, none of which have had a realistic shot at success.

Meshaal's cordial visit to Jordan helps open 'new page' in relations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - January 30, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM // The leaders of Hamas have never been known for globetrotting or an appetite for diplomatic fanfare. They were confined to the Gaza Strip, unable to leave because of the Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave. Or, if they were among the clutch of senior Hamas officials based in Damascus, they maintained a low profile to avoid testing the patience and straining the hospitality of their Syrian hosts. Those days are gone.

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