The Repercussions Of Bringing Former Terrorists To Mainstream PoliticsWritten by Angelique van Engelen
Today, in many countries’ political realities, tribalist and nationalist or globalist forces clash fiercely, undermining chances of peace and democracy. This is particularly topical in Middle East, where efforts by established leaderships to discourage armed conflict have reached a new phase, in which both Hezbollah and Hamas, organizations labeled ‘terrorist’ by US, are nudged to start thinking about participation in mainstream politics.
The number of countries in world at moment that are in some form of transition is higher than some ten years ago, and in some ways more efforts are made to resolve situations that threaten stability. And moves of all involved parties are not without major-league risks.
By finally addressing security issues by making a clean sweepthrough, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is slowly shifting into gear, starting clampdown on Palestinian insurgency that has long been called for. he has even told Hamas fighters publicly to give up their arms, This was a first for president who until now has been anything but clear on security issues. The Hamas leaders according to a report in London Asharq Al Awsat paper are reportedly planning to return to Gaza after Israelis have withdrawn.
The newspaper report detailed that leaders are likely to move their group’s political bureau to Gaza as soon as Israel transfers control over border crossings to Palestinian Authority. "When a militia turns into a political party, I believe issue of a need for arms becomes irrelevant," Abbas was quoted as saying. "There will be only one authority, one law and one legal [armed force]," according to recently elected Palestinian leader, who played down risks involved in operation, saying that this has happened many times before in history.
Hamas leaders however deemed it necessary to reiterate that they have no intention of disarming at all. "Our fingers will remain on rifle triggers until removal of occupation," Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said, according to Israeli Al Haaretz paper. Even though Hamas has participated in elections recently, Masri doubted that this means members are actually going to function as such. It is remarks like these that worry international community very much. US President George W. Bush has been said to be waiting with inviting Palestianian leader Abbas until he has got something of substance to report. Perhaps an invitation will finally be extended soon now. The Palestinian leader has installed a hardliner as new intelligence chief. Tareq Abu Rajab, who used to be deputy intelligence chief, is known to have played an important role in a crackdown on militant group Hamas. Hamas, which has participated in municipal elections already, might see next July’s municipal elections turn out in its favor. “Extrapolating from present point in time, Hamas I believe would gain between 30 and 50 percent in elections to Palestinian Legislative Council in July. Fateh is in total disarray and is searching for its lost identity”, said Matti Steinberg, an Israeli former security advisor to two heads of Israel General Security Service. “Hamas could register considerable gains in elections and possibly demand to play a role in next Palestinian Authority government”, according to Yossi Alpher, a former senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The gains that ‘party to be’ is likely to win are largely due to unhappiness of Palestine population with Fateh party, which has lost its identity more or less due to dysfunctioning of PA. This is echoed by Ghassan Khattib, Palestinian Authority minister of planning. “It is possible that Hamas, which so far maintains a fundamentalist ideological and extreme political position, will become a pragmatic movement if it has chance to be part of official politics, locally, regionally and internationally. The rhetoric of Hamas now reminds many of Fateh's rhetoric when it was treated by "legitimate powers" as an "illegal terrorist group". Fateh successfully worked out a trade-off. It was recognized and included in system in return for playing politics within parameters of international legality”, he says.
What You Should Know About MedicareWritten by LB Sedlacek
Medicare is Federal health insurance program that is available to older people and to many of those with disabilities. Generally, a person is eligible for Medicare when turning age 65. In other instances, a person with a disability may be eligible, regardless of age. There are two parts to Medicare: Part A and Part B. Inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice services are covered by Medicare Part A. Physician services, durable medical equipment, clinical diagnostic laboratory services, laboratory tests, X-rays, diabetes self-management, outpatient hospital services, ambulance services, outpatient mental health services, mammograms, pap smears, colon or prostate cancer screenings, flu and pneumonia shots, bone density measurement, and physical therapy are covered by Medicare Part B. Medicare generally does not cover preventive care services, private duty nursing, hospital room telephone or television, private hospital rooms, dental services, eyeglasses, chiropractic services, care outside of U.S., acupuncture, hearing aids, long term or custodial care in nursing homes or most prescription drugs. To qualify for Medicare, a person must meet at least one of following: (1)Be age 65 and eligible for Social Security or railroad retirement benefits, (2)Have been receiving Social Security disability income for at least 24 months, or (3)Have end stage renal (kidney) disease. If one continues to work after age 65 or decides not to enroll for Social Security benefits at age 65, he/she may still receive Medicare benefits. Permanent legal aliens also qualify for Medicare when they have lived in U.S. for at least five years or more continuously prior to eligibility date. They may also qualify when they are not eligible for Social Security benefits or railroad retirement benefits, but they usually will have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A. If one qualifies for Social Security or railroad retirement benefits, his or her Medicare enrollment is automatic. If one is not age 65, he/she may apply with local Social Security office during 7 month period that starts 3 months before their 65th birthday. When applying 3 months before turning 65, Medicare coverage begins in birthday month. When applying in birthday month or during 3 months following, coverage will be delayed for up to 3 more months. Enrollment may also be done between January 1 and March 31 of any year once becoming eligible, but there may be a penalty for late enrollment and an effective date of July 1.