May 04/15

Bible Quotation For Today/ Peter, you will deny me 3 times before the cocks crows today
Luke 22/28-34:" You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ‘Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.’
Bible Quotation For Today/ I Pray that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless,."
 Letter to the Philippians01/01-10: "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless,.""

Latest analysis, editorials from miscellaneous sources published on May 03-04/15
Cuba and the difficult change ahead/
Abdulrahman al-Rashed/Al Arabiya/May 03/15

Lebanese Related News published on May 03-04/15
Relatives of captive Lebanese policeman being held hostage by the Nusra Front visit the captives on Arsal outskirts

Relatives of martyred soldiers urge commemoration

Tripoli amusement park closed down after girl's death 
Lebanon forces arrest ISIS-linked cleric: security source
Report: Asiri Target of Assassination Bid
Report: Mustaqbal, FPM Reach Settlement on Appointment of Roukoz as Army Chief
General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir
LF and FPM to boycott legislative session: Geagea
Berri says Qalamoun battle will free Lebanon: report
Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun
Hariri to Meet Hollande in Riyadh to End Presidential Standoff
Last Overland Route Closure Chokes Off Exports
Abu Faour to address Sidon hospital strike 
Nusra to use anti-tank weapons in Qalamoun battle
Al-Rahi Prays for Political Breakthrough, Election of President
Bassil: We Won't Allow Naturalization of Syrians, Palestinians and We'll Defeat IS
TV Networks Vow Legal Measures after Cable Providers Cut Off LBCI, al-Jadeed

Miscellaneous Reports And News published on May 03-04/15
Pope tells elderly and sick he, too, is old and ailing

Netanyahu rejected Kerry proposal to visit Israel after election win, report says

Sisi, Saudi king discuss Yemen amid conflicting reports over ground troops presence
How al-Qaeda and ISIS want to turn heads in Yemen
John Kerry tries to pacify Israeli worries over Iran deal
Syrian army 'tightens siege' of rebel bastion near Damascus
Al Qaeda branch claims murder of Bangladesh-born U.S. blogger
Freed Nigerian women and girls get food, medical care
Two arrested after ‘wealthy Arab’ found dead at London’s Dorchester Hotel
Tunisia says Jewish pilgrims safe, after Israel warning
New Saudi government will not tolerate incompetence
UNESCO to award press freedom prize to jailed Syria activist
Riyadh conference on Yemen will seek to rebuild country’s army: sources
Nigerian army fights militiamen in central Nigeria after attack last week
Iraqi parliament rejects US bill to “split Iraq”
Saudi-led strikes hit airbase in Yemen's Sanaa
A second independence referendum will ruin Scotland
Why is Snapchat perpetuating Middle Eastern stereotypes?

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Pope tells elderly and sick he, too, is old and ailing
Reuters/May. 03, 2015/ROME: Pope Francis on Sunday asked a group of elderly and sick members of Rome's seaside parish to pray for him because he, too, had grown old and was ailing. "Pray for me, too, eh," Francis told the parishioners in a private meeting that was later broadcast by Catholic channel TV2000. "I'm a little old and a little sick, but not too much," he said jokingly, drawing cheers and applause from the audience. The 78-year-old pope later celebrated a Mass at the Ostia parish, a beachfront area of the capital. The comment comes two months after Francis said in an interview with a Mexican broadcaster: "I have the feeling that my pontificate will be brief - four or five years, even two or three. Two have already passed."While the pope is apparently in good health, there is always intense attention paid to a pontiff's condition, especially since Francis's predecessor stepped down in 2013 citing his advanced age and frailty. Benedict, now known as Pope Emeritus, became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years to resign instead of ruling until he died, and Francis has said Benedict's move should not be considered "an exception, but an institution.

Al-Rahi Prays for Political Breakthrough, Election of President
Naharnet /Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi prayed on Sunday for Lebanon to witness a breakthrough for its political impasse. Al-Rahi called on politicians, in particular Maronite figures, to elect a consensual president. He reiterated that “the election of a new head of state safeguards the republic.” Al-Rahi's statements came as he presided a mass at Our Lady of Lebanon basilica in Harissa. Lebanon has been without a president since May last year when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.
Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps over a compromise candidate have thwarted the election. Hizbullah's Loyalty to the Resistance and MP Michel Aoun's Change and Reform blocs have been boycotting the polls over the dispute.

Report: Asiri Target of Assassination Bid
Naharnet /Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri has allegedly been the target of an assassination bid that was foiled by Lebanese security agencies, al-Shiraa magazine reported in its latest issue. According to the magazine, two suspects have been arrested in links with the case. “A Syrian national and a Palestinian were detained... they confessed to the crime that they were intending to carry out,” the magazine reported. The report didn't reveal the identities of the culprits, saying “the concerned officials are discreet regarding the matter.” The magazine added that the army intelligence are pursuing the suspects to avert a scheme to destabilize the country and involve it in the conflicts raging in the region.

Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun
Naharnet/The Lebanese army is reportedly mobilizing troops in preparation for a possible battle along the border near the strategic Syrian town of Qalamoun. Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Sunday in comments published in the pan Arab daily al-Hayat that Hizbullah should engage in the Qalamoun battle alongside the Lebanese army. “The Syrian gunmen are present on Lebanese territories and control 600 kilometers on the outskirts of Arsal and other regions, where they are killing people,” Berri's visitors quoted him as saying.
He pointed out that “as long as they are occupying a Lebanese land then I support the resistance's endeavors to free it.”“We have no doubts that the battle will flareup at some point.”Berri told his visitors that the “Lebanese army's role is to safeguard the Lebanese towns and not enter Syria to engage in battles with gunmen.” The speaker voiced fear that the Lebanese will be divided over the Qalamoun battle and Hizbullah's role in it, but he reiterates that “the aim is to get rid of the Syrian armed men and prevent them from entering Lebanon.”
For his part, Syrian Social Nationalist Party MP Marwan Fares told the Kuwaiti al-Seyassah newspaper that the Lebanese army is deploying heavily in the area. “The battle could start in hours,” he told the daily. Fares expressed fears of the residents in the border region of al-Qaa in the northern Bekaa, near the Syrian Qalamoun town, from the expected battle with jihadists. However, he stressed that the parties present in the area, in particular Hizbullah and the SSNP and the Baath party, are ready to aid the Lebanese army in its battle against terrorism. Al-Nusra Front announced on Sunday via its account on Twitter the end of the training of its troops, who are currently deployed on al-Qalamoun mountain peaks. Fighters linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Syrian al-Qalamoun have been allegedly mobilizing and moving closer to the border with Lebanon ahead of a battle along the country's eastern border. The Lebanese army frequently clashes with the militants in their hideouts near the Syria border. The IS, which controls several areas in Syria and Iraq, aims to spread to Lebanon as its fighters position in the outskirts of Bekaa towns bordering Syria and the Lebanese army is in adamant efforts to stop their efforts to infiltrate the country. ISIL and al-Qaida-affiliate al-Nusra Front are battling in Qalamoun the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizbullah forces alongside each other, with support from some smaller Islamist rebel groups.Despite ideological similarities, the two groups are opposed and in conflict with each other in other parts of Syria, particularly in the north.

Report: Mustaqbal, FPM Reach Settlement on Appointment of Roukoz as Army Chief
Naharnet /Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has reportedly agreed on a settlement with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun regarding the appointment of his son-in-law Commando Regiment chief Brig. Gen. Chamel Roukoz as army chief. According to Ad Diyar newspaper published on Sunday, Hariri's envoy will soon inform Aoun about his agreement. The package will include the appointment of head of the Internal Security Force's Information Branch Imad Othman as ISF chief. The daily however said that Hariri's agreement would block Aoun's presidential aspirations. The FPM chief has previously rejected any attempts to extend the terms of high-ranking security officials. In February, Aoun had withdrawn confidence from Defense Minister Samir Moqbel over the extension of the term of the head of the Higher Defense Council, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khair. The FPM described Moqbel's extension decision as “illegal,” arguing that the defense minister's jurisdiction states that he can extend the terms under the authority of a president. Media reports had said that Aoun's main objective is to receive political consensus on the appointment of Roukoz as army chief as part of a package for the appointment of other top security officers.
Roukoz's tenure ends in October while the term of army commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji expires at the end of September. Despite the reports about his insistence to have his son-in-law as army chief, Aoun denied that he had made such a proposal.
The military posts in Lebanon are suffering as the result of the months-long presidential vacuum in light of the parliament's failure to elect a successor for Michel Suleiman whose tenure ended in May last year. The vacuum also threatens the ISF as chief Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous is set to retire in June. Information obtained by Ad Diyar said that Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat have no veto on the appointment of Roukoz as army chief, as such a decision would pave the way for a breakthrough regarding the presidential stalemate.

Relatives of captive Lebanese policeman being held hostage by the Nusra Front visit the captives on Arsal outskirts
The Daily Star/May. 03, 2015/BEIRUT: The family of a captive policeman being held hostage by the Nusra Front visited their son on the outskirts of the Lebanese border town of Arsal Saturday. Mohammad Taleb, one of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS since August, met with his wife, children, mother and aunt, Hussein Youssef, the spokesman for the committee representing the families told The Daily Star. The meeting, which lasted thirty minutes, came after the captive policeman had contacted his family through Whatsapp and informed them that they had been granted permission to visit. The family has had no contact with their son since he was taken captive during pitched battled between the Lebanese Army and Islamist militants in Arsal last August. Taleb had asked his family to bring along some food and money and asked them to coordinate with other family members who would also like to send some supplies to their children. The family arrived at an Army checkpoint outside the Lebanese border town Saturday by car. The Nusra Front sent a vehicle that later transported the family from outside the town to Nusra’s headquarters on the outskirts. After the meeting, the family said that their son was in good health and claimed that he was being treated well by the captors, Youssef said. Taleb's family also passed along a warning from the militants that any battles with either Hezbollah or the Lebanese Army could risk the lives of the hostages since they are prisoners of war, he added. The family was also told by the Nusra Front that negotiations with the Lebanese government were non-existent - a routine claim given by the captors to every family who has visited the outskirts, Youssef said. Saturday’s visit comes less than a month since the relatives of captive servicemen Abbas Msheik and Sleiman Dirani also visited their sons on the outskirts of Arsal. Youssef said that the increased number of congenial visits as of late serves as “positive indicator” that negotiations may be going in the right track, despite claims by the militant’s that talks are non-existent. Last month, General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim announced that ongoing talks for the release of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen held hostage by the jihadis are progressing, but said that there is no set timetable for their release. The militants sent their demands to the Lebanese government last year, asking for the release of Islamist prisoners in Lebanese prisons in return for the servicemen's freedom.

LF and FPM to boycott legislative session: Geagea
The Daily Star/May. 03, 2015/BEIRUT: The Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement have agreed to boycott a highly-anticipated legislative session until certain bills are listed on the agenda, LF chief Samir Geagea said Saturday. “The Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement have agreed on not attending any legislative session that doesn’t include [discussion of] a new election law and a law to restore the citizenship of [people of Lebanese origin],” Geagea said during a speech at an LF ceremony in Sydney Saturday. Last month, Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra said that the LF bloc will not attend the session if the annual budget and the election law are not listed on the agenda. The decision was backed by the FPM, which also said that it would join the boycott since agenda items listed for the upcoming session did not meet the bloc’s criteria for urgent legislation. Speaker Nabih Berri has yet to assign a date for the legislative session. Parliament last convened for a legislative session on Nov. 5 when lawmakers voted to extend their terms by more than two and a half years. Deputy Speaker Farid Makari said after Parliament’s secretariat meeting last month that the agenda for the legislative session will include seven bills relating to food safety, public finance and protocols pertaining to public budgeting.

Relatives of martyred soldiers urge commemoration
The Daily Star/May. 03, 2015
BEIRUT: The families of martyred soldiers demonstrated in Downtown Beirut Sunday, demanding a proper commomeration for deceased Army troops, three days ahead of Martyrs' Day. “We are here today in Martyrs' Square to remind everyone that May 6 is Martyrs' Day - the most noble of occasions,” Georgette Semaan, the mother of martyred soldier Nadim Semaan said during the demonstration. “We are also here to reclaim our rights from the previous governments and the current government by reviving this noble occasion.”
The mother also slammed Lebanese politicians, who she said were not concerned with the sacrifices of Lebanese soldiers. She mocked Cabinet for recognizing a national Sea Turtle Day, saying that they should worry about the extinction of Lebanese servicemen before being concerned with the extinction of sea turtles. Famous TV host Rima Karaki, was also present at the rally, said that “May 6 should be a day to market nationalism and the sacrifices of Lebanese soldiers."She described the Army slogan of “honor, sacrifice and loyalty” as a “cheap motto that should be replaced,” since Lebanese politicians were arranging for political settlements that would secure the release of those behind the killings of Lebanese soldiers. Karaki also expressed hope that Lebanon would grow into a country that “deserves the sacrifices of its men and soldiers.” The rally, which was organized in Martyrs' Square in Downtown Beirut, saw a small number of protestors, but Semaan said that it wasn’t about the numbers rather the quality of the people present. Lebanese flags were raised in the square, and several relatives took to the podium to express their frustration with the state for what they said was a disregard for martyred soldiers.

General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir
Antoine Amrieh/ he Daily Star/May. 03, 2015 /TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A senior ISIS member in Tripoli and five other suspected militanats were arrested by authorities during a weekend security sweep in north Lebanon, a security source said. The source told The Daily Star that a senior ISIS official was arrested by General Security in the Mina neighborhood of Tripoli Saturday evening, after being monitored by security forces. The man, identified as Ibrahim Barakat, is said to be the ISIS Emir in Tripoli and the jurist responsible for issuing fatwas on behalf of the group in the northern city. The source said that Barakat is responsible for recruiting several fighters to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq and is also in daily contact with the ISIS command in the two countries. Meanwhile, Lebanese army soldiers, backed by armored vehicles, fanned out across Tripoli’s notorious Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood Sunday and beefed up security measures in areas that were previously viewed as strongholds for notorious Islamist militants Shadi Mawlawi and his partner Osama Mansour, who was shot dead by security forces last month. The heightened security came one day after soldiers arrested a wanted Egyptian terrorist in the north Lebanon district of Minyeh. Ibrahim Abdullah, also known as Ibrahim Soueid, was a follower of Mansour and is wanted in connection for the killing of Lebanese soldier Fadi Ali Jbeili last year and participating in the latest round of clashes against the Lebanese Army in Behnine and Tripoli, the source said. One day after his arrest, soldiers raided his wife’s residence in Bab al-Tabbaneh after detecting suspicious movements in the building. The raid led to the arrest of a Lebanese national and three Syrians who hail from the Dinnieh town of Bakhoun– all of whom resided in the same apartment complex in Bab al-Tabbaneh. The woman, however, was no where to be found. The weekend arrests are the latest in a campaign targeting suspected militants with alleged links to notorious militant Osama Mansour and radical preacher Khaled Hoblos who were targeted by security forces last month. According to a security source, roughly 30 suspected militants have been apprehended in north Lebanon since Mansour and his partner Ahmad al-Nather were killed in an Internal Security Forces operation in Tripoli. On Friday, the Lebanese Army also arrested Abdul-Karim Nashar, a commander of the Hezbollah-linked Resistance Brigades Tripoli contingent. Soldiers also seized weapons and ammunition that were in his possession. His brother was also arrested.

Berri says Qalamoun battle will free Lebanon: report
The Daily Star/May. 03, 2015/BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri voiced support for a highly-anticipated battle between Hezbollah and Islamist militants in Syria’s Qalamoun region Sunday, describing the impending fighting as an attempt by the resistance to liberate Lebanese lands. “The [militants] have wrested control over roughly 600 square kilometers of land on the outskirts of Arsal and other areas,” a report published by Al-Hayat Sunday quoted the Speaker as saying. “And as long as there is an occupation of Lebanese land then I support the [efforts] of the resistance to liberate it.”He also said that the Qalamoun battle is “brewing” and would commence “very soon.”The speaker’s comments come as Hezbollah is reported to be mobilizing its fighters for a much-anticipated offensive against Islamist militants, namely ISIS and the Nusra Front, entrenched in Syria’s Qalamoun region. The two groups are still holding hostage 25 Lebanese servicemen captured during the fierce fighting with the Lebanese Army in the northeastern town of Arsal last August. As for the role played by the Lebanese Army, the speaker said that soldiers should not venture into Syrian territory but should protect their bases in the outskirts of Arsal in order to prevent militants from entering into Lebanese territory. Berri acknowledged that the battle could widen the rift between the Future Movement, which vehemently opposes any intervention in Syria, and Hezbollah. He said, however, that the aim of the battle is to end the militant’s control over Lebanese territories, not to meddle in Syrian affairs. With regards to the case of 25 Lebanese captive servicemen who have been held hostage by ISIS and Nusra Front since August, Berri hinted that the battle could involve an operation to secure there release. “For your information, the servicemen being held captive by militants are on Lebanese territory,” he said in reference to the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal. Elements of ISIS, the Nusra Front and other Syrian rebel groups have been fighting each other and against forces allied to the Syrian government in the Qalamoun mountain range over the past two years. Fighting intensified following the Syrian government's capture of the western city of Yabroud last March. The capture of the city sent rebel fighters fleeing towards the Qalamoun mountains, along the border with Lebanon. In October, Nusra fighters in Qalamoun launched a surprise attack on Hezbollah posts on the outskirts of the eastern Lebanese towns of Brital and Nahle, killing eight. The Lebanese Army has also clashed intermittently with Qalamoun-based rebels along Lebanon's eastern border.

Sisi, Saudi king discuss Yemen amid conflicting reports over ground troops presence
By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON/05/03/2015/J.Post
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid a brief visit to Saudi Arabia on Saturday to discuss the Yemen war and the wider regional landscape with Saudi leaders. Sisi’s visit lasted “less than two hours, focused on the restive regional scene, mainly Yemen, Syria and Iraq,” Arab News quoted Affifi Ahmed Abdelwahab, the Egyptian ambassador to the Kingdom, in a report on Sunday. The Egyptian ambassador said that the talks were held within the context of regular consultations between the two countries, adding, “Events in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, as well as elsewhere in the region require more frequent consultations.” There were conflicting reports on Sunday about whether Arab special forces landed in Yemen to help in fighting the Iran-backed Houthi militia. Sisi made the visit also to congratulate the Saudi royal family three days after a major royal shakeup. Saudi King Salman appointed his nephew, Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince and heir, and his own son, Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, as deputy crown prince last Wednesday.
Sisi had already congratulated the crown prince and deputy crown prince by telephone, an official Egyptian government website said on Friday. Saturday’s visit is the third made by Sisi to Saudi Arabia this year.
David Andrew Weinberg, a specialist on Gulf affairs and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post that another reason for the visit was for Sisi to establish relations with the new leadership following the replacement of the former crown prince, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, who had been in line as successor and had served as the point man in Saudi-Egyptian relations. Meanwhile, Egypt’s army killed 29 suspected terrorists in northern Sinai between April 20 to 30, the Aswat Masriya website quoted an army spokesman as saying on Saturday. The spokesman added that 27 wanted persons were arrested, along with 106 other suspects. Fifty-one terrorist hideouts were destroyed. Reuters contributed to this report.

Cuba and the difficult change ahead
Abdulrahman al-Rashed/Al Arabiya
Sunday, 3 May 2015
Before it opens up to the world and becomes like other countries, I desired to see Cuba, the country which almost caused a third world war. Cuba and North Korea are currently the last two communist closed countries. During my recent visit there, Cuba has reminded me of two Arab experiences of isolation of which I witnessed: Egypt during the era of late president Anwar al-Sadat and Syria at the beginning of President Bashar al-Assad’s seizure of power after his father passed away.
Sadat was an experienced politician who lived through the governance of the socialist union and its doctrine which ruled Egypt since 1962 and which failed at running the state and destroyed many sectors of production in favor of state domination. Sadat’s awareness of the problem and his honest enthusiasm to achieve political and economic change was not enough, as he lacked the culture of development and the skill of civil management. His experience at making Egypt open thus failed as a result of the domination of the state’s old structure and philosophy prevailed as a result of his own incapability to present a better alternative plan.
Promises of change.
Leftist and Baathist Syria also tried to open up as Bashar al-Assad rose to power, as he made promises of change towards achieving political and economic openness. During my recent visit there, Cuba has reminded me of two Arab experiences of isolation of which I witnessed. However, Assad tried to alter the system from a socialist and partisan regime into a familial one. Changes were limited to formalities, as old Russian and American cars disappeared from the streets of Damascus and were replaced with new German and Japanese ones. The old economy thus remained a monopoly of some under the sponsorship of security apparatuses.
During our trip a few days ago to Cuba with Sheikh Walid al-Ibrahim and other friends, we’ve noticed that despite the massive propaganda, there were no signs of change. Our suspicions were further confirmed by a Cuban immigrant who was in the country to visit his wife, who’s banned from travelling like most of the country’s 11 million citizens. He said: “I won’t believe [there will be] change until I see it, and I don’t expect it will happen.”
Despite that, everyone is now talking about an upcoming change in which Cuba will change from a closed communist country to an open country, from a state which is an enemy to its American neighbor into a country that’s a favorite destination for investors and tourists. On the ground, there’s nothing of the sort despite the rapprochement which President Barack Obama led with President Raul Castro who’s been governing for seven years now instead of his sick brother.
A question of ability
We’ve noticed that Cuba is a closed country that officially rejects change. The remains of the Cold War rules continue to exist there as the American government still bans its citizens from travelling to the Caribbean nation – except for certain investors, journalists and few commercial charter jets. It’s also allowed its citizens to buy up to $100 of Cuban cigars, the importing of which is still banned.
Even if the Americans are serious about ending this estrangement which lasted for 45 years with their neighbor, the ability of the Cuban regime to rehabilitate itself and abandon its philosophy which is based on complete control is in doubt. The Cuban regime has suffered on the economic level ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990’s. Cuba was one of the last countries to allow cellular phones and their spread is still limited. Internet is only available in cafes run by the government who controls everything and which spends a little as its annual budget is only $1 billion.
It was a short visit to a country where time has stopped since 1959 and where - as you travel in its old cars - you feel you’re part of a 1950s movie set.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards ‘captured’ in Aden
By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News/The deputy governor of Aden’s governorate and president of the Popular Resistance Council said on Saturday that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are fighting alongside the Houthi militias as some were held captive by Resistance forces.
Nayef Al-Bakri told Saudi Arabia’s Al-Watan newspaper that dozens of Houthi militias were captured, with many backing down and joining the Resistance. He added that those were “tricked by the Houthis, seduced by money and made to believe they were engaged in jihad.”“Among the captives, there are army leaders and high-ranking officers who will face justice at the right time,” Bakri was also quoted as saying.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister said on Saturday Tehran will not let regional powers jeopardize its security interests in Yemen, Tasnim news agency reported, in the strongest acknowledgement yet of Iranian involvement in the Arabian peninsula.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched an air war on Yemen on March 26 to prevent the Houthis from taking the entire territory and to restore President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi’s authority.
[With Reuters] Last Update: Sunday, 3 May 2015

Netanyahu rejected Kerry proposal to visit Israel after election win, report says
By JPOST.COM STAFF/J.Post/05/03/2015/Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry's proposal to visit Israel following his election win in March and told him instead to come only after the new government was formed. According to a report on Israel's Channel 2, immediately after Israel's general election on March 17, Kerry proposed that he would visit the Jewish state in order to advance various regional issues. The Prime Minister's Office did not confirm the report on Sunday evening. Relations between Netanyahu and the administration of US President Barack Obama have been tense over the last few months. On Election Day Netanyahu angered the White House when he warned the Israeli public to go out and vote because "Arab voters are going en masse to the polls." In addition, the White House said following Netanyahu's election win that it would evaluate its policy on the Middle East peace process following a remark that the prime minister made during his campaign that that a Palestinian state would not emerge under his tenure. At the time, the White House said that the remarks called into question Netanyahu's commitment to the pursuit of peace and have forced the US government to reassess the the government's stance. On the Iranian nuclear issue, Netanyahu has been the most vocal critic of the framework deal reached between the Islamic Republic and the US along with other world powers.