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May 04, 2009

1. As US concerns over Pakistani stability and nuke security rise, Obama administration is reaching out to Nawaz Sharif, potentially tapping for support in power-sharing strategy. Sharif spokesman was forced to deny that he had said that "Taliban justice is very fair."

2. Eritrea, which hosted al-Qaeda-trained Somali Sheikh Aweys during his exile, has denied charges it assisted arms smuggling for Islamists in Somalia.

3. US overtures to Syria continue to cause concern among Israeli government, beginning to question nature of Obama administration's support and its aims.

4. As Taliban violence begins to spike while Obama administration seeks 'moderate' Taliban to engage, UN is urging Taliban participate in coming summer Afghan elections.

AFGHANISTAN
Wave of attacks in south Afghanistan kill 29 - AFP
Afghanistan UN chief urges Taliban to contest presidential poll - Guardian (UK)

IRAN
'Moderate' presidential candidate wanted by Interpol for 1994 Jewish center bombing in Argentina - AP
Iran shells Kurdish rebel positions in north Iraq - Washington Post

IRAQ
Iraq Amputee First Person Fitted With Revolutionary 'Bionic' Legs - New York Post
Iraq rules out extension of U.S. withdrawal dates - Washington Post
Iraq issues warrants for trade chiefs over corruption - Reuters
Gunfight Breaks Out as Iraqi Soldiers Try to Arrest Trade Officials - New York Times
Iraq police arrest high-ranking member of U.S.-allied movement - Los Angeles Times

ISRAEL
Israel Will Accept Palestinian State, Rejects Syria Peace Talks - Bloomberg
UN troops to deploy in Lebanon border village if IDF withdraws - Ha'aretz (Israel)
Another American Overture to Syria - Arutz Sheva (Israel)
Historian Michael Oren named new Israeli ambassador to U.S. - Los Angeles Times

MEXICO
Swine flu scare doesn't stop Mexico's drug war - Kansas City Star
Key Midterm Campaigns Start in Mexico - Wall Street Journal

PAKISTAN
In Pakistan, U.S. has little faith, few options - Pioneer Press
U.S. Fears Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons at Risk - FOX News
US to offer dual control of drones? - Washington Post
In Pakistan, U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition Nawaz Sharif - New York Times
Zardari summoned to Washington to meet Obama - Reuters
US wants rival Nawaz Sharif to be Zardari's PM: Mushahid - The News International (Pakistan)
U.S. fully backing Pakistan government: Holbrooke - The Hindu (India)
Pakistan Says It Is Meeting Terms of Peace Deal - New York Times
Militants Dispute Pakistan Government Creating Islamic Courts - VOA
Pakistan Fissures I: Hating the Manor-Born - Aaron Mannes

SOMALIA
Eritrea, Which Hosted Sheikh Aweys, Says It Does Not Recognize Somali Government - AllAfrica
Eritrea govt rejects allegations of importing weapons to Somalia - Garowe
French navy captures 11 suspected pirates - UPI
South Korean warship rescues North Korean vessel off Somalia - AP
Cruise lines begin dropping Middle East calls as pirate worries grow - USA Today

UNITED KINGDOM
Britain Pays $900K to Keep al-Qaeda Suspects From U.S. Hands - Washington Post

UNITED STATES
11 arrested near Fort Lewis trying to block Strykers headed for Afghanistan - Seattle Times
Detainee Compromises Likely: Marri Case Suggests That Interrogations Will Hinder Trials - Washington Post

VENEZUELA
The Politics of Intimidation in Venezuela - Wall Street Journal

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    [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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