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July 28, 2009

1. Obama Administration attempting to engage Syria in order to push "comprehensive Middle East peace agreement" regarding Israel. Other Arab states minimally receptive and Administration continues to push Israel on settlements.

2. Britain, through FM David Miliband, continues pressing for talks with "moderate Taliban" as UK public support for the war erodes. CENTCOM commander Gen. Petraeus, who lead way in talks with Iraqi Sunnis to fight al-Qaeda there, insists there is no "moderate Taliban" in Afghanistan.

3. SecDef Gates says "non-military action can deter Iran" from nuclear and other pursuits. Meanwhile, US seeks cutting trade sanctions on Iran ally fellow state-sponsor of terrorism Syria.

4. Top Lebanese defense officials say that Hizballah, armed and funded by Iran and Syria, has been actively training parts of the lesser equipped and less capable Lebanese Army. Probable Intent: Terrorist co-option of swath of army during any internal civil conflict.

AFGHANISTAN
UK Forcing Hand On An Afghan Exit Scenario? - UPI
Nine killed as UN urges Taliban not to scupper vote - AFP
Gun attack severely injures Afghan campaigner - BBC

CHINA
China Blasts Japan Over Exiled Uighur Leader's Visit - VOA

IRAN
Non-Military Actions Can Deter Iran, Gates Says - Washington Post
US and Israel differ on strategy if Iran talks fail - Boston Globe
Editorial: Defining Away The Iranian Nuclear Threat - Washington Times
140 prisoners from Iran election crackdown freed from Evin Prison - AP
Iran Orders Kahrizak Detention Center Closed - New York Times
Blow to Ahmadinejad: Iran's industry minister found guilty of fraud - al-Jazeera
Ahmadinejad Seen as Increasingly Vulnerable Since Re-election - New York Times
Ahmadinejad struggles with crisis of authority: Disarray intensifying - Washington Times

IRAQ
SecDef Gates Visits Iraq on Drawdown, Future Mil Equipment Options - New York Times

ISRAEL
Lebanon blast reflects Iran threat - Jerusalem Post
Training: IDF creates replica Hizbullah village, forest - Jerusalem Post
US Peace Envoy in Egypt in Effort to Revive Arab-Israeli Talks - VOA
US pressure on Arab states grows, but with little to show for it - BBC
US envoy presses Israel on settlements - again - AP
Israeli missile defense system improved - UPI

KYRGYZSTAN
Vote in Kyrgyzstan Gets Harsh Criticism - Wall Street Journal
Kyrgyz opposition in Russia after disputed vote - Reuters

LEBANON
Leb Defense Officials: Hizballah training Lebanese Armed Forces - Jerusalem Post
Hizballah sees progress on Lebanon government - Reuters
Lebanon On Shaky Ground - Again - Middle East Times

MEXICO
Mexican cartels boom: U.S.' Colombia focus may have contributed - Washington Times

NORTH KOREA
Report: North Korea willing to hold direct talks with US - AP
Background: Bush Administration Rejects Direct Talks With North Korea - FOX News (2006)
Background: U.S. Rejects Direct North Korea Talks Despite Threats (Now-SecState Clinton Criticizes) - PBS (2006)

PAKISTAN
Pakistan turns on its jihadi assets - Asia Times
Police Officer Is Found Beheaded in Pakistan's Swat Valley - New York Times
Pakistan says India's nuclear-powered sub threatens regional peace - CS Monitor

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
U.S. Sends $200M to Palestinians in Budget Crisis - New York Times
Strict Hamas dress code aims to make Gaza more Islamic - AP
'One dead, five missing' in Gaza smuggling tunnel collapse - AFP

SOMALIA
SecState Hillary Clinton to meet president of Somalia - Telegraph (UK)
Somali Government Forces say Insurgents Pushed from Strategic City - VOA
Piracy upswing expected off Somalia - CNNi

SYRIA
U.S. Woos Damascus by Easing Export Ban - Wall Street Journal
US seeks sanctions waivers for exports to Syria - AFP
Context: Iran and Syria: State Sponsorship in the Age of Terror Networks - Washington Institute
Syria says it is rebuilding relations with US - AP
British talks with Syria offer hope of reconciliation - Telegraph (UK)
Syria says can play role in solving Iran disputes - Reuters
Syria's Real Role With Iran Disputes:
Leader Nasrallah Admits Iran feeds Hizballah Through Syria - ThreatsWatch (2007)
Israelis 'blew apart Syrian nuclear cache' - Times (UK) 2006
'Syria built missile facility on nuclear site bombed by IAF' - Ha'aretz (Israel) 2009
Iran, Syria Fail on UN Nuclear Cooperation, IAEA Says - Bloomberg 2008
Syria, North Korea helped Iran's nuclear programme: Report - Thaindian (Thailand) 2008
Iran, Syria continuing nuke projects - Jerusalem Post 2009
Iran, Syria Got Indirect U.S. Nuclear Aid: $55M in 'Peaceful Nuclear' Funds - Wall Street Journal 2009

UNITED STATES
7 arrested in North Carolina on terrorism charges - Los Angeles Times
Jihad cell members from North Carolina planned attacks in Israel - Al-Bawaba (Jordan)
Daniel Boyd Federal Indictment (Detailed, PDF) - WRAL (Raleigh, NC)
American Al-Qaeda gets life in prison for George W. Bush assassination plot - AFP

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