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September 12, 2008

1. Russia is expanding its influence in the West by enhancing ties with states such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. The Russian naval fleet is set to visit Chavez's Venezuela, Bolivia and Venezuela have kicked out the US Ambassadors there, and Nicaragua was the first state to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

2. A chasm is forming between the United States and Pakistan and future cooperation against al-Qaeda and the Taliban is in jeopardy as Pakistan's army head rebuked US strikes on enemy positions on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border. General Kiyani had been seen as a relatively friendly military leader with American ties.

3. Internal al-Qaeda documents from Iraq display the dire straits and greatly diminished terrorist capabilities and morale there.

4. Iran is reported in the UK press as having renewed its nuclear weapons development program.

Prosecutors seek retrial on liquid bomb charges - The Age
Trial shows Al-Qaeda is still gunning for West -- but failing - Los Angeles Times

Russian Fleet to Visit as Venezuela's Chavez says US ambassador must leave - AP
Bolivian president wants U.S. ambassador to leave - USA Today
Ortega, Nicaragua recognize South Ossetia, Abkhazia - AP
US eyes Russia in Latin America amid crisis over Georgia - AFP

France has arrested 55 militant Islamists this year - Reuters

Bali bombers call infamous militia leader to testify - The Age

Iran renews nuclear weapons development - Telegraph
Iranians scarred by Russian aggression - Washington Times

Letters from Al Qaeda leaders show Iraqi effort is in disarray - The Long War Journal
U.S.: Letters detail infighting over al-Qaeda's Iraq mission - CNN

North Korean Leader Said To Be Recovering After Surgery - New York Sun

Pakistan’s Military Chief Criticizes U.S. Over a Raid - New York Times
Pakistan Did Not Agree to New Rules, Officials Say - Washington Post
CIA launches offensive against al-Qaeda and Taliban in Pakistan - NY Daily News
Background And Context:
Behind The US Strategy: PrincipalAnalysis: The Clock Ticks For The President - ThreatsWatch
Behind The al-Qaeda Strategy: PrincipalAnalysis: Al-Qaeda's Progression On Pakistan's Demise - ThreatsWatch

Moscow eyes Afghanistan in fear - Asia Times

Zimbabwe's Mugabe agrees to share power with rival - Los Angeles Times

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