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November 29, 2007

1. In Beirut, Saad Hariri and the anti-Syrian majority have dropped their opposition to Lebanese Army commander General Michel Suleiman as a compromise president.

2. In the Philippines, dissident military officers commandeered a large hotel demanding that President Arroyo step down. Police stormed the hotel after a seven hour standoff, making arrests.

3. Days after announcing that it had freed 1,500 al-Qaeda terrorists from prisons, Saudi Arabia announced that it has arrested 208 suspected terrorists amid oil attack fears.

4. With Saudi support, returned former PM Nawaz Sharif declares in Pakistan that Musharraf is an illegitimate president. Eyes begin to shift to General Kiyani, Musharraf's new Army Chief of Staff.

5. With al-Qaeda-linked terrorists continuing attacks in Mogadishu, Somali and Ethiopian forces have launched a counteroffensive. Terrorists, including the ICU's Shabaab, are reportedly dispersing into central regions of Somalia.

6. In a major reconciliation development, Iraq's Ayatollah Sistani issued a fatwa commanding Iraq's Shi'a to protect Iraqi Sunnis, saying "I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shitte or a Kurd or a Christian."

7. China said that their recent prevention of US Navy ships from docking at Hong Kong was not a misunderstanding, it was a signal with intent.

8. New bin Laden audio tape aired on al-Jazeera. UbL calls for Europeans to end support of US and get out of Afghanistan.

Bin Laden: Europeans Should End US Help - AP
New Bin Laden Audio Tape Demands Europeans Halt Afghanistan Ops - CTBlog

China: Snub was not a misunderstanding - Navy Times
U.S. lodges formal protest with China - Los Angeles Times
China Explains Decision to Block U.S. Ships - New York Times

Ayatollah Ali Sistani's fatwa orders Shi'a to protect Sunni in Iraq - Kuwait News Agency
Additional Context: Sistani's Fatwa: Iraqi Shi'a Must Protect Iraqi Sunnis - ThreatsWatch
In new alliance, 6,000 Sunnis sign pact with U.S. - Philadelphia Inquirer

Lebanon Army Commander Suleiman May Be Country's Next President - Bloomberg
Lebanon Lawmakers Back Army Chief - AP
Army chief could become Lebanon president: officials - AFP
Christian Schisms Key To Lebanese Crisis - Forbes
Lebanon presidential vote set to be delayed again - AFP

Nawaz Sharif says Musharraf not a legitimate president - Reuters
Saudis See Potential for Influence in Sharif - WSJ
Minus The Uniform, Musharraf Is In Peril - Forbes
Musharraf hints at end soon to emergency rule - Chicago Tribune
President likely to lift emergency today - Daily Times
Pakistan's top general [Kiyani] faces daunting task - Globe and Mail
Musharraf Minus the Uniform [More Kiyani Background] - SAAG
Baptism of fire for Pakistan's new army head - Asia Times

Philippine police quell mutiny at a luxury hotel - International Herald Tribune
Rebellious Philippine Soldiers End Siege After Police Raid - VOA

Saudi Arabia Arrests 208 Suspects; Oil Attack Feared - Bloomberg
Earlier this week: 1,500 al-Qaeda Members Freed After Counseling - NY Sun
Oil Falls More Than $3 on Increased Saudi Arabian Production - Bloomberg
Why Oil Prices May Head Lower, for Now - WSJ

Somalia offensive after attacks - BBC
Counteroffensive in Somalia - ThreatsWatch
Radical Somali Fighters Moving into Central Regions - VOA
Journalists, Human Rights Groups Condemn New Somali Curbs on Reporting - VOA
Somali PM works to put cabinet together - Reuters
Somalia: Eliminating the Terrorist Threat - US State Department

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    What on Earth can Usama bin Laden, the mystical calculus of climate change and US Homeland Security have in common? Does bin Laden really agree with the President of the United States on matters weather? How is it that the...

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