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Lightbulb Take the Quiz .... Do You Really Know?
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-16-2015, 12:15 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (4)

10 Questions to Test if You’re a True Beatles Fanatic

Are you an expert on Lennon, McCartney, Starr and Harrison?
Let’s find out.

Take the Quiz


11 Questions That Will Make You Miss the '70s

See how well you can remember the decade of Watergate, Vietnam, Star Wars and far-out fashion.

Test your knowledge on the people, events and culture that shaped the '70s.

Take the Quiz

Oh yeah ... Don't forget to post up your scores

For the 70's
Final Score: You answered 6 of 11 correctly!
(musta been in a cloud)

Final Score: You answered 8 of 10 correctly!

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Thumbs Down Planned Parenthood facing investigations over 'abhorrent' vid on body part shipments
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-16-2015, 09:09 AM - Forum: World News - Replies (4)

By Barnini Chakraborty
Published July 15, 2015

A shocking video showing a top Planned
Parenthood official casually discussing the
shipment of aborted fetus body parts to
research labs is fueling calls in Washington
and state capitals for investigations and

The video, shot last July, was released by
the Center for Medical Progress on Tuesday. It shows two undercover CMP activists posing as employees from a biotech company having lunch with Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical research, and chatting about which body parts are in demand.

Calls on Capitol Hill for hearings were swift.

"Nothing is more precious than life,
especially an unborn child," House Speaker
John Boehner said in a statement. "When
anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are
all hurt, irreversibly so.

When an organization monetizes an unborn child -- and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video -- we must all act. As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter."

Boehner also urged President Obama to
"denounce, and stop, these gruesome

Pro-life members of the House held a press
conference Wednesday afternoon and
likewise backed congressional hearings on
the matter.

Already, the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary committees have announced an investigation.

Read the Full Story Here

See Video Here

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Heart Obama announces plans for high-speed Internet in low-income homes
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-16-2015, 08:55 AM - Forum: World News - No Replies

DURANT, Okla. – Calling the Internet a
21st century necessity, President Barack
Obama on Wednesday unveiled a program
to bring faster Internet connections to more
low-income households, particularly to help
students living in public and assisted housing stay ahead in school.

Under ConnectHome, the public, private
and nonprofit sectors have pledged to work
together to provide high-speed connections
and digital devices to more families at lower

More than 90 percent of households headed by a college graduate have Internet access, Obama said. But fewer than half of low-income households have similar access.

In this day and age, Obama said the "digital
divide" puts these individuals at a
disadvantage by limiting their educational
and economic opportunities because the
Internet is increasingly needed to find a job,
finish homework or keep in touch with family and friends.

"In this digital age, when you can apply for
a job, take a course, pay your bills ... with a
tap of your phone, the Internet is not a luxury. It's a necessity," Obama said in Durant, Oklahoma, on the first day of a two- day visit to the state.

"You cannot connect with today's economy
without having access to the Internet," he

ConnectHome is similar to ConnectEd, a
federal program that Obama said is on track to wire 99 percent of K-12 classrooms and libraries with high-speed Internet by the end of 2017.

ConnectHome will begin in 27 cities and the
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which is
headquartered in Durant. With about
200,000 members spread across much of
southeastern Oklahoma, the Choctaw
Nation is the nation's third-largest Native American tribe.

The Choctaw Nation was also among the
administration's first "Promise Zones," a
designation that makes it eligible for tax
incentives and grants to help fight poverty.

The only federal money expected to be spent on ConnectHome is a $50,000 Agriculture Department grant to the Choctaw Nation, officials said.

The 27 cities the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development selected for

ConnectHome are:
Albany, Georgia; Atlanta; Baltimore; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Boston; Camden, New Jersey; Cleveland; Denver; Durham, North Carolina; Fresno, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles; Macon, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Meriden, Connecticut; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans; New York; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Rockford, Illinois; San Antonio; Seattle; Springfield, Massachusetts; Tampa, Florida; and the District of Columbia.
Obama was spending the night in Oklahoma and on Thursday continuing a weeklong focus on making the criminal justice system fairer.

He planned to meet Thursday with law
enforcement officials and inmates during a
historic tour of the El Reno Federal
Correctional Institution, a medium-security
facility west of Oklahoma City that holds
about 1,300 male offenders.

"I will be the first sitting president to visit a federal prison," Obama said in a speech Tuesday to the NAACP meeting in Philadelphia.

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  Man cleared of Murder punches Attorney
Posted by: Charon - 07-15-2015, 01:44 PM - Forum: World News - Replies (3)

Cleared of Murder, a Man Punches His Lawyer



A man who stabbed a 9-year-old boy to death on the Upper West Side punched his defense lawyer in the face on Wednesday afternoon at State Supreme Court just minutes after a jury determined he was not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

It took more than two dozen court officers to subdue the defendant, Alejandro Morales, 31, as he crashed around the Manhattan courtroom, swinging wildly at the officers, slamming into the prosecutor’s table and ending up sprawled face down in the jury box, witnesses said.

“He’s a very disturbed and volatile man, and we saw stark evidence of that, unfortunately,” said the defense lawyer, Frederick L. Sosinsky, who was not seriously injured. He added that Mr. Morales became violent after being told he would not go home immediately.

Mr. Morales, a felon who has been repeatedly diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, confessed to the police he had killed the boy, Anthony Maldonado, at 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2010, inside the apartment of Mr. Morales’s mother. At the time, Mr. Morales was on parole for an assault conviction and was taking antipsychotic medication.

In summations, Peter Casolaro, the lead prosecutor, argued that even though it was true that Mr. Morales suffered from delusions, he knew right from wrong when he stabbed the boy, who was a nephew of his mother’s boyfriend.

The prosecutor noted Mr. Morales fled the apartment barefoot, hid the knife in a trash compactor and initially lied to the police about the crime, saying he had been robbed. “Obviously he knew he had done something wrong,” Mr. Casolaro said.

But Mr. Sosinsky called a forensic psychiatrist to the stand, Dr. Eric D. Goldsmith, who described Mr. Morales’s many hospitalizations for schizophrenia, many of them while in prison. Dr. Goldsmith also documented the defendant’s delusion in the days just before the murder that he was being chased by giant rats and threatened by gang members.

After two days of deliberation, a jury determined that the evidence showed Mr. Morales had committed manslaughter, not murder, deciding he intended to injure the boy but not kill him. The jurors went on to decide Mr. Morales was not criminally responsible because his mental illness crippled his capacity to know that killing the child was wrong.

Mr. Morales will be held until a hearing before Justice Michael J. Obus on July 29 to determine if he will be committed to a mental hospital.

From NY Times.

anyone remember the man, in a probate or will conflict, whom took a gun to his attorney? and the attorney was able to live by successfully hiding behind a tree.

the worst was back in 80's when disgruntled clients or the defendant threw lye into the faces of women attorneys round my area.

one famous case, the woman whom was blinded by an attorney she was leaving, thereafter married the perpetrator. she explained she had no one else to care for her. last year or so, she had to bail him outta jail, yet again, i think one million in cash, for trying to do same thing on his mistress.

Judges are not free from this nonsense either. My late husband and I attended Law School with a guy whose father was killed (a hit taken out on him while defendant he had sentenced was still in jail,) by an angry defendant.

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  'Accountant of Auschwitz', 94, convicted of 300,000 counts of accessory to murder
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-15-2015, 12:48 PM - Forum: World News - Replies (1)

Published July 15, 2015 Associated Press

LUENEBURG, Germany –
A 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted
Wednesday on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and sentenced to four years in prison.

Oskar Groening testified during his trial at
the state court in Lueneburg, in northern
Germany, that he guarded prisoners' baggage after they arrived at Auschwitz and collected money stolen from them. Prosecutors said that amounted to helping the death camp function.
Presiding Judge Franz Kompisch said Groening had decided to be part of the Nazis' machinery of death.

Groening sat expressionless as the verdict
was read and listened attentively for more
than an hour and a half as the judge detailed the ruling, occasionally sipping from a bottle of water. He then walked out of the courtroom without talking to reporters.

The charges against Groening related to a
period between May and July 1944 when
hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hungary were brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex in Nazi-occupied Poland. Most were immediately gassed to death.

Unusually for trials of former Nazi camp
guards, Groening has been open about his
past throughout the proceedings.

Groening said when his trial opened in April
that he bears a share of the moral guilt for
atrocities at the camp but that it was up to
judges to determine whether he is guilty
under criminal law.

In their verdict, judges went beyond the 3½-year sentence prosecutors had sought.
Groening's defense team had called for him
to be acquitted, arguing that as far as the
law is concerned he did not facilitate mass

Kompisch said Groening deserved respect
for having been open about what he did and having testified, but that given the enormity of the crime it would have been inappropriate to impose a lower sentence.

Both sides have a week to appeal, and both
prosecutors and the defense said they would consider whether to do so.

Defense lawyer Hans Holtermann said Groening remains free in the meantime, and given his age and the possible length of appeal proceedings it was uncertain whether he would actually go to prison.

Dozens of Auschwitz survivors and their
relatives joined the trial as co-plaintiffs, as
German law allows, though none were
present for the verdict.

Lawyer Thomas Walther, who represents 51
co-plaintiffs, said that "it is an excellent verdict." "For us, it not a big question of whether it is three, four, five, six years in prison — that was never a topic," he said. The survivors "are just happy that this trial has been carried through to the end and that there was a verdict."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's top Nazi
hunter welcomed the ruling, saying that he
hoped it will pave the way for further

"It is abundantly clear that the window of opportunity to bring Holocaust perpetrators to justice will soon be closed, which makes the expedition of these cases of exceptional urgency," Efraim Zuroff said in a statement.

He urged judicial officials "to give first priority to these cases."

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  Escaped Mexican drug lord's beauty queen wife may be key to tracking him down
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-15-2015, 11:22 AM - Forum: World News - Replies (1)

By Andrew O'Reilly / Published July 14, 2015 / Fox News Latino

As an embarrassed Mexico continues to hunt for the escaped drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo"
Guzmán, the key to finding out what happened
and where he went may be a 20-something
former beauty queen.

Guzmán's current wife Emma Coronel, who
holds dual Mexican and U.S. citizenship, was
one of the few people to have been permitted to visit Guzmán while he was incarcerated at the Altiplano maximum-security prison near Mexico City, and there is speculation that Coronel may have aided his daring escape from a federal penitentiary through an underground tunnel.

"That in itself points to the possibility that she
could have been involved in the coordination of her escape," Christopher Wilson, the deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, told Fox News Latino.
"She was someone who could have been involved in passing along information."

The attorney general’s office is expected to
subpoena her in an effort to find clues as to
where the Sinaloa Cartel boss may have
disappeared to.

Guzmán’s beauty queen wife, who was arrested alongside the drug lord in February 2014 in the couple's Mazatlán condominium but subsequently was released without charges, grew up surrounded by Mexico’s drug trade.
Her uncle was Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a key
member of the Sinaloa Cartel and a close
associate of Guzmán. Nacho Coronel was
known as the "Crystal King" for his role in
introducing Mexican methamphetamine to the
U.S. before his death in a gunfight with the Mexican Army in 2010.

Guzmán allegedly fell in love with Nacho's niece when the then 17-year old was competing in La Gran Feria del Café y la Guayaba (Festival of Coffee and Guava) in Victoria de Durango, the capital of Durango state.

After wooing her for a few months, Guzmán and Coronel were married once she turned 18 in November 2007.

In the summer of 2012, Coronel travelled to
South California and gave birth to twin girls at
Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, north of
Los Angeles.

As a U.S. citizen, Coronel doesn't require a visa to enter the country and to use hospitals here, and her daughters are eligible for U.S. citizenship as well by virtue of hers.
(According to the Daily Caller , Guzmán himself had a California drivers' license under
an assumed name in the late 1980s, before he
assumed control of the cartel.)

While Coronel was on the radar of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration when she was in California, there were no formal charges against her, and she quietly returned to Mexico after giving birth, living with Guzmán in the city of Culiacán.

"She ends up in the news a lot, but she tries to
maintain a low profile," Wilson said.

While Coronel was detained along with Guzmán – who was reported to be cooking breakfast for their daughters at the time of the raid – experts say that she is not involved in the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel and that Guzmán appears to attempts to shield her from becoming implicated in criminal activity.

"This is the woman who is in charge of raising
their two kids, so he doesn’t want her involved
in the cartel," Wilson said. "Guzmán – who has
been married twice before – knows that his life
and freedom are always in danger, but he
doesn’t want his children to be left without a father and a mother."

A subpoena by the Mexican attorney general's
office, however, could create the sort of situation that Guzmán may have been trying to prevent – especially if Coronel is found to have been implicated in his escape.

But at the moment, neither officials in Mexico or the U.S. appear to have any evidence involving her in the jailbreak.

"Her level of involvement in the escape is at the moment very much speculative," Wilson said.

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  We must be making a small wave at the very least!
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:50 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (141)

Our members have made a total of 3,956 posts
in 336 threads.
We currently have 163 members registered.

Almost 4000 posts ... It ain't no big thang .. But it's getting there ...

I put my email into google and the first thing that came up was a thread from here ... Heavy!

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Thumbs Up Church of Cannabis Prepares for First Service in Indiana
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:40 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

A bid to legally use pot is underway in the name of religious freedom.

On Wednesday, as possession for recreational use becomes legal in Oregon and
Minnesota opens its first medical pot
dispensary, a new marijuana-centric religion will host its inaugural worship service in Indiana.

The First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis
hopes to blaze a new route to de facto
legalization without the reform legislation or
ballot measures seen in more progressive

It's seeking an exemption to anti-pot laws under Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Church of Cannabis leaders believe the state’s religious-freedom law, which takes effect Wednesday, grants them legal protection to enjoy the drug in Indiana, where neither medical or recreational use of marijuana is allowed.

All appeared to be going according to plan until the three-month-old congregation bought a church building around the corner from the
Church of Acts, whose founder and pastor Bill
Jenkins has made it his mission to shut down
the enterprise.

“I don’t believe it’s a religion, I believe it’s a drug house,” Jenkins tells U.S News. He says his church members and even local drug dealers have joined him to rally opposition. He suspects the illicit businessmen fear competition.

The conflict between evangelical Christians and pot evangelists -- religious persecution,
according to Church of Cannabis founder Bill
Levin -- culminated Friday with a press
conference where Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said anyone smoking pot in or near the service would be arrested.

Jenkins says their professed religion is nothing more than “a bogus excuse to get high.” Levin counters his church is all about love and members have begun to craft practices and teachings that resemble a religion.

Still, he's now discouraging his flock from bringing marijuana to smoke Wednesday, as was the original plan.

[READ: Gourmet Pot-Laced Coffee Delights D.C. Party Guests]

Even if a disobedient member lights up, Levin
says he will avoid being arrested himself for
maintaining a common nuisance (“a legal chess move,” he says). Levin agreed to allow an officer to attend the service, and others will be posted outside to direct traffic and corral protesters

[Image: 150512-editorial.jpg]
Indiana's religious freedom law, signed by Gov.
Mike Pence, R-Ind., right, has legalized pot use
for members of the First Church of Cannabis,
says Bill Levin, left.

Church leaders intend to file a civil lawsuit soon to establish their right to use pot
at worship services.

In the meantime, a sometimes ugly struggle has been brewing. Jenkins and Levin recently argued about a sign that appeared in front of the new church that says “cast the first stone,” referring to a biblical story in which Jesus defended an adultress from a crowd intent on stoning her to death.

The church leaders disagreed about whether it’s appropriate to quote Jesus without believing he’s the son of God. Levin says on Monday someone toppled the sign and covered it with stones.

Jenkins, who is leading a protest outside the
first service, denies he or his congregation had anything to do with the vandalism or other issues Levin has reported, such as a church member’s car doors being maliciously opened during a rain storm and an M-80 firecracker being used to damage his own car’s muffler.
[DATA: Fewer Pot Packages Found in Mail As Legalization Takes Hold]

“I ain’t always been a pastor," says Jenkins.
"Unfortunately I do know the difference."

It’s unclear whether the Church of Cannabis can win in court. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told U.S. News earlier this year people elsewhere have failed to convince courts
religious freedom laws protect their use of

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  Who's Most Likely to Get Addicted to Their Narcotic Painkiller?
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 11:13 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

HealthDay News
A new study looks at which patients prescribed a short course of narcotic painkillers may be most prone to long-term abuse.

The study finds -- perhaps not surprisingly -- that people with prior histories of drug abuse, or current or former smokers, were much more likely to go beyond that short-term prescription.
The drugs in question are "opioid" painkillers
such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone
(Vicodin), codeine and methadone, among

The study was led by Dr. W. Michael Hooten, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, Minn. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 300 patients given a first-time, short-term prescription for one of this class of narcotic painkillers in 2009.

The investigators found that nearly one in every four of the patients continued to take the medication for extended periods of time. Specifically, the study found that 21 percent of
short-term opioid patients end up getting
prescriptions that extend for as much as three
to four months.

Another 6 percent actually continued the medications for longer than four months.

People with a prior history of either smoking
and/or drug abuse appear to be at greatest risk for turning a short-term pain treatment into a long-term drug abuse problem.

Why? Hooten's team believes that addiction to
nicotine or other substances may have the same effect on the brain as using the narcotic

"Many people will suggest [painkiller abuse is]
actually a national epidemic," Hooten said in a
Mayo news release. "More people now are
experiencing fatal overdoses related to opioid
use than compared to heroin and cocaine
combined," he added. Patients must learn "to recognize the potential risks associated with these medications,"

Hooten said. For some patients, "I encourage
use of alternative methods to manage pain,
including non-opioid analgesics or other non-
medication approaches," he said. Avoiding narcotic painkillers "reduces or even
eliminates the risk of these medications
transitioning to another problem that was never intended," Hooten said.

His team published their findings in the July
issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. "The next step in this research is to drill down
and find more detailed information about the
potential role of dose and quantity of medication prescribed," Hooten said. "It is possible that higher dose or greater quantities of the drug with each prescription are important predictors of longer-term use."

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  DONE DEAL: US, world powers seal formal nuclear agreement with Iran!
Posted by: IceWizard - 07-14-2015, 12:31 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Published July 14, 2015

Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners finally reached agreement Tuesday on a deal that would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief -- setting up a looming showdown between President Obama and Congress, where lawmakers could take issue with several provisions, including one giving Iran leverage over inspections.

Speaking from the White House, Obama
claimed the deal meets "every single one of
the bottom lines" from a tentative agreement struck earlier this year.

"Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut
off," Obama said, claiming it provides for
extensive inspections. "This deal is not built
on trust. It is built on verification." Yet that very issue could be the primary sticking point going forward. While some members of Congress had urged comprehensive inspections of Iran's nuclear sites, the deal in hand gives Iran much leverage over that process. The agreement requires international inspectors to ask Iran's permission first, after which Iran has 14 days to decide whether to grant it. If not, the same group of nations that struck the deal would have another 10 days to make their decision about what to do next. While the international group may have final say, the set-up essentially gives Iran 24 days to drag out the process, though officials say this is not enough time to hide all evidence of illicit conduct.

Already, some on Capitol Hill were warning
about the implications of the deal;
lawmakers will have 60 days to review and
vote on the agreement. But Obama said it
would be "irresponsible" to walk away and
vowed to veto any attempt to crush the agreement.

"No deal means a greater chance of more
war in the Middle East," Obama said. Diplomats struck the deal after the latest 18-
day round of intense and often fractious
negotiations in Vienna, Austria blew through
several self-imposed deadlines.

A final meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia was held
Tuesday morning. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the accord as "a historic moment" as he attended the final session. "We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody, but it is what we could accomplish," Zarif continued, "and it is an important achievement for all of us. Today
could have been the end of hope on this
issue. But now we are starting a new chapter of hope." Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief, called it "a sign of hope for the entire world."

The accord is meant to keep Iran from
producing enough material for a nuclear
weapon for at least 10 years and will
impose new provisions for inspections of
Iranian facilities, including military sites. Diplomats said Iran agreed to the
continuation of a United Nations arms
embargo on the country for up to five more
years, though it could end earlier if the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons.

A similar condition was put on U.N. restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran, which could last for up to eight more years. According to officials, Iran also had agreed to a so-called "snapback" provision, under which sanctions could be reinstated if it violates the agreement.

Washington had sought to maintain the ban
on Iran importing and exporting weapons,
concerned that an Islamic theocracy flush
with cash from the nuclear deal would
expand its military assistance for Syrian
President Bashar Assad's government, Yemen's Houthi rebels, the Lebanese
militant group Hezbollah and other forces
opposing America's Mideast allies such as
Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iranian leaders insisted the embargo had to
end as their forces combat regional scourges such as ISIS. And they got some support from China and particularly Russia, which wants to expand military cooperation and arms sales to Tehran, including the long-delayed transfer of S-300 advanced air defense systems -- a move long opposed by the United States.

The last major sticking point -- which could
still cause problems on Capitol Hill --
appeared to be whether international
weapons inspectors would be given access
to Iranian nuclear sites.

The deal includes a compromise between Washington and Tehran that would allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties. However, access at will to any site would not
necessarily be granted and even if so, could
be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving
Tehran time to cover any sign of non-
compliance with its commitments.

Under the deal, Tehran would have the
right to challenge the U.N. request and an
arbitration board composed of Iran and the
six world powers that negotiated with it
would have to decide on the issue. Such an
arrangement would still be a notable departure from assertions by top Iranian officials, including supreme leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, that their country would never
allow the IAEA into such sites.

Iran has argued that such visits by the IAEA would be a cover for spying on its military secrets. The IAEA also wants the access to
complete its long-stymied investigation of
past weapons work by Iran, and the U.S.
says Iranian cooperation is needed for all
economic sanctions to be lifted. IAEA chief
Yukiya Amano said Tuesday his agency and Iran had signed a "roadmap" to resolve
outstanding concerns.

"This is a significant step forward towards
clarifying outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program," Amano said in a statement released Tuesday.

The economic benefits for Iran are potentially massive. It stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas, and an end to a European oil embargo and various financial restrictions on Iranian banks.

The overall nuclear deal comes after nearly
a decade of international, intercontinental
diplomacy that until recently was defined by
failure. Breaks in the talks sometimes lasted
for months, and Iran's nascent nuclear
program expanded into one that Western intelligence agencies saw as only a couple
of months away from weapons capacity.

The U.S. and Israel both threatened
possible military responses. The United States joined the negotiations in 2008, and U.S. and Iranian officials met together secretly four years later in Oman to see if diplomatic progress was possible.

But the process remained essentially
stalemated until summer 2013, when Hassan Rouhani was elected president and declared his country ready for serious compromise. More secret U.S.-Iranian discussions
followed, culminating in a face-to-face
meeting between Secretary of State John
Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United
Nations in September 2013 and a telephone conversation between Rouhani and Obama.

That conversation marked the two countries' highest diplomatic exchange since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and the ensuing hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran.

Kerry and Zarif took the lead in the
negotiations. Two months later, in Geneva,
Iran and the six powers announced an
interim agreement that temporarily curbed
Tehran's nuclear program and unfroze
some Iranian assets while setting the stage for Tuesday's comprehensive accord.

Protracted negotiations still lie ahead to put
the agreement into practice and deep
suspicion reigns on all sides about
violations that could unravel the accord.

And spoilers abound. In the United States, Congress has a 60- day review period during which Obama cannot make good on any concessions to the Iranians. U.S. lawmakers could hold a vote of disapproval and take further action.

Iranian hardliners oppose dismantling a
nuclear program the country has spent
hundreds of billions of dollars developing.

Khamenei, while supportive of his negotiators thus far, has issued a series of defiant red lines that may be impossible to reconcile in a deal with the West.

And further afield, Israel will strongly oppose the outcome. It sees the acceptance of extensive Iranian nuclear infrastructure and continued nuclear activity as a mortal threat, and has warned that it could take military action on its own, if necessary.

The deal is a "bad mistake of historic proportions," Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, adding
that it would enable Iran to "continue to
pursue its aggression and terror in the

Sunni Arab rivals of Shiite Iran are none too
happy, either, with Saudi Arabia in particularly issuing veiled threats to develop its own nuclear program.

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