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February 10, 2010

1. Joint operations in Helmand Province in Afghanistan is proceeding quickly and well, reportedly. Primary forces are US Marines, British soldiers and the Afghan army.

2. More talk of the Chinese military pushing for the central government to us massive holdings in US debt - and critical American need for China to buy more - as leverage towards US concessions on defending Taiwan.

3. Congress passes sanctions on Iranian organizations run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and sanctioned one of its generals.

4. After Russia called NATO a threat and claimed the planned US missile shield for eastern European allies was actually aimed at Russi and not Iran, Russian muftis pronounced their support for the terrorist group Hamas, currently visiting Moscow.

AFGHANISTAN
Now Zad in Helmand Has Turned Around Faster Than Anyone Expected - ABC
Pakistan Is Said to Pursue Role in Afghan Talks With U.S. - New York Times

CHINA
Chinese see U.S. debt as weapon in Taiwan dispute - Washington Times
Yesterday: China PLA officers urge economic punch against U.S. - Reuters
Background: "Unrestricted Warfare," by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui - Cryptome.org

IRAN
US slaps new sanctions on Iran Revolutionary Guard - AP
U.S. Sanctions Four Iranian Firms - Wall Street Journal
Iran arrests revolution day 'plotters' - BBC
Italy Says Iranian Basij Militia Attacked Its Embassy - New York Times
Gentle diplomacy with Iran will not work - Boston Globe
Brazil cautions on sanctions against Iran - Reuters
Context: Amid US reachout, Iran talks of nuclear work with Brazil- PressTV (2009, Iran Regime)
Context: Venezuela announced nuclear energy cooperation program with Iran - MercoPress (2009)

ISRAEL
Israel bombs southern Gaza after rockets fired - JTA
Israel: Gaza crossing to stay shut as long as Hamas in power - Ha'aretz
Israel FM says talks with Palestinians likely soon - AFP
Yesterday: Abbas Says He May Accept Offer of 'Proximity' Talks with Israel - BusinessWeek

PAKISTAN
Pakistan confirms death of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud - Times (UK)
New rumors of the death of Pakistani Taliban leader emerge - Long War Journal
Terrorists from Swat, FATA active in Karachi: Malik - Daily Times
Earlier: Karachi violence blow to Pakistan economy - AFP

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Russian muftis to cooperate with HAMAS - Interfax
Hamas official warns of risk of war - Monsters and Critics

SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia defends al-Qaeda rehabilitation scheme - Telegraph (UK)

SOMALIA
Official says top Al Qaeda leader in Somalia killed - CS Monitor
Mogadishu readies for anti-al-Shabaab onslaught - AFP

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