James Kreindler, whose New York firm represents hundreds of victims’ families, said attorneys would soon file papers at the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York seeking to reinstate Saudi Arabia as a defendant in lawsuits filed shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks and consolidated in the New York-based federal court. “If we haven’t done it by today, we’ll do it Monday,” Mr. Kreindler said in an interview.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to overturn President Obama’s veto of a bill letting families of Sept. 11 victims sue the Saudi Arabian government, bringing Congress within reach of completing the first successful veto override of Obama’s presidency. The Senate voted 97-1 to reject the veto. The measure heads next to the House, where lawmakers will need to muster a two-thirds majority, as in the Senate, to override.
For the first time in President Obama’s tenure, the Senate is set to override his veto of a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. The president vetoed the bill Friday, citing concerns that it could open the U.S. government to similar lawsuits.
. . . [T]he White House and intelligence officials are reviewing whether to declassify one of the country's most sensitive documents -- known as the "28 pages." They have to do with 9/11 and the possible existence of a Saudi support network for the hijackers while they were in the U.S. For 13 years, the 28 pages have been locked away in a secret vault. Only a small group of people have ever seen them. Tonight, you will hear from some of the people who have read them and believe, along with the families of 9/11 victims that they should be declassified. Bob Graham: I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn't speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn't have a high school education-- could've carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States.Graham, who has seen the 28 pages and has been trying to get the pages declassified since 2003, has to be careful about what he says, but he is confident that there is connection.
The Middle East braced for sectarian violence Saturday after Saudi Arabia said it had executed 47 prisoners, including a prominent Shiite cleric responsible for anti-government protests. There were warnings of a backlash against the ruling Al Saud family after Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was named on list of prisoners carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Al-Nimr was a central figure in protests that erupted in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring, and his execution may spark new unrest among the oil powerhouse's Shiite minority.This was not just typical Saudi brutality, it also was a reaction to Iran's relentless use of local Shia communities throughout the Gulf States and indeed throughout the Middle East to foment trouble for local Sunnis. So the executions don't stand in isolation. The Iranian reaction was, typically, to set the mobs loose in Tehran:
On an average, there are 53.6 deaths per 100,000 [expat Indians] annually. However, this number conceals a sharp discrepancy. The average for the six GCC nations is 69.2 deaths, while the figure for rest of the world is 26.5 deaths, almost 60% lower. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Kuwait report between 65 and 78 deaths per 100,000 Indian workers.Indian government that heavily benefits from remittances, worth billions of dollar from Gulf States annually, is reluctant to raise concerns about the safety and wellbeing of its citizens.
Last December, when I interviewed the leader of Israel’s left-leaning Labor Party, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum, he said, in reference to nuclear negotiations with Iran: “I trust the Obama administration to get a good deal.” In a telephone call with me late last night, Herzog’s message was very different. The deal just finalized in Vienna, he said, “will unleash a lion from the cage, it will have a direct influence over the balance of power in our region, it’s going to affect our borders, and it will affect the safety of my children.”
The Iran nuclear deal has significant repercussions. The region’s peoples are the biggest winners from this deal because regional and international forces have been pushing for war with Iran which would have had dangerous repercussions in the region. The deal pushed off the [potential Israeli and US] war [against Iran]. Israel cannot possibly bomb nuclear facilities without the US’ green light. Monopoly of power is no longer present. All American wars have failed. John Kerry made it clear that the US does not want more wars. The US and Europe have failed in the region. It is unlikely that normalization will take place. Iranians wanted to reassure the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia. [interview in progress, check link for more]More translation at Naharnet:
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