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January 6, 2009

1. Urban warfare continues in Gaza, with Gaza City surrounded and sealed as Hamas and IDF soldiers attempt to lure each other into more vulnerable positions. International press for ceasefire continues without progress.

2. Iran says it has recruited 70,000 volunteer suicide bombers for its much-publicized shahid brigades, and claims it has had to restrain them from trekking to Gaza to kill Israeli soldiers.

3. As Ethiopia prepares for withdrawal from Somalia, feuding Islamists - including two embattled ICU leaders - mend fences, eying the weakness of an unprotected Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

4. After India handed evidence of Pakistani ties to Mumbai attacks, Pakistan's PM says "credible" evidence is required.

GAZA
Gaza City: IDF and Hamas Forces Try Luring Each Other Into Vulnerable Positions - Jerusalem Post
Hamas puts Gazans in danger by drawing IDF into urban warfare - Haaretz
Israel, Hamas Trade Fire as Gaza Truce Efforts Fail - Bloomberg
UN Security Council to weigh new call for effective Gaza truce - AFP

ISRAEL
Israel looks warily to the Lebanon border - Jerusalem Post
Rocket slams into Ashdod kindergarten - Jerusalem Post

IRAN
Iran says over 70,000 students sign up for martyrdom operations - Xinhua
Related: Indonesiaian group says 4,000 volunteers offer to fight against Israel - Adnkronos
Iran firms told: cut ties to 'Zionist'-held firms - Reuters

LEBANON
Observers in Israel, Lebanon suspect Hezbollah may escalate tensions on border - Haaretz
U.S., Lebanon Sign Cargo Scanning Deal - Global Security Newswire

PAKISTAN
11 Bajaur tribesmen kidnapped in Mohmand - Dawn
Taliban bans education for girls in Swat Valley - Washington Times
Pakistan and U.S. Rebuild Strained Military Ties - WSJ
FBI to pursue Mumbai probe 'to its conclusion': US envoy - Daily Times
'Credible' evidence needed, says Gilani - Dawn (Pak)

RUSSIA
Putin Orders Reduction in Gas Sent to Europe Through Ukraine - Washington Post

SOMALIA
Ethiopia Leaves Somalia With Many Questions Unanswered - VOA
Four Islamist Insurgents Make Unity - Shabelle
Feuding ICU Islamists, Sheikh Sharif and Sheikh Aweys, to Meet in Cairo - Garowe

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    What on Earth can Usama bin Laden, the mystical calculus of climate change and US Homeland Security have in common? Does bin Laden really agree with the President of the United States on matters weather? How is it that the...

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