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March 13, 2008

1. Five held in Iraq in connection with suicide bombing targeting US troops. Also, days after Muqtada al-Sadr stepped down, Iraqi police raided Mahdi Army strongholds.

2. Regardless of initial reports, Adm. Fallon's resignation as CENTCOM commander is not seen as a move toward attacking Iran.

3. Operational tempo on both sides increases in Afghanistan. 41 Taliban killed in the south while a suicide bomber killed multiple civilians, UN sending envoy to Kabul.

4. As Haniyeh talks of ceasefire in Gaza, Israel says Hamas offers truce, not peace. Israel also imposing sanctions on al-Jazeera for unfair coverage of the conflict.

5. Energy and Economic Security: As crude oil prices continue to set records, OPEC seen as now operating well beyond past US influence and American ability to nudge production levels.

AFGHANISTAN
41 Taliban Killed in South Afghanistan - AP
U.N. To Send New Kabul Envoy Amid Heightened Violence - New York Sun
Ethnic dispute tears al-Qaeda, Hayden says - Washington Times

INDIA
Russia, India Sign Billion Dollar Deal to Upgrade Indian Fighter Jets - VOA

IRAN
Fallon's Resignation Is Not Seen as Step Toward Attack on Iran - Washington Post

IRAQ
Five held after suicide bomb attack on US troops in Iraq - AFP
Mahdi Army strongholds raided by police - Washington Times
Rocket fire kills 3 US troops in Iraq - Boston Globe
Images: Anatomy of an IED - The Long War Journal

ISRAEL
Algeria: Eight would-be suicide bombers 'headed to Gaza', says report - AKI
In Speech, Hamas' Haniyeh Outlines Terms To Cease Rocket Fire - New York Sun
UPDATE: Gaza Rockets followed by Israeli warplanes end Gaza lull - AFP
Israel to Impose Sanctions on Al-Jazeera - AP
Ashkelon: Israelis bolster new front line with Gaza - CS Monitor

JORDAN
Jordan frees former mentor to al-Qaeda's Musab al-Zarqawi - Daily Mail

KUWAIT
Kuwait releases former lawmaker on bail after eulogy of slain Hizballah militant - IHT

RUSSIA
Russia Warns Against Georgia in NATO - Washington Post
Rice, Gates to discuss missile defense, arms control with Russian counterparts - Kyiv Post
Russia to Aid EU Military Mission in Chad - Washington Post

RUSSIA AND LIBERTY LOST
Russia: Banned University Takes Protest To The Blogosphere - RFE/RL
Kremlin Moves To Rein In Last Media Refuge - RFE/RL

ENERGY SECURITY
OpEd: OPEC's Triumph - Washington Post
Crude Oil Rises to Record as Dollar Declines to 12-Year Low - Bloomberg

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