1. General David Petraeus sounds the alert that the next two weeks are critical for the Pakistani government's survival. Level of commitment by military to face and defeat Taliban/al-Qaeda alliance in current fight will be key indicator.
2. If Pakistani government collapses, few realistic alternatives. Current president would be unseated and political rival Nawaz Sharif has no loyalty to or from the military. General Kiyani is left, either potential coup or military acceptance of Taliban-led government.
3. While North Korea demands apology, US SecState says no aid for North Korea. Less bold than appears: If NoKor returns to talks, aid will resume flow.
4. Captain of Maersk Alabama testifies before Senate that ships need trained armed crews to prevent hijackings, urges change in shippers' policies. Fellow crew member filed legal suit for endangerment yesterday.
Taliban announce 'countersurge' in Afghanistan - Christian Science Monitor
Official: Ospreys Heading to Afghanistan, New Trucks Not Heading Anywhere - Danger Room
China re-opens border with North Korea - UPI
Tipping Hand: Gates: Persuasion better tack against Iran's nuclear pursuits - CNN
Disrupting Tehran's Export of Technology and Weapons - Washington Institute
Venezuela, Iran Agree to Strengthen Military Ties - FOX News
Turkish air attacks target Kurdish militants in Iraq - AKI (Italy)
Britain Out: Combat Mission Formally Ends A Month Early - Washington Post
Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza smuggling tunnels - AFP
Italy frees hijacker of Achille Lauro ship - AP
It's Over: Lebanon tribunal fuels doubt by freeing suspected generals - Reuters
Subversion: Hizballah's Struggle to Change the Lebanese Regime - JCPA (Israel)
An edgy quiet descends over Mexico City - Los Angeles Times
Brandishing Nukes, North Korea Demands 'Apology' - Danger Room
US: No Economic Aid for North Korea - Unless More Talks - VOA
Petraeus: Next Two Weeks Critical to Pakistan's Survival - FOX News
Petraeus Gives Stark Warning of Potentially Imminent Pakistani Collapse - ThreatsWatch
Pakistan, Taliban battle for control of Buner - Long War Journal
Another 60 militants killed as Buner operation continues - DAWN (Pakistan)
U.S. Sees Promising Shift in Pakistan's Fight With Taliban - Wall Street Journal
Parliament: Zia, Musharraf can be tried for High Treason - DAWN (Pakistan)
Poor Headline: "Radical Islamist leader [Sheikh Aweys] condemns fighting in Somalia" - Xinhua (China)
Self-Contradicting Story: "Opposition leader calls for insurgents to stop killing" - Mareeg (Somalia)
Marri Admits Conspiring With Al-Qaeda Operatives; Faces Up to 15 Years - Washington Post
The Legal Left Comes to Somali Pirate's Defense - FrontPage
US Ship Captain Testifies to Congress on Piracy - VOA
Captain Phillips, once held by pirates, urges military protection and armed crews - Los Angeles Times