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June 30, 2008

1. After last week's Taliban push throughout FATA and its siege of Peshawar in the NWFP, the Pakistani government has ordered forces to combat, especially in the critical Khyber agency, a crucial supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

2. The debate goes on regarding President Bush's decision to reward North Korea for its cooperation by removing it from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. President assures he is under no delusions and the administration wants uranium program clarifications as well. Removal from list deemed by many to be too high a price.

3. Zimbabwe's Mugabe is sworn in as president after run-off vote, which has been highly criticized as a sham due to violence and intimidation at polls.

4. Irsaeli Knesset approves Hizballah prisoner swap for IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who are believed to be dead. Hamas is said to be renewing efforts for their own swap in it's wake.

ALBANIA
The Road to Kosovo, Part II - Michael Totten

IRAN
Oil near $143 on Israel-Iran tensions - Reuters
Iran condemns 'Israeli spy' to death - CNN
Caveat Emptor, Seymour Hersh: Preparing the Battlefield - The New Yorker

IRAQ
Iraqi guards kill female suicide bomber - Jerusalem Post
Iraqi Security Forces Five Year Plan: An updated projection - The Long War Journal

ISRAEL
Israeli Cabinet approves Hizballah prisoner swap - Chicago Tribune
Ministers opposed to prisoner swap: Deal is a victory for Hizballah - Haaretz
Hamas emboldened by Israel-Hizballah swap - AP

LEBANON
The Lebanese Powder Keg - Middle East Times

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Klein: Video confessions: Fatah 'Peace partner' ordered rocket attacks to sabotage Gaza truce - WND

NORTH KOREA
Japan warns North Korea trying to divide Tokyo and Washington - AFP
G8 Ministers: North Korean Nuclear Claims Need Verification - Deutsche Welle
US calls on North Korea to come clean on uranium - Daily Times
Bill says U.S. can pay North Korea for destroying nukes - The Hill
Radio: Talking North Korea and Diplomacy - ThreatsWatch

PAKISTAN
Pakistani military advances in Khyber after Taliban push - The Long War Journal
Six dead as blast destroys Pakistan militant house - AFP
Amid Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan - NYTimes
Pakistan, Iran likely to conclude $7b IPI gas pipeline deal in July - Khaleej Times

RUSSIA
Russia expels South Korean spies: report - AFP

ZIMBABWE
Mugabe 'wins,' arrives at African Union summit - International Herald Tribune

June 27, 2008

1. In Pakistan, the Taliban have surrounded and 'laid siege' to NWFP capital city Peshawar. Government says Army will stay, yet cedes much to Taliban, including roads it does not control, a promise to release 45 Taliban prisoners, and a promise to enforce Sharia law in the province within 3 months. Says both sides 'committed to peace deal.'

2. Congress finalized the War Funding Bill, freeing resources for use in both Iraq and Afghanistan after much delay and political gaming.

3. President Bush announced North Korea will have US sanctions lifted and be removed from State Sponsor of Terror list for dismantling parts of its nuclear program, even as the administration had provided evidence that North Korea had partnered with Syria and Iran to build secret plutonium plant destroyed by Israel in September.

4. Israel-Hizballah prisoner swap deal set for Knesset approval Sunday, as Israel seeks to exchange Lebanese terrorists for two abducted IDF soldiers.

GUANTANAMO DETAINEE DEBATE
Released Guantanamo detainee behind March suicide truck bombing in Mosul - The Long War Journal

IRAQ
Senate finalizes war funding bill - CNN
Iraq: Bush, Talabani Signal Progress On Thorny Security Pact - RFE/RL
Iraq, US Consider Temporary Measures For Military Operations - WSJ
US names al-Qaeda emir of Mosul killed during raid - The Long War Journal

IRAN
Israel and Iran: It’s later than you think - Economist
Israeli Foreign Ministry head briefed IAEA envoys in secret - Haaretz
Time running out for nuclear program talks, Iran warns - Los Angeles Times
Syria planned to supply Iran with nuclear fuel, Israel says - The Guardian
In spite of German talk, trade with Iran growing - Haaretz

ISRAEL
Israel and Hizballah ready to sign on prisoner swap deal - Haaretz
Rocket hits Israel Thursday, second violation of Gaza truce - Washington Post
Islamic Jihad will sit tight with Hamas in Gaza, Attack from West Bank - Jerusalem Post

LEBANON
No Peace in Lebanon - Commentary Magazine
Background: The end of Lebanese factional fighting? - Jerusalem Post

NORTH KOREA
North Korea destroys reactor cooling tower - Los Angeles Times
U.S. to Take North Korea Off Terror List - NYTimes
Rice: Diplomacy Is Working on North Korea - WSJ
Korean Nukes: Don't Get Giddy - NY Post
Bush Deal on N. Korea Meets Skepticism From Republicans - New York Sun
Background: Photo-evidence that North Korea 'helped build Syrian nuclear reactor' - Daily Mail
Timeline: Nuclear weapons development in North Korea - International Herald Tribune

PAKISTAN
Taliban lay 'siege' to Peshawar, threatening Pakistan's grip - Times Online
Taliban PPP leader, a tribal elder, and their family members in Swat - Daily Times
Taliban beheads one, shoots another in Bajaur 'spy' executions - BBC
Army 'to stay in NWFP,' but Gov't concedes nearly everything - Daily Times
Pakistan’s failure to pressure Taliban a concern: Gates - Daily Times

SAUDI ARABIA
Saudis holding 520 al-Qaeda suspects arrested this year - International Herald Tribune

UNITED STATES
Al-Arian Indicted for Refusal To Testify in Charities Cases - New York Sun

June 25, 2008

1. While Mohammed ElBaradei continues to assert IAEA is only barrier between Iran and nuclear weapons, Syrian nuclear facility beyond IAEA view was joint Iran-North Korea-Syria plutonium bomb endeavor.

2. Israel closes northern Gaza crossing again after rocket attack from Gaza violates truce deal with Hamas.

3. Internal fighting has reportedly split Hamas into two factions inside Gaza after a coup attempt to replace Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jabari fails.

4. Taliban group loyal to Baitullah Mehsud has executed 22 members of a pro-government tribe as the al-Qaeda-aligned group seized the town of Jandola.

AFGHANISTAN
Afghan Security Forces Lead Response to Taliban Prison Break - DefenseLink

CANADA
Suspect was devoted to al-Qaeda camp, Canadian court told - Globe and Mail

IRAN
El Baradei Now Says Iran Needs As Little As Six Months for a Bomb - CQ SpyTalk
Intelligence: Iran, NoKor, Syria Worked On Plutonium Plant - Der Spiegel
Syria planned to supply Iran with nuclear fuel, Israel says - Guardian
Flashback: What About Russian-Supplied Fuel? Policy Implosion - Weekly Standard (12/07)
Iran "No Threat" to the United States? - The Weekly Standard Blog
News agency: Iran shuts down Tehran newspaper critical of Ahmadinejad - International Herald Tribune

ISRAEL
Rockets Hit Israel, Breaking Hamas Truce - NYTimes
Israel closes Gaza crossings again after rocket attacks - CNN
Olmert Strikes Deal to Remain PM - ABC

LEBANON
Death toll from Sunni-Shi'a clashes in north Lebanon rises to nine - AFP

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Attempted coup splits Hamas military wing in two - Haaretz

PAKISTAN
22 Killed by Taliban Militants - ABC
Taliban executes 22 pro-government tribal leaders - Hot Air
From Afghanistan, NATO shells militants in Pakistan - International Herald Tribune

RUSSIA
Russia Bolsters Arctic Claims With War Games - AP

ZIMBABWE
ABC News: Mugabe: 'The Election Is Ours'
Opposition leader Tsvangirai calls for peacekeepers in Zimbabwe - Deutsche Welle

June 16, 2008

1. Britain, EU, and President Bush announce new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program intransigence. But the group gets implementation backwards in announcing a freeze on Iran's Bank Melli assets before putting the freeze in place, allowing Iran to withdraw $75 billion in assets before action.

2. New evidence suggests nuclear proliferator AQ Khan may have sold compact nuclear weapons designs to unknown numbers of rogue states - affording for a much smaller device more easily deployed by terrorists and more easily delivered by Iranian ballistic missiles.

3. Afghan President Hamid Karzi has threatened Pakistan that Afghanistan will send its own forces into Pakistan havens to combat Taliban cross-border raids, saying that it is within its rights to defend itself. As an Asia Times analysis suggests, the move can be interpreted as US patience with Pakistan running out.

4. Saudi Arabia has announced it will increase crude production another 200,000 barrels per day, making the net increase since May 500,000 per day. As much as it may contribute to driving prices down, the move may also be interpreted as Saudi capitalization on higher prices before other circumstances drive prices down further.

AL QAEDA
Mystery, Rumors of US Capture Surrounding Adam Gadahn - SAAG International Terrorism Monitor

ENERGY
Oil Falls for a Second Day as Saudi Arabia May Increase Output - Bloomberg
FLASHBACK: Bin Laden Set $144 Per Barrel Target Price: Fears, Again, of Oil Supplies at Risk - New York Times 2001
May 2008: Congressional Testimony 'Rising Oil Prices, Declining National Security' Cites bin Laden's Target Price - House.Gov

NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION
New AQ Khan evidence sparks worry over fate of advanced nuclear-bomb designs - Seattle Times
Smugglers Had Design For Advanced Warhead - Washington Post

TERRORISM AND THE WEB
Interview: Terrorism and Web 3.0 - International Affairs Forum
Assassination & Insurgency at the Frontline Club - Complex Terrain Lab

EUROPEAN UNION
EU Ministers Look for Way Forward After Irish Treaty Rejection Shock - Deutsche Welle

GITMO AND SCOTUS
Editorial: Combating the Combatants Decision - National Review Online
Obama lauds Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo captives; McCain has 'concerns' - International Herald Tribune
A Way Forward After Last Week's Supreme Court Ruling on Enemy Combatants - Andrew McCarthy

AFGHANISTAN
US Says Allies Must Step Up Commitment in Afghanistan - VOA
After Talks With Bush, British PM Promises More Troops for Afghanistan - VOA

IRAN
Britain, E.U., President Bush Announce Iran Sanctions - Washington Post
Iran Withdraws $75 Billion from Europe Ahead of Sanctions - Asharq Alawsat
Iran Rejects Six-Nation Proposal - Washington Post

IRAQ
An Initial Look at the Registrants for Provincial Election - Talisman Gate
Commentary: Al Maliki the Victorious - Asharq Alawsat

PAKISTAN
Hamid Karzai threatens cross-border revenge raids - Telegraph
US Runs Out OF Patience With Pakistan - Asia Times
Pakistan rebukes Karzai over cross-border raids threat - CNN
Afghans vow to support Karzai in Pakistan border row - CBC
Report: Strike targets Baitullah Mehsud's hideout in Pakistan - The Long War Journal

ZIMBABWE
Mugabe says he would hand over power - to his allies - International Herald Tribune

June 11, 2008

1. In pursuit of Taliban fighters after they conducted an ambush inside Afghanistan, US aircraft fired a missile that struck a Frontier Corps border post. 11 Pakistani FC paramilitary troops were killed along with "10 other people." Pakistan called the attack an unprovoked aggression against Pakistan.

2. In Iraq, the Anbar Salvation Council has announced a four-member political alliance in Anbar consisting of anti-al-Qaeda Iraqis. Meanwhile, in Morocco, 29 members of an al-Qaeda-linked terror cell were convicted for recruiting and facilitating sending terrorists to Iraq, among other charges.

3. A peace deal has apparently been signed in Somalia between the Transition Federal Government and Islamists there. However, the Islamists are not a united group, and some have rejected the deal, including al-Qaeda-trained Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who called the deal "rubbish and inconsequential."

INDONESIA
Sect in Indonesia fears attacks on its members - International Herald Tribune

IRAN
U.S. and Allies Threaten More Iran Sanctions - US News and World Report
Gulf Arabs eye Iraq role to counter Iran - Khaleej Times

IRAQ
Anbar Salvation Council announces 4-member political alliance - Aswat Aliraq
Iran tells Iraq: U.S. troops are 'main obstacle on the way to progress' - Los Angeles Times
Iraq no 'platform' for attacks elsewhere, U.S. envoy says - CNN
US says 500 fighters give up arms in Iraq - AFP

ISRAEL
Israel puts off Gaza invasion - Deutsche Welle

LIBYA
Libya's Gaddafi calls EU plan for a 'Mediterranean Union' an insult - Gulf News

MOROCCO
Morocco convicts 29 members of al-Qaeda-linked terror cell - BBC

PAKISTAN
Suspected U.S. missile fired in NW Pakistan - Reuters
Pakistan blames U.S. coalition for deaths in 'cowardly' attack - CNN
Pakistan Blames U.S. Coalition for Troops' Deaths - Washington Post
RAND Report: Pakistan Intelligence has helped Taliban insurgents - Gulf News

PHILIPPINES
Philippine Television Crew Believed to Be Kidnapped - NYTimes

SOMALIA
Rivals in Somalia sign peace deal - International Herald Tribune
However: Peace deal in Somalia dismissed by Islamists - International Herald Tribune
AQ-Trained Sheikh Aweys rejects Somalia peace deal - The Press Association

SOUTH KOREA
Seoul protest threatens to topple government - International Herald Tribune

SUDAN
Dozens Dead in Sudanese Plane Crash - ABC

VENEZUELA
Venezuelan Military and Civilians Test-Run Defense Operations - VenezuelAnalysis.com

June 9, 2008

1. Pakistan's deal in North Waziristan is a near carbon copy of the failed deal made less than two years ago. Once again allows al-Qaeda allowed to stay if they "pledge to remain peaceful."

2. Sahwa al-Iraq (Iraq Awakening) leader Sheikh Ahmad al-Rishawi offers to help US establish grassroots anti-al-Qaeda equivalent in Afghanistan. His late brother had once proclaimed he would 'fight al-Qaeda all the way to Afghanistan' if given the resources.

3. Fighting escalates between Hizballah and pro-government forces in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, a significant portion of Lebanon on the Syrian border long dominated by and home to Hizballah's military headquarters.

4. Hamas-Fatah talks in Senegal promoted as having "restored trust and respect" between the two factions. Since Fatah's calls for talks, Palestinian polls reflect a shift in support from Hamas to Fatah.

ENERGY
Crude may hit $150 says Iran - Gulf Daily News
Market Expert Speaks: What Mr. Crude Oil Sees Ahead - Barrons

IRAQ
US military blame al-Qaeda for bomb blast near Kirkuk - Times Online
Weapon caches seized in Iraq, al-Qaeda suspects held - M&C
Iraq Awakening Leader Offers To Take Fight to Bin Laden - New York Sun
Flashback: Late Sheikh Abdul Sattar Spoke of Fighting AQ 'All the Way To Afghanistan' - National Review

LEBANON
Fighting between Hizballah, pro-Gov't forces escalates in Lebanon's Bekaa region - Ya Libnan

NORTH KOREA
North Korea complains of slow energy aid - AFP

PAKISTAN
North Waziristan peace agreement allows Al Qaeda to remain - The Long War Journal
Previously: Descent into Appeasement - Weekly Standard

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Hamas, Fatah ”restore trust” in Senegal talks - al-Bawaba
Saudi king, Abbas want Arab League role in Fatah-Hamas talks - AFP
Poll: Abbas more popular than Haniyeh after call for Hamas dialogue - Haaretz
2 Weeks Ago: Iran tells Hamas to continue resistance against Israel - al-Bawaba

SRI LANKA
52 arrested in deadly Sri Lanka bus blasts - International Herald Tribune

June 6, 2008

1. The US Department of Treasury has designated three individuals for financial and other support for al-Qaeda, including links to both Pakistan and Iran. US DoT says one had met inside Iran with al-Qaeda leaders under 'house arrest' there.

2. The military junta in Myanmar has ordered US Navy relief supply-laden ships to leave despite much needed relief for civilian population.

3. The government of Indonesia has ruled that it will not outlaw a moderate Muslim sect there, but did warn it to adhere to a strict interpretation of Islam.

4. Another Haditha Marine has been cleared of more charges stemming from the firestorm created by a hasty public leap to judgment, including irresponsible charges and public statements from Congressman Murtha of Pennsylvania.

5. Pakistan's AQ Khan remains defiant as he says now that Pakistani government officials were complicit in the proliferation of nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. Says he did as his government asked.

AL-QAEDA
9/11 'architect' KSM requests execution for 'martyrdom' - Washington Times
US Treasury Designates Three Gulf-Based al-Qaeda Financiers - US Dept. of Treasury
US targets al-Qaeda operatives with links to Iran, Pakistan - Long War Journal

BURMA - MYANMAR
Relief-Stocked US Navy Ships Ordered to Leave Myanmar by Ruling Junta - Navy Times
Assets Still Available for Burma Aid Distribution, General Says - DefenseLink
In depth: Burma - Financial Times

EUROPE
Video: Pipes on the future of Europe - Uncommon Knowledge on National Review Online

GAZA STRIP - HAMAS
Blair firm on boycott of Hamas - The Guardian
Gaza agency working with Blair seized by Hamas - Reuters

INDONESIA
Indonesia not to outlaw moderate Muslims but warn them to adhere to strict Islam - Radio Netherlands

IRAQ
Haditha Marine Acquitted of Obstruction of Justice - San Diego Union-Tribune
United Arab Emirates to open embassy in Iraq - Los Angeles Times

LEBANON
Israel, Hizballah swap prisoner for body parts - Globe and Mail
Projecting Power: Iran's Lebanese 'aircraft carrier' - BBC

PAKISTAN
AQ Khan Says Pakistani Gov't Officials Complicit in Proliferation - Washington Post
Pakistan Says No Talks With Taliban, al-Qaeda - INN
Militants attack near Pakistan-Afghanistan border - CS Monitor

SYRIA
Syria Now Agrees to IAEA Inspection of Destroyed Nuclear Site Only - Gulf Daily News

UNITED StTATES
Air Force Chief, Secretary Resign at SecDef Request after nuclear transport flap - Danger Room

ZIMBABWE
U.S., Britain urge U.N. to act on attacks on diplomats - Washington Times

June 3, 2008

1. In Kut, a raid has netted a top Iranian-trained militia leader reportedly now in US custody as US and Iraqi forces continue to press Iranian-backed militias and Special Groups in the south.

2. Iran's Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Khameini said that Iran will continue its nuclear pursuits regardles of trade incentives and pressures from the West.

3. With Mugabe in Rome for talks on food crisis, which has spurned protest from some quarters, 2 opposition leaders in Zimbabwe have been arrested by Mugabe's forces.

4. With Russia supporting autonomy for Georgian Abkhazia region, Russian troops have arrived on Georgian soil. US has opposed and Georgia has demanded that the troops be withdrawn.

PROLIFERATION
Nuclear bomb blueprints for sale on world black market, experts fear - The Guardian
Syria to Meet With Weapons Inspectors About Site Bombed by Israel - Washington Post

GEORGIA
Putin backs Abkhazia autonomy, Russian troops sent - Reuters
US 'dismayed' more Russian troops sent to Abkhazia - Reuters
Georgia summons Russian envoy over soldiers - Reuters

IRAN
Ayatollah Khamenei vows Iran's nuclear program will go on despite trade offers - AP
IAEA tells Iran to make full nuclear disclosure - Daily Times
Iran's Ahmadinejad slams West over food crisis - Forbes

IRAQ
U.S. military reforms its prisons in Iraq - International Herald Tribune
Video: Major General Stone Conference on Detention Facilities - Small Wars Journal
US captures suspects in separate Iraqi raids - AP
US says Iran-trained militia leader held in Iraq - AFP

NORTH KOREA
U.N. Report Renders Return to North Korea Unlikely - New York Sun

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Defense Minister Barak: Hamas is exhibiting signs of distress - Haaretz
Assailants beat guards, steal bus from Christian school in Gaza: officials - International Herald Tribune

PAKISTAN
Pakistan Blast Was Suicide Attack - New York Times
Deadly Pakistan embassy bomb raises security fears - Washington Post

ZIMBABWE
Mugabe Visit to Rome U.N. Food Summit Angers Many - New York Sun
2 opposition leaders arrested in Zimbabwe - International Herald Tribune

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