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January 12, 2009

1. IDF forces have entered densely populated Gaza City and continue to press Hamas. Israeli officials said Hamas is beginning to crack under weight of Israeli assault, IDF "nearing goals" of operation. Groundwork being effectively laid to assist Fatah challenge to Hamas in Gaza.

2. President-elect Obama said Sunday that he intends to take a "new tack" in dealing with Iran even while his overall visible approach to regional conflicts shows little to no difference with current US policy, with possible exception of plans to close Guantanamo Bay prison. Iran reportedly will "consider" Obama's words.

3. Russian gas dispute, again at peak of winter, continues as Ukraine and Bulgaria hit hard. Bloomberg report says the dispute "masks falling prices" on the market, which hits Russia hard. Oil and gas are Russia's largest exports and responsible for recent economic growth until price fall.

4. Afghan Taliban forces crossed the border into Pakistan and attacked Pakistani soldiers in a reversal of past cross-border trends. Pakistan - not Afghanistan - remains Taliban and al-Qaeda's 'crown jewel' and most important insurgency.

WAR IN GAZA
IDF Moves Into Gaza City - AP
Cracks In Hamas Beginning To Appear, Israel Nearing Goal In Gaza - ThreatsWatch
Chief Hamas Rocket Engineer Killed - Times (UK)
Israel Eases Airstrikes in Gaza - IHT
IDF Denies AP Report That Errant Mortar Hit Gaza School - Jerusalem Post

IRAN
Obama Promises New Tack To Deal With Iran - BBC
Iran To Consider Obama Remarks - IHT

IRAQ
Ansar al-Sunna Leader Captured, Tied to Bombings - Seattle Times

PAKISTAN
Afghan Taliban Cross Into Pakistan, Attack Soldiers - Boston Globe
Pakistani Sunni, Shi'a Groups Strike Truce After Fighting - AFP
Analyst Says Defeating Extremism In Pakistan Requires Regional Strategy - RFE/RL
Gaza Protest Target US Consulate in Pakistan - AP

RUSSIA
Gas Peaking as Gazprom-Ukraine Dispute Masks Falling Demand - Bloomberg
Bulgaria Rations Gas as Ex-Ally Russia Cuts Supply - Bloomberg

  • AudioFebruary 2, 2010
    [Listen Here]
    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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