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February 19, 2008

1. As expected, Musharraf's majority PML-Q party soundly defeated in parliamentary elections. Musharraf assures new government can be formed without intervention.

2. Following Imad Mugniyah assassination, Hamas' Meshaal in Damascus says he too has been recently targeted but has escaped assassination.

3. China, Russia, Israel and some EU states oppose recognition of an independent Kosovo after split from Serbia.

4. 22 boat people escaping North Korea earlier in February were requested to be sent back and South Korea immediately returned them. New report: North Koreans executed all 22 for attempted defection.

5. Fidel Castro resigns in Cuba, handing reins to brother Raul, saying Cubans can "still count on the old guard."

PAKISTAN'S ELECTION SHAKEUP
Liberal parties rout mullahs in NWFP : All the King’s men, gone! - Daily Times
Musharraf allies face voters’ wrath: PPP, PML-N on a roll, 19 killed in poll-related violence - DAWN
Series of blasts on election day - Daily Times
PAKISTANI ELECTION RESULTS RESOURCES
Dawn Newspaper's Election 2008 Blog
Result Index for Election 2008 - Dawn
Results at a Glance: Map of Pakistan District by District Results - Dawn

FIDEL CASTRO RESIGNS IN CUBA
Fidel Castro Resigns, Hands Cuban Reins to Brother - ABC
Who is Raul Castro, Cuba's new leader? - Times Online
Bush demands democracy as Fidel Castro quits - Telegraph

GAZA STRIP
Hamas fighting Egypt to keep border open - World Tribune
'Khaled Mashaal Avoided New Assassination Attempts' in Damascus, Haniyeh Hiding in Gaza - Arutz Sheva
Last Week: Hamas leaders go underground to escape IDF strikes - Haaretz
This Week: Hamas ready to study any cease-fire initiative - Xinhua

IRAN
US, Israel see eye to eye on Iran threat - Jerusalem Post

ISRAEL
PM: Iron Dome Anti-Qassam System at Advanced Stage - Jerusalem Post
First Gaza Rocket Reaches Merchavim Area - Arutz Sheva

KOSOVO
Superpower Divide Over Kosovo Widens, China and Russia Strongly Oppose Independence - AP
EU split over recognizing Kosovo as a nation - Telegraph
Israel won't recognize Kosovo, for now - Jerusalem Post

LEBANON
Lebanon braces itself for possible Hizballah attack on Israel - Haaretz
Israel concerned over impending UNIFIL breakdown in Lebanon - Jerusalem Post
Intelligence Meeting over Security Concerns Ends Militants' Immunity - Naharnet
Saudis advised to avoid Lebanon - BBC
Aoun: The Mughniyeh Assassination is Aggression on Lebanon and Syria - Naharnet

NORTH KOREA
North Koreans Returned by South 'Executed for Defection' - Chosun Ilbo
N. Korea Asked for 22 Boat People to Be Sent Back, S. Korea Returned Them - Chosun Ilbo
Top U.S. Nuke Envoy in Beijing for NoKor talks, Due in Seoul - Korea Times

PAKISTAN
Peace agreement revived in North Waziristan - DAWN
Anti-terror pact reached with NW tribesmen - Daily Times
Reported New 'Peace Agreement' Between Tribes and Authorities in North Waziristan - Counterterrorism Blog

UK
Beheading plot leader may never be freed - Telegraph

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