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October 20, 2008

1. More reports of disagreements and Iraqi opposition on Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Reports will likely continue until the 11th hour (December 31) as sides hedge positions to maximize input. Little actual risk of falling through.

2. NATO forces set to patrol Indian Ocean, particularly off Somalia coast to combat rampant piracy. Somali transitional federal government, lacking maritime forces, welcomes move.

3. Rumors circulate on the demise and replacement of Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, either by death due to failing health or coup. At this point, no one knows anything and all reports are speculative.

4. In Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a pair of buses in the south and killed 30 or more. 25 bodies found away from the bus hijacked, while another six were found separately, beheaded.

AL QAEDA
Al Qaeda is global, fluid and unpredictable: Sherpao - Daily Times
Al-Qaeda Web Forums Abruptly Taken Offline - Washington Post
Al -Qaeda terror suspects set for Saudi trial - Culture & Society - Arabian Business
Terror suspect Jack Thomas fooled al-Qaeda, trial told - The Australian

AFGHANISTAN
Taliban Kills About 30 Riding on Afghan Bus - Washington Post
Aid Worker Killed in Kabul - NY Times
British aid worker shot dead in Afghanistan for 'preaching Christianity' - Telegraph

IRAQ
New Doubts Cloud Iraqi Security Pact With U.S. - NY Times
Shiite Bloc's Demands Stall U.S.-Iraq Pact - Washington Post
Saudi leader of Al Qaeda killed in Iraq - Al-Sumaria

NORTH KOREA
Press report fuels rumors over North Korea's Dear Leader - UK Guardian
South Korea skeptical about reports of major changes in the North - Canadian Press
North Korea holds rare cabinet meeting on economy - Reuters
US Says North Korea Reverses Steps to Restart Reactor - VOA

PAKISTAN
On Brink Of Collapse: Pakistan, IMF to hold crunch talks this week - Daily Times

RUSSIA
Russia Is Striving to Modernize Its Military - NY Times

SOMALIA
Somalia Welcomes Arrival of NATO War Ships to Tackle Piracy - Bloomberg
Another UN aid worker shot dead in Somalia - AFP

October 13, 2008

1. In Pakistan, another suspected US missile strike hits Taliban safehouse as Pakistani troops continue to take fight to a reeling Taliban in areas. Meanwhile, emboldened Pakistani tribes are also successfully taking the fight to Taliban and al-Qaeda there.

2. Al-Qaeda continues to execute Christians in Mosul, driving 3,000 out of city in fear this past week alone. Iraqi police have been bolstered to provide security. Chaldean Catholics are protected by Iraq Awakening movement in Central Iraq, but Mosul finds Christians without such protection.

2. Oil prices have dropped to lowest in over a year while America's enemies cheering the current economic crisis hurt far worse than America. OPEC mulls production drop.

OIL PRICE PLUMMET
Crude oil plunged below $US78 - Sydney Morning Herald
OPEC to consider cutting supply as oil price falls - Times Online
As profits dip, oil countries' aid programs may take hit - USA Today
TIME Asks Dumbest Question of Year: Is Cheaper Oil A Good Thing? - TIME

ECONOMIC CRISIS
Perspective: America's Enemies Cheering US Financial Crisis Hurt More Than America - World Tribune

AL QAEDA
Gadahn is Back: Urges Mujahideen of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan to unite - SAAG

AFGHANISTAN
British Army interpreter was Iranian spy, court hears - Telegraph
General Says He’s Hopeful About Taliban War - NY Times

INDIA
Hindu Threat to Christians: Convert or Flee - NY Times

IRAQ
Police sent to secure Christians in Mosul - AFP
Security Boosted Around Mosul - Washington Post
Iran Interfering in U.S.-Iraq Security Pact, General Says - Washington Post

PAKISTAN
Militias battling Taliban, al Qaeda - AP
Pakistan kills 25 more militants in airstrike - Reuters
Pakistani Government to Unveil Anti-Terror Strategy - VOA
Missile fired by US drone kills five in Pakistan - Arab News

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
The Internet and Terrorism: HAMAS' New AqsaTube Propaganda Outlet - ITIC

October 7, 2008

1. Reports of Saudi hosted talks between Afghan government and Taliban. Officials deny any 'peace talks' - report that attendees were invited for Iftar rather than negotiations.

2. Pakistan announces intent to deport all Afghan refugees from Bajour region. AP reports government "alleging many of them have links to militant groups."

3. China cancels visits and postpones contracts in protest of Pentagon go-ahead on Taiwan arms sale.

4. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert meets with Russian President Medvedev in Moscow. Expected to discuss Russian arms sales to Iran and Syria, as well as trafficking to Lebanon.

AFGHANISTAN
Saudis reportedly host talks with Taliban, Afghan gov - USAToday
Saudi meeting of Afghans 'was not peace talks' - Scotsman
US defense chief rejects defeatism in Afghanistan - AFP

BELARUS
U.S. to lure Belarus out of Russia's shadow - Washington Times

CHINA
China cancels visit over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan - LA Times
China Cancels, Postpones Military Contacts with US Over Taiwan Arms Sale Approval - VOA

INDIA
Toll of violence in Assam rises - BBC

INDONESIA
Islamic Group Gains Power in Indonesia - NYTimes

IRAN
Iran, Egypt normalizing relations says FM official - Tehran Times

IRAQ
Iraqis Unite to Restore Minority Representation Law - NYTimes

ISRAEL
Israel's Olmert brings security concerns to Russia - AP

NORTH KOREA
US, North Korea seek compromise in nuclear deadlock - AP

PAKISTAN
Pakistan to deport all Afghans from tribal region - AP
Pakistan leader's India comments irk establishment - AFP
20 in Pakistan Die in Bombing - WaPo
Pakistan Debt Protection Cost Soars as Reserves Fall - WSJ

SOMALIA
Mortar rounds hit market in Somalia, 17 killed - AP

SUDAN
Nigerian peacekeeper killed in ambush in Darfur - Reuters

THAILAND
Police, Protesters Clash Outside Thai Parliament - WSJ

TURKEY
Turkey hits PKK targets in Iraq on Tuesday - IHT

UNITED STATES
Dangerous move for NORAD? Closing Cheyenne Mountain Risk Security - Washington Times

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe's MDC Wants International Help to End Talks Impasse - Bloomberg

October 6, 2008

1. British general rotating out creates firestorm saying Afghanistan war "can't be won," adding to existing calls within Britain and Canada to open talks with Taliban and/or withdraw forces.

2. Suspected US missile strike in Pakistan likely killed senior leader based on Taliban reaction in the area.

3. A secret 2005 Spanish defense ministry report states that Pakistani military intelligence (ISI) and al-Qaeda aided the Taliban in Afghan assassination plots.

4. French FM says Israel is preparing a military solution to prevent a nuclear Iran. Is urging Israel to use sanctions approach.

AL QAEDA
Al-Qaeda Boasts Financial Crisis Is Proof of U.S. Defeat - FOX News
Ghadan Lives: Resurfaces in New Tape - ABC

AFGHANISTAN
We can't defeat Taliban, says Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith - Times Online
Analysis: the chances of victory in Afghanistan - Telegraph
Plays In Pakistan: British commander rules out victory in Afghanistan - DAWN
Plays In Pakistan: Afghan war can’t be won: Britain - Daily Times
US for joint border patrols - Nation (Pakistan)
In Poverty and Strife, Women Test Limits - NY Times
Facebook popularity rubbing off in Afghanistan - CTV
Bus passengers defy Taliban on road to renewal - Washington Times

GEORGIA
Russian Forces Begin to Shut Georgia Checkpoints - NY Times

GUANTANAMO BAY
Uighur Detainees May Be Released to U.S. - Washington Post

IRAN
Israel expected to bomb Iran, French foreign minister says - Telegraph
Iran urges Pakistan to help free kidnapped police - International Herald Tribune

IRAQ
U.S. military says al Qaeda in Iraq mastermind dead - CNN
Alleged top al-Qaeda figure Abu Rami killed in shoot out - Times Online
Retaliatory Turkish Airstrikes Target Kurdish Rebels in Iraq - Washington Post
Bomber Strikes During Raid in Iraq - Washington Post
Egypt's top diplomat in Iraq - News24

ISRAEL
Israel tries to dissuade Russia from selling weapons system to Iran - Xinhua

KAZAKHSTAN
Kazakhstan Seeks to Balance East and West - NY Times

PAKISTAN
Spain: Confidential report says Pakistan intelligence agency aided Taliban - AKI
Senior Taliban militant said to have been killed - Washington Times
Suspected US missile strike kills 20 in Pakistan - AP
Taliban 'angry' at missile strike - Channel 4 News
Pakistan's fresh resolve: Army Mandate to Win in Bajaur - CS Monitor
Crackdown on militants by tribal volunteers - DAWN
Zardari expects world to come up with $100bn - DAWN
Pakistan Insists No Deal Made With U.S. on Air Strikes - FOX News

SYRIA
Syria: Al-Qaeda mastermind said to be captured - Los Angeles Times

VENEZUELA
Russia's warships head for exercise with Venezuelan navy - Times Online
IIran, Venezuela sign multi-billion-dollar deals - Press TV (Iran)
Chavez's Cheap Oil Gives Him Sway Over U.S. Allies, Aid Funds - Bloomberg
Student opposition leader gunned down in Venezuela - AP

October 3, 2008

1. As two bombs exploded killing over 2 dozen Shi'a in Baghdad, some reports overstate greater significance in headlines like "Attacks Belie Steps on Reconciliation." Bad actors clearly remain, but divisive effect among Iraqi general public does not approach reactions of broad retaliatory attacks against sects.

2. Iran continues to employ double speak, with one representative stating that Iran's pursuit of full enrichment is non-negotiable while another states that the process can be exchanged for guaranteed nuclear fuel supplies. IAEA says Iran not in compliance or disclosure.

3. US technology is said employed in discovering and disrupting Hamas' underground tunnel smuggling operations beneath the Gaza-Egypt border.

4. Syria says recent attacks have caused border buildup near Lebanon. Hizballah reportedly ordered all forces out of Syria and banned travel there.

AFGHANISTAN
Karzai seeks Saudi help for talks with Mullah Omar - Daily Times

GAZA STRIP
American Technology Stopping Hamas Tunnel Smuggling? - Ynetnews

GEORGIA
Putin claims Ukraine aid in Georgia - Washington Times

IRAN
Two Iranian Faces: Iran out to stay nuclear course - Chicago Tribune
Two Iranian Faces: Iran ties enrichment halt to fuel import guarantee - Reuters

IRAQ
Oliver North: What the Media Isn't Reporting - Human Events
Suicide bombers kill 24 during 2 Baghdad Shi'ite services - Washington Times
Overstatement Alert: Attacks Belie Steps on Reconciliation - Washington Post
As Bombs Fall Silent in Samarra, an Iraqi City Rebuilds - NY Times

ISRAEL
IDF: 'If we leave the West Bank, it's a big risk' - Haaretz

NORTH KOREA
North Korea, Myanmar Cozy Up on Nuclear Technology - Asia Times

PAKISTAN
US to boost Pakistan’s anti-terror capability - DAWN
‘No Eid prayers in open places’ - DAWN
Suicide attack blamed on 'foreign elements' - AKI
Confronting Taliban, Pakistan Finds Itself at War - NY Times

RUSSIA
Opposition Party to Disband, Ally With Kremlin - Washington Post

SOMALIA
Islamists Establish Sharia Law in Southern Somalia Town - Moneybiz

SUDAN
Japan to send troops to UN in Sudan - Reuters

SYRIA
Syria rejects opening military sites to atom probe - Reuters
Syrian Army on heightened alert amid fears of fresh attacks - AKI
Hizballah orders members out of Syria - Jerusalem Post
No Consensus on Bombing - IWPR

UNITED KINGDOM
U.S. to build new, more secure embassy in London - Washington Times

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