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Diplomacy is at an all-time critical point in the Middle East.


Saudi Arabia announced this weekend that it was cutting diplomatic ties with Iran. According to The Washington Post, Bahrain and Sudan joined Saudi Arabia and also cut ties with Iran. A Bloomberg analysis postulates that Obama’s policies are tilting towards support of Iran.

McCain offers his perspective here:

SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON SAUDI ARABIA CUTTING DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH IRAN
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on Saudi Arabia cutting diplomatic ties with Iran:
“Saudi Arabia is one of America\'s closest and oldest partners and deserves our continued support. Our governments do not agree on every issue, and in the case of the execution of Saudi cleric Nimr Al-Nimr, I believe the United States can question the justice of that action while still standing with our Saudi partners to confront the terrorism of ISIL and its affiliates as well as the aggression and hypocrisy of the Iranian government.
“Iran’s response to al-Nimr’s death has been outrageous and dangerous. Ayatollah Khamenei criticized Saudi Arabia at the same time that the Islamic Republic of Iran oppresses Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, and Muslim minorities; jails journalists, activists, and political opposition figures, including innocent Americans; ranks second in the world in government executions behind only China; threatens to destroy Israel; props up the murderous Assad regime in Syria; and supports terrorist groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, and across the region. The Ayatollah’s feigned outrage is yet another example of the Iranian regime’s efforts to manipulate Shiite Muslims across the region to advance its self-serving agenda for power and regional hegemony.
“Tensions between Riyadh and Tehran have been escalating for years, due in no small part to the perception that America is withdrawing from the region. For decades, America’s role in the Middle East has been to suppress security competition between states with long histories of mistrust and to prevent that competition from breaking down into open war. Our allies and partners have entrusted much of their own security to the Unites States because they have believed that our commitments were credible. But this Administration’s hollow words, imaginary red lines, and leading from behind have steadily eroded that credibility. Increasingly, our allies and partners question America’s commitment to their security, and as a result, are taking matters into their own hands. It is alarming, yet hardly surprising that these fateful decisions could manifest themselves in increased diplomatic tensions, growing regional security competition, new arms races, and possibly nuclear proliferation.”

\"\"

 

 

Half cent increase in sales tax takes effect in Prescott Valley.


Due to budget adjustments, changes are in effect at the Prescott Public Library.

New hours at the library on Goodwin Street are 9 am to 5 pm Monday, Friday and Saturday and 9 am to 8 pm Tuesday through Thursday. The library is closed Sunday. Book drop service has been discontinued at Fire Station 71 on White Spar Road, Fire Station 75 on Lee Boulevard and the Goodwill Store on Iron Springs Road. In addition, the lockers at the Prescott Community Center on Rosser Street are no longer a book pickup location.

Property along Highway 89 in Chino Valley could be expanded, but not for medical marijuana cultivation.

Town officials say a building permit was issued in 1981 for a building that would become the NAPA Auto Parts Store. The property was split in 1993 and in 2005, an expansion was added, increasing the square footage of the building to 6,000 square feet. Proposed improvements include a reconfiguration into office and light manufacturing spaces. A new structure is proposed that would double the square footage to 12 thousand square feet. During a neighborhood meeting last month, a citizen raised concerns about the more than 1 acre rezone for this project off Highway 89. There have been rumors that medical marijuana infusion and dispensation would be conducted on site. Applicant Charlie Arnold and a tenant representative have assured the neighbor no medical marijuana would be stored, sold or processed on site. Town staff members indicate medical marijuana uses aren’t allowed on the property. The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider holding a public hearing on this rezone during its meeting at 6 tomorrow night in Council chambers on Highway 89.

It’ll cost a little more to spend money in Prescott Valley.

Back in October, Town Council approved a half-cent sales tax increase that went into effect last Friday. During a recent live appearance on KQNA’s Talk of the Town show, Town Manager Larry Tarkowski described how much the sales tax is going up. Tarkowski explained two-thirds of the added revenue will go to much-needed roadway improvements. Tarkowski says one third of the tax will go towards increased police services. According to Public Works Director Norm Davis, residents will see more attention given to deteriorating roadways in town, including those in some neighborhoods that haven’t had significant upgrades for ten years. About three quarters of a million dollars will be available annually for new police officers. The Department also plans on reinstating the traffic division, which will focus on injury collisions, red light runners and impaired drivers. Additional services include the reinstated Citizens Police Academy and more digital technology to help quickly provide evidence for the prosecution of crimes.

Not much change during the holiday week. 

 

January 4- Average retail gasoline prices in Arizona have not moved  in the past week, averaging $1.97/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy\'s daily survey of 2,269 gas outlets in Arizona. This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $1.99/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com

Areas nearby Arizona and their current gas price climate:

Las Vegas- $2.54/g, flat  from last week\'s $2.54/g.Phoenix- $1.95/g, down 0.4 cents per gallon from last week\'s $1.95/g.Tucson- $1.81/g, flat  from last week\'s $1.81/g.

Including the change in gas prices in Arizona during the past week, prices yesterday were 13.0 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 4.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 5.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 19.9 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago. 

\"Talk about starting the New Year off right,\" said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. \"The national average at $1.99 is a great way to begin 2016, and over twenty cents lower than where we started 2015. The good news is that we could see even more price drops before the seasonal lift that will likely begin as we push towards Spring. For any Americans that made resolutions to try and spend less at the pump this year, I think they will be in good shape to achieve that. The fundamentals of oil remain weak which will contribute to low oil prices for some time, while gasoline demand will likely move lower now with the holidays behind us, putting downward pressure on gasoline prices,\" DeHaan said.

GasBuddy will be unveiling its 2016 Fuel Outlook in the weeks ahead, which will shed light on what the fuel price climate will be for motorists in the year ahead.

For a complete listing of current averages and other fuel price data, visit http://media.gasbuddy.com. For fuel news and alerts, follow @GasBuddyNews on Twitter.

About GasBuddy.com

GasBuddy is the premiere source for real-time local gas prices. Founded in 2000, GasBuddy.com developed as an initiative to provide consumers access to local, current gas prices. Through the GasBuddy.com website and the free GasBuddy mobile app, users can find and share gas prices with fellow drivers, saving big money at the pump.

 

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