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May 05, 2009

1. Just as Iran lays into the West and Israel over the nuclear crisis, SecDef Gates set out to convince Arab allies that they should not worry about the possible coming US-Iran rapprochement under Obama.

2. International leaders begin to court Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif as the Obama administration sets about elevating him to Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the Taliban are back on the offensive in Swat, looking to make gains and counter any stability Washington has in mind.

3. Son of assassinated former PM Rafik Hariri charged publicly that Syria is plotting a return to Lebanon to reassert dominance. Fears grow that Lebanese and Israeli concerns may be expendable as US delegation heads to Damascus for new relations.

EGYPT
Egypt: Israeli nukes 'greatest threat' - Jerusalem Post

GAZA
UN Investigators To Set Agenda For Gaza Fact-Finding Mission - VOA
Israel urges Spain to halt 'cynical' Gaza war crimes probe - Ha'aretz (Israel)

IRAN
Iran assails West, Israel at talks on nuclear treaty - Washington Post
Gates: Arab Allies Should Not Worry About Possible US-Iran Rapprochement - VOA
Iran's Khamenei Rejects Ahmadinejad Move on Agencies - Bloomberg
Iran's Ahmadinejad suddenly cancels trip to three Latin American countries - Monsters and Critics

IRAQ
Iraq security at risk in crackdown on militias who fought al-Qaeda - Times Online (UK)
An Agenda for the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq - Nagl/Burton

ISRAEL
Hamas Says It Has Halted Rocket Strikes on Israel - For Now - New York Times
U.S., Israel Diverge on Palestinian Plan - Wall Street Journal
U.N. to press Israel to vacate Lebanon border village - Reuters
Hizballah cell in Egypt scouted Israeli targets 'deep in Israel' - Jerusalem Post

LEBANON
Sa'ad Hariri accuses Syria of plotting return in Lebanon - Daily Star (Lebanon)
Syria looks to Lebanon War for tips on arming Hizballah - Ha'aretz (Israel)

PAKISTAN
Taliban on the offensive in Swat - Long War Journal
Tribal Areas and Terrorists: The Battle for Control of Pakistan - Der Spiegel (Germany)
Militants besiege 46 security men in Mingora - DAWN (Pakistan)
Nawaz Sharif would consider Pakistan unity coalition pushed by US - Financial Times (UK)
Nawaz & Friends: Usama bin Laden offered to buy votes for Nawaz: Qazi - DAWN (2006, Pakistan)
In New Nawaz-fest, China "Against Aid with Strings" - DAWN (Pakistan)
US seeks Saudi help in Pakistan (Read: Nawaz Sharif) - Daily Times (Pakistan)

SOMALIA
Fight against pirates also needed ashore: U.S. Navy - Reuters

SYRIA
U.S. Delegation Headed Back To Syria - CBS
US rejects Syria's call for dialogue with Hamas, Hizballah - AFP
Hamas 'not seeking exit strategy' from Syria - Adnkronos (Italy)

TURKEY
40 killed in attack on wedding in Turkey, PKK suspected - Telegraph (UK)

UNITED STATES
Obama Rebuffed on Funds to Close Guantanamo - Wall Street Journal
Lawyer's letter counters torture report in Senate hearing - Washington Times

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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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