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February 18, 2008

1. Polls are now closed in Pakistan and the counting begins. PPP leader Zardari says fraud will lead to violence.

2. Multiple threats made at Israel in wake of Imad Mugniyah assassination. Iran says Hizballah will destroy Israel 'soon.'

3. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. President Bush, EU leaders recognize new state amid Russian, Serbian protest.

4. Egypt finds over 200,000 pounds of explosives near Gaza, says Gazans being arrested and smuggling routes raided.

5. Iran has opened its new oil marketplace, seeking to become a hub for region's oil trade with valuations and trades untied to US dollar.

MUGNIYAH ASSASSINATION: FALLOUT AND REPERCUSSIONS
Death by Car Bomb in Damascus: Who was Imad Mugniyah? - Weekly Standard
Analysis of Sunni-Shi'a Terror Cooperation: Dangerous Liaisons (April 2007) - ThreatsWatch
Hizballah Military Commander threatens Israel, "hostage of its own act" - Haaretz
Barak: Syria, Iran might aid retaliation against Mugniyah killing - IHT
Iran predicts Hizballah will destroy Israel "soon" - AFP
'Hizballah has a few thousand fighters,' not the 50,000 claimed in buildup - Jerusalem Post
DNI McConnell: Hizballah Threat 'Serious' - AP

IRAN
Iran Starts Oil, Petrochemicals Exchange in Tehran - Bloomberg
Iran opens first oil products bourse -Economic Times
Iran: Vetting Exacts Heavy Toll On Reformist Candidates - RFE/RL

IRAQ
Al-Qaeda in Iraq Offers Palestinians Military and Economic Aid - MEMRI
Al-Qaeda sows fear after sunset in Iraq's north - Reuters

KOSOVO
Kosovo Declares Its Independence From Serbia - New York Times
Bush, EU Allies Endorse Kosovo as Russians Protest - Bloomberg

PAKISTAN
Polls Close, Counting Begins in Pakistan Elections - Washington Post
Pakistan poll marred by violence - Radio Netherlands
PPP's Zardari fears violence after Pakistan elections - The Hindu

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Egyptian Police Find 100,000 Kilograms of Explosives Near Gaza - Bloomberg
Egypt rounds up Palestinians to deport to Gaza - Reuters
Militant dies in Gaza blast - Los Angeles Times
Militants bomb Gaza YMCA library - BBC

RUSSIA
Russia’s missile carriers make in-flight refuelling over Barents Sea - ITAR-TASS

SAUDI ARABIA
BAE: Secret papers reveal terror threats to UK from Saudi prince - UK Guardian

US
Researchers: Damage threat from US extremists may be greater from foreign terrorists - Boston Globe

PRESIDENT TOURS AFRICA
President Bush arrives in Tanzania bearing gift to fight poverty - CNN
President Bush Emphasizes Successes Over Conflicts in Africa - New York Times
President confronts Africa policy critics - AFP
Rice Urges Compromise Following One-Day Trip to Nairobi - VOA

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