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November 17, 2008

1. The recently closed US supply route through Peshawar to the Khyber Pass is to be reopened Monday. Pakistani forces ahev been given "license to kill" to protect NATO supplies.

2. Discussion of Iraqi Cabinet approval of Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) continues from yesterday. Full withdrawal timeline for end of 2011, operational immunity for US combat troops, Sadr calls for armed resistance, al-Sistani backs Iraqi government measure.

3. Curious timing in Lebanon as two reports surface: Saad Hariri said to be making political ties with Lebanon's Salafi Sunnis, while his al-Mustaqbal (Future) movement's newspaper released what it says is proof that al-Qaeda-linked Lebanese Fatah al-Islam was backed by Syrian intelligence and not the al-Mustaqbal movement.

4. Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh is reported to have said that Hamas will 'restore the calm' if Israel lifts its blockade, a blockade that began after attacks from Gaza.

AFGHANISTAN
Acid attack girl vows to go back to school 'even if they kill me' - DAWN

AL QAEDA
New Gaza Jihadist Group Vows Loyalty to Al-Qaeda - MEMRI

CONGO
Militant leader vows to honor U.N. cease-fire - AP
Congo rebels advance despite cease-fire - Washington Times

IRAN
Unity on new Iran sanctions elusive - Chicago Tribune
Two-Faced Tehran - Baltimore Sun

IRAQ
Pact, Approved in Iraq, Sets Time for U.S. Pullout - NY Times
US troops leave more security in hands of Iraqis - The Guardian (UK)
For More, See Also: DailyBriefing: November 16, 2008 - ThreatsWatch
After nemesis' death, Sons of Iraq leader recovers from attack - The Long War Journal
Commentary: The Audacity of Victory: How To End a War - National Review

ISRAEL
Does Election of Dovish Obama Usher in Netanyahu in Israel?- The National
PA crackdown has Hamas reducing cash transfers to W. Bank - Haaretz
American ISIS study urges Obama to press Israel over nuclear program - Haaretz
Hamas' Haniyeh: Calm to continue if blockade lifted - al-Bawaba
Palestinians Predict End of Gaza Ceasefire - BBC

KENYA
Pirates capture Saudi oil tanker south of Mombasa - BBC

LEBANON
Hizballah Calls for Referendum: Seeking to Legitimize Parallel Military Forces? - Counterterrorism Blog
Al-Mustaqbal publishes 'proof' that Syria, not Future (Mustaqbal), helped Fatah al-Islam - Daily Star
Fatah Islam Testimonies: Syrian Intel Behind its Operations in Lebanon - An-Nahar
Salafi Sunnis and Saad Hariri team up in politics - Los Angeles Times
Hezbollah Leader Warns Against Obama Hopes - NY Times

PAKISTAN
Pakistan reopens Khyber crossing to NATO convoys - Long War Journal
US Supply Route to Re-Open, Pak Forces get ‘licence to kill’ to protect NATO supplies - Daily Times
Pakistan torn over its tribal areas - Asia Times

RUSSIA
Putin Wanted to Hang Georgian President 'by the balls' - An-Nahar
Putin may return for even longer as Duma clears way for longer terms in Russia - International Herald Tribune

SPAIN
Suspected Basque separatist ETA military chief arrested in France - Telegraph

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