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Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:08 PM   |   Comments

New Iran missiles said headed to Gaza

TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- An Iranian 150-ton freighter loaded with short- and long-range missiles left Iran Sunday for Gaza, DEBKAfile reported Monday.

The cargo included 220 short-range missiles and 50 improved long-range Fajar-5 rockets, intelligence sources told DEBKAfile, a Jerusalem-based military intelligence website.

The Fajar-5s have a 200-kilo warhead, the site said.

DEBKAfile said sources report four big Sudanese shipping boats sailed out of Port Sudan early Monday and are waiting to rendezvous with the freighter Cargo Star and offload its missile cargo at sea. Tehran would then tell the Sudanese the route to take to the Sinai coast, and the missiles would be smuggled through tunnels into Gaza, the report said.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have killed more than 100 Palestinians during the six-day conflict in Gaza, Palestinians said Monday.

The Ma'an News Agency reported an Israeli airstrike injured eight civilians, two seriously, in the bombing of a family home in Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. A physically disabled man, Muhammad Zeidan, was killed in an airstrike on an agricultural area near al-Nuseirat.

Israeli planes also bombed a tower block housing several international media offices in Gaza for the second day, Ma'an said, killing a military leader of Islamic Jihad and a civilian.


Obama: Cambodia must improve rights record

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- President Obama and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had what one White House official said could be described as an intense meeting Monday in Phnom Penh.

The two leaders spent most of their meeting at the Peace Palace discussing human rights, said Ben Rhodes, U.S. deputy national security adviser.

Rhodes, who agreed with the characterization the meeting was "tense," said Obama began the meeting "by expressing that his trip to Burma [now known as Myanmar] demonstrated the positive benefits that flow from countries moving down the path of political reform and increasing respect for human rights."

Obama highlighted the need for fair and free elections in Cambodia, as well as the need for the release of political prisoners, highlighting the case of a radio broadcaster sentenced to prison for something he said on-air, Rhodes told reporters.

"He said that those types of issues are an impediment to the United States and Cambodia developing a deeper bilateral relationship," Rhodes said of Obama's discussions with Hun Sen.


Judge won't order Nativity scene for city

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A federal judge indicated Monday she will not force Santa Monica, Calif., to permit a Christmas display in the city's Palisades Park.

A Nativity scene has been erected annually in the park for nearly 60 years before the city banned all displays, the Los Angeles Times reported.

U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins rejected a request for a preliminary injunction from Nativity scene proponents, but ordered all parties back in court Dec. 3 for more hearings.

Last year, requests for park display spots exceeded what the city had allocated, and officials held a lottery to distribute them, the newspaper said. Atheists won 18 of 21 spots, a Jewish group won one and the traditional Christmas Nativity story that used to occupy 14 spots was jammed into two, the Times said.

Then city officials decided a yearly lottery was too costly, and banned all private displays.

Nativity scene proponents filed suit in federal court in October to allow the traditional Christian displays, but in a tentative ruling, Collins rejected a request to erect the Christmas display while the case is pending, the Times reported.


Colombia gets islands, Nicaragua gets sea

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The International Court of Justice sided with Colombia over Nicaragua in their feud over a string of tiny Caribbean islands.

The court, the United Nations' principal judicial body, said Monday Colombia has sovereignty over the islands of Alburquerque, Bajo Nuevo, East-Southeast Cays, Quitasueno, Roncador, Serrana and Serranilla, small islands off the Nicaraguan coast the court noted "remain above water at high tide" and are thus considered territory.

The ruling upheld Nicaragua's claim to a large part of the sea, between the islands and the Latin American mainland, which includes the water for fishing and potential mineral exploration.


50 dead birds found in Springfield, Mo.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- About 50 dead birds were found dead on a roadway in Springfield, Mo., officials said.

The dead birds were within a span of 50 feet of roadway, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

Kailey Frayer, who lives near where the birds were found, said she first noticed the birds about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

"They weren't there when I left, and an hour later, they were all there," she said.

Frayer said she lived in the area about two years and this is the first time they have seen anything like this.

"It's a curiosity," said Ellie Mason, who lives nearby.

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