Israel and the Palestinians reached a deal to free captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit two months ago in exchange for Israel's release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners "in stages," the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot reported on Thursday.
Shalit was abducted on June 25 during an operation in which Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists tunneled under the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, attacked an Israeli army outpost, killed two soldiers and snatched Shalit.
Several days after it appeared that a deal had been reached, an Iranian delegation arrived in Damascus and paid Mashaal $50 million on the condition that he torpedo the exchange, the report said quoting unnamed Western sources.
Mashaal then reportedly upped the ante, demanding the release of what Israel considers "tough prisoners," the report said.
Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad denied the report in a radio interview in Hebrew. "No, they are lying. We didn't receive money in exchange for the kidnapped soldier," said Hamad.
NEW DELHI: India is planning to enact a law to discourage foreign investment from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Macua, Taiwan and North Korea.
It has also classified Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh state, northeastern states and areas near nuclear, space and defence installations and border areas as sensitive locations, empowering the government to suspend any foreign investment in telecom, airports and information technology in these areas.
The National Security Council (NSC), which met here recently under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, took note of Chinese investments in the telecom sector and also the intelligence reports suggesting a curb on the flow of capital and technology from Beijing. Intelligence agencies have also warned that foreign investment from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and North Korea could threaten security interests, as these countries’ entities could be manipulated.
The NSC proposed the enactment of a ‘national security exception act’ to empower the “government to suspend or prohibit any foreign acquisition, merger or takeover of an Indian company that is considered prejudicial to national interests”.
Sources said the NSC had suggested security screening of foreigners entering sensitive locations and sectors like seaports, airports, telecom, Internet service providers, international long distance telecom services, oil refining, gas pipelines, oil and gas exploration, shipping, metallurgy, defence, data processing and pharmaceuticals.
PARIS Airbus is unlikely to break even on the A380 superjumbo jet for at least another decade, as massive cost over-runs linked to the delay of the twin-deck plane push back the timetable for recovering development costs, company figures released Thursday indicate.
Airbus and its parent company, European Aeronautic Defense & Space, predicted Thursday that they would now need to sell 420 of the 555-seat planes in order to recoup more than $13 billion in expected expenses, up 55 percent from a forecast of 270 planes last year. The company also confirmed that it could deliver only 84 of the planes by the end of 2010, down from a forecast in June of 159 planes.
Airbus now has 159 firm orders for the A380, a number that has not changed in almost a year. With Airbus in the deepest crisis of its 36-year history, some analysts have suggested that getting many more new orders for the large plane might be a tough prospect. The company has said that it expects to sell 751 planes during the life of the program, which insiders say represents about 50 percent of the market for planes with 400 or more seats, like the Boeing 747.
Once the current A380 production bottlenecks have been cleared, Airbus should be able to produce around 45 of the jets a year beginning in 2010, executives have said. Based on that schedule, analysts said that Airbus could not expect to recover its costs until 2017.
"If the current figures are correct, then I think we are looking at another 10 years before it makes any money," said Philip Lawrence of the Aerospace Research Center at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
EL PASO, Texas -- A judge sentenced two former U.S. Border Patrol agents Thursday to more than a decade in federal prison for shooting and wounding a Mexican drug smuggler and trying to cover it up.Ten years and eleven years. What. The. Fuck.
Ignacio Ramos was sentenced to 11 years and one day, and Jose Alonso Compean was sentenced to 12 years. Both were fired after their convictions on several charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, obstruction of justice, and a civil rights violation.
The men, neither of whom spoke in court, will be allowed to turn themselves on Jan. 17. Both have proclaimed their innocence in the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting in the buttocks of admitted drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila.
Several relatives, including the men's wives, cried throughout the three-hour hearing and hung their heads as the verdicts were read.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone also rejected a defense request for a new trial.
Their convictions have drawn criticism from members of Congress and others who say the men are being punished for doing their jobs. A handful of protesters outside the courtroom held up signs such as "Trial's for Criminals, Not Cops" and "Miscarriage of Justice to Convict Heroes!"