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March 17, 2008

1. Crisis in Tibet continues, as many as 100 reported killed. China says only 13 killed, and that its troops did not shoot them.

2. Elections turn out as expected in Iran, with regime continuing to sideline moderates. Iran sends conflicting signals on potential negotiations on its nuclear program.

3. A missile strike on a building in Wana, South Waziristan in Pakistan's tribal areas said to have killed 20 including 8 'Arabs and Turkmen' as al-Qaeda likely targeted by US unmanned aircraft.

4. Israel quietly threatened Syria with retaliatory strikes if Hizballah targeted the Jewish state from Lebanon. Syria called for public peace talks with Israel, citing list of demands.

5. Austria says al-Qaeda deadline for hostage ransom payment extended in Algeria/Mali. Closer look suggests that kidnapping less an ideological attack on West than opportunistic chance ransom source for GSPC/AQIM actors in region.

6. Four FBI agents were injured in a bombing of an Islamabad restaurant. Hand grenade believed thrown into outside dining area.

AFGHANISTAN
Marines, Canadians Working Well Together in Kandahar - Ottawa Citizen

ALGERIA
Al-Qaeda wants five million euros for hostages: report - AFP
Austria says deadline extended for al Qaeda hostages - swissinfo
Analysis: AQIM/GSPC kidnaps two in Tunisia - Adrian Martin

CHINA
As Many as 100 Reported Killed in Tibet Uprising - CNN
Tibetan Exile Gov't Says At Least 80 Killed in Tibetan Unrest - BBC
Tibet's Chinese governor says riot death toll 13 - IHT
China: Troops 'did not shoot Tibetans' - BBC
China blocks YouTube over Tibet riots - Telegraph

IRAN
Ahmadinejad's Nuclear Mandate Strengthened After Iran Election - Bloomberg
Iran Rejects Nuclear Talks with 5+1, Then Rescinds - ThreatsWatch
Iran's call to vote ignored by millions - Telegraph
Iran shuts down nine magazines after election - The Hindu

IRAQ
Profits from stolen oil help sustain insurgency in Iraq - IHT
Suicide vest now weapon of choice for Qaeda in Iraq: US - AFP
McCain Trip Comes During Iraq Milestones - ABC
Navy SEAL Mike Monsoor to Receive Medal of Honor - Michael Fumento
UN Envoy Says Iraq Has 'Window Of Opportunity' - RFE/RL
Captured Foreign Fighters Provide Insight into Enemy Facing Iraq - DefenseLink

ISRAEL
Israel secretly threatened Syria 'if Hizballah attacked' Jewish State - Jerusalem Post
'Damascus interested in public peace talks' - Jerusalem Post
Hamas vows to keep Israeli aircraft in its line of fire - Canadian Press
Smuggler dies in Gaza tunnel collapse - Gulf Times

PAKISTAN
20 'Arabs and Turkmen' die in South Waziristan missile strike - Daily Times
US plane attacks Wana house with precision bombs: Foreign militants among nine killed - DAWN
Four FBI Agents Hurt in Pakistan Bombing - ABC
Musharraf Interview Prep for The End? - ‘Remember me as honest, frank person’ - Daily Times
PML-Q, PPP and allies field former Karachi mayor Farooq Sattar for PM - DAWN
New Pakistan Parliament Convenes, MPs Take Oaths under High Security - AP

SAUDI ARABIA
Three suspected Saudi militants to return home from Pakistan - M&C

UN
U.N. Legal Counsel Will Depart in August Under Corruption Cloud - New York Sun

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