Dec 28, 2011

Fwd: Cheat Sheet - Exclusive: Obama’s Triggers for Bombing Iran

Today: Ron Paul Retains Iowa Edge, North Korea Begins Kim's Funeral, Newt: I'd Never Vote for Paul
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

December 28, 2011

The Obama administration is trying to assure Israel privately that it would strike Iran militarily if Tehran's nuclear program crosses certain "red lines"—while attempting to dissuade the Israelis from acting unilaterally. The Daily Beast's Eli Lake reports exclusively on the diplomatic balancing act.


Iowa "looks like a 2 person race between Paul and Romney," says Public Policy Polling in its analysis of the latest poll in the state showing Ron Paul with 24 percent of the vote, Mitt Romney with 20 percent, and Newt Gingrich way back in third with 13 percent. Paul is drawing much of his support from independents and young voters, while Romney has a slight edge with Republicans and a much larger one with seniors. Politico notes, meanwhile, that Romney has moved key staffers from Boston to fill out his staff in Iowa—a "clear sign he's playing to win." One final interesting note from the PPP poll: Tea Party voters' preferred candidate is actually Michele Bachmann, a sign of the movement's diminished power.


Tens of thousands of North Korean citizens endured freezing temperatures Wednesday to glimpse the hearse of Kim Jong-il, crying and beating their chests as it drove through Pyongyang. The funeral procession was led by a car with a huge portrait of Kim, followed by soldiers and the hearse. Kim's coffin was wrapped in a red flag, and his son Kim Jong-un was the head mourner—another sign that he is his father's successor. The funeral services will continue Thursday with a national memorial service at noon.


Hell hath no fury like a Newt scorned. Tuesday, Republican candidate Newt Gingrich—who's slid in recent polls—went after Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. On CNN, Gingrich accused Paul of being a hypocrite about his allegedly racist newsletters, and said that he would never vote for Paul if he were the Republican nominee. "I think Ron Paul's views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American," he said. Gingrich also blasted Romney for laughing off his challenge for a one-on-one unmoderated debate, saying that Romney—who he labeled the Massachusetts moderate—should be a man.


Tensions between Iran and the U.S. escalated to new heights on Tuesday, when a senior Iranian official threatened to cut off its oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz if the U.S. moved forward with its plans to impose economic sanctions on the country in an attempt to thwart its nuclear ambitions. As President Obama prepared to sign in new sanctions that could substantially reduce Iran's oil revenue, Iran's first vice president, Mohammed-Reza Rahimi, vowed to block all oil exports via the Strait of Hormuz, a move that could stir military conflict among countries dependent on its supply. A White House spokesman said the president, who is currently vacationing in Hawaii, would not be commenting on Rahimi's threat. The warning implies that the U.S. would pay a high price for the imposed sanctions, as Iran could potentially cause U.S. oil and gasoline prices to soar, slowing the economy down even further.

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No longer supports exception for incest, rape.
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Blaze killed five, including children.
Cheeta the Chimp Dies at 80
Starred in Tarzan films in 1930s.
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