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November 23, 2008

1. As US prepares to increase combat forces in Afghanistan, Canadian Defense Minister says some NATO countries "slacking" in their commitments, including avoidance of actual combat.

2. A US missile strike has killed British al-Qaeda member Rashid Rauf, who escaped Pakistani prison after arrest over foiled 2006 transatlantic airline bombings plot. Pakistani PM called another US strike killing a Taliban commander "intolerable."

3. Russia is threatening to cut Ukraine's gas supply this winter, as it did to Georgia last winter, over claims Ukraine owes $2.4 billion.

4. As Somali pirates boldly increase their maritime hijackings, Greece pays ransom while al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab insurgents prepare to descend on pirates' headquarter city.

AL QAEDA
Hunt for Brit Rashid Rauf that ended with Predator hellfire - Times Online (UK)
Related: RapidRecon: Escaping The Predators In Pakistan - ThreatsWatch
Related: RapidRecon: Kiyani Keeps Pakistan Ship Righted - ThreatsWatch

HAMAS
Inside the covert world of Gaza's rocket factories - CTV

AFGHANISTAN
Saudi Arabia offers asylum to Taliban's Mullah Omar - DAWN
Afghanistan: What Lessons to Apply from Iraq? - Small Wars Journal
Gates Backs Buildup of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan - Washington Post
Canadian Defense Minister says some NATO countries slacking in Afghanistan - CTV

IRAN
Iran denounces IAEA press leaks - UPI
The Leak: Iran Said to Have Nuclear Fuel for One Weapon - NY Times
Our Take: RapidRecon: Iran: The Genie Has Left The Building - ThreatsWatch
Iran hangs man convicted of spying for Israel - Washington Times

IRAQ
Iraqi Lawmakers Ready to Vote on US Security Deal (SOFA) - VOA
Obama accused of selling out on Iraq by picking hawks to run foreign policy - Telegraph
Our Take: Kudos To Obama For Ignoring Anti-War Extreme Left In This Regard - ThreatsWatch

ISRAEL
Qassams strike western Negev in latest threat to fragile truce - Haaretz
Candidate for U.S. security adviser wants NATO force in West Bank - Haaretz

LIBYA
Arab World Reacts Cautiously to US New Ambassador to Libya - VOA

PAKISTAN
PM Gillani calls latest US Drone Attack That Killed Taliban Leader 'Intolerable' - Adnkronos international
Al-Qaeda-friendly militants operating in Karachi, warns top advisor - Adnkronos international
Zardari proposes nuclear-free S Asia - Daily Times

RUSSIA
Bush Hails Georgian Revolution Ahead of Talks With Medvedev - Washington Post
Russian leader embarks on defiant Latin America tour - AFP

SOMALIA
Greeks pay ransom to Somali pirates for ship - Washington Times
AQ-linked al-Shabaab fighters enter Somalia pirate town and plan to attack - Telegraph

UKRAINE
Russia's Gazprom to stop winter gas deliveries to Ukraine over debt - UPI
Naftogaz owes nothing to Gazprom, says company's press center - Kyiv Post

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