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20 July, 2009

1. Taliban release propaganda video of captured US soldier, PFC Bowe Bergdahl. US Military denounces video while circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance continue to raise questions of how and why he left his Paktika base.

2. Ayatollah Rafsanjani's bid for a compromise was shot down by the Khamenei regime in Iran as the standoff between the theocratic regime and the Iranian public continues to become further entrenched.

3. Russia claims anti-priacy operations are the reason for expanding and fortifying its naval base of operations in Syria. VP Biden is visiting Ukraine and Georgia in what appears mission to assuage fears of at-risk allies after Obama's Moscow visit.

4. In Somalia, an ICU commander characterized as "pro-gov't" is said to have defected to the Islamist insurgent group Hizb-ul Islami, and a Somali MP abandoned the falling gov't, but was arrested by Somaliland police upon arrival.

AFGHANISTAN
Taliban release video of captured US soldier - Telegraph (UK)
Full Taliban Video of Captured US Soldier - Jawa Report
SecState Clinton: U.S. Doing 'Everything We Can' to Free Bergdahl - ABC
Very Good Brief Overview/Analysis from Crittenden on Bergdahl Situation - Jules Crittenden
Background: Soldier captured in Afghanistan may have left base alone - McClatchy (02JUL09)

ARGENTINA
Inquiry on 1994 Blast at Argentina Jewish Center Gets New Life - New York Times

IRAN
Rafsanjani defies Ayatollah Khamenei as protesters turn out in force - Telegraph (UK)
Failed 'Peace' Deal: Iran Regime Nixes Rafsanjani's Compromise - NY Post
Iran reformists seek referendum on election results - Los Angeles Times
Dubious: Regime Claims MeK 'Plot to kill opposition leaders foiled' - AKI (Italy)
Ayatollah Khamenei warns against helping Iran's enemies - Washington Post

ISRAEL
While Refusing Talks with Netanyahu, PA Meets Iran FM in Egypt - Jerusalem Post

LEBANON
"Crowd" Attacks UN Peacekeepers Investigating Hizballah Weapons Store Blast - CNN

MALI
Mali ex-rebels pledge to help tackle al-Qaeda in Northern Africa - BBC

MEXICO
Mexico detains 10 in torture, killings of federal agents - AP
Gunmen kill 5 at bar in Mexico tourist zone - MSNBC
Drug cartels imperil illegal immigrants in the desert - Los Angeles Times

NORTH KOREA
Outside world turns blind eye to North Korea gulag - MSNBC

PAKISTAN
Gunmen ambush Pakistan police in Peshawar - BBC
Mumbai attacker pleads guilty in Pakistani court - Washington Post
Policemen claim Kasab's confession reveals Pakistan's role - Times of India

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Hamas to free 20 Fatah prisoners - Xinhua
Two Palestinians suffocate in Gaza tunnel - AFP

RUSSIA
Russia beefing up its naval facilities in Syria for "anti-Piracy" - RIA Novosti
Biden in Ukraine to reassure on Russia 'reset' - AFP
Biden to greet eager allies in Ukraine and Georgia - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Old allies (CIS) signal loyalty to Russia has limits - Reuters

SOMALIA
"Pro-Gov't" ICU Commander Defects to Hizb-ul Islam Islamist rebels - Mareeg
Somalia MP Abandons Gov't, Returns to Somaliland, But Police Arrest Him - Somaliland Globe
Heavy Fighting And Shelling Wounds 13 People in Mogadishu - AllAfrica
Somalia's al-Shabaab Militia Bans Three United Nations Agencies - Bloomberg
France Seeking Prompt Release Of Captives In Somalia - NASDAQ

UNITED KINGDOM
Britain downgrades al-Qaeda terror attack alert level - Guardian (UK)

UNITED STATES
Minneapolis struggles with rise of Somali gangs - AP
Protesters Gather Outside Islamic Conference Near Chicago - FOX News
Hizb ut-Tahrir America: Let's Not Exaggerate; Let's Be Accurate - Counterterrorism Blog
Objections Over Al-Qaeda Hit Teams Rooted in Oversight Concerns, Not Proposal - FOX News

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