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January 6, 2010

1. A Washington Times editorial does a bit of crucial reporting by highlighting known connections and cooperation between the Iranian regime and al-Qaeda, citing intercepted message of thanks from al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri to the Iranian regime for assistance in a 2008 Yemen attack.

2. China is now saying that the time is not right for harsher sanctions on Iran. The veto-wielding UN Security Council member arrives just in time, again, to quash efforts. China also delivered a rush order to Iran for armored riot control trucks with water cannons and plow blades to help put down Iranian protesters

3. The Afghanistan government has asked the UN to ease some sanctions on the Taliban. Seeks to ease restrictions on Taliban members who "renounce violence and agree to support the government."

4. In Pakistan, a US drone strike in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas targeted al-Qaeda and Taliban elements. Meanwhile, to the north in the disputed Kashmir territory, a suicide bomber killed three Pakistani soldiers. An attempt to escalate tensions between India and Pakistan? Possible.

AFGHANISTAN
Afghan Blast Kills 4 Children, Wounds US Soldiers - ABC
Afghanistan Asks UN to Ease Some Taliban Sanctions - New York Times

IRAN
Iran Shielding Its Nuclear Efforts in Maze of Tunnels - New York Times
At U.N., China insists it's not 'right' time for sanctions on Iran - Washington Post
Context: Chinese Armored Anti-Riot Water Cannon Trucks Delivered to Iran - LA Times
Commentary: End appeasement of Iran's regime - Guardian (UK)
Iran arrests 180 in renewed clampdown: website - AFP

IRAQ
Iraq frees militant leader linked to British hostages, head of Iraqi Shia network - Chicago Tribune

ISRAEL
Israel's Own March of Lawyers: IDF to seek legal advice during future conflicts - Ha'aretz

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Hamas 2010 budget mainly 'foreign aid' from Iran - World Tribune
Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) commander killed in Israeli airstrike in Gaza - YNet News
PRC Background: Anatomy of An Attack: The Palestinian Tunnel Raid - ThreatsWatch (2006)
PRC Background: Quick Peek at The Popular Resistance Committees - ThreatsWatch (2006)
PRC Background: Israel's Axis - Hamas Calls PIJ-PRC Attack "Gift from God" - National Review (2007)

PAKISTAN
Suspected drone strikes kill militants in Pakistan - CNN
Bomber kills three Pakistan troops in Kashmir - AFP

YEMEN
Yemen arrests 3 al Qaeda suspects - CNN

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