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January 14, 2011

1. Protests in Tunisia continue as protesters call for the end of president Ben Ali's rule. Tunisian Gov't was criticized earlier for being too forceful and abusive against peaceful protesters previously. Police today had been ordered to show restraint, but tear gas and beatings were eventually emoployed on the capital's streets. Protests organized by Socialists are spreading through North Africa and in Jordan, where Islamists vowed to join in.
UPDATE: President Ali has dismissed the (rest of) Tunisia's government in response to persistent protest.

2. A trial in Nigeria is set to begin in which details of Iranian arms smuggling to West African guerrillas are expected to be disclosed. As is the case with the recent spike in Lebanon, ahead of public disclosures and/or indictments against Iran or its agents (Hizballah), the Islamic Republic can be expected to intimidate, influence or cloud the cycle with terror attacks or other over-shadowing events.

3. The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has asked Myanmar (Burma) for permission to inspect their nuclear facilities. Burma is believed to have shipped uranium ore to North Korea in exchange for weapons and technology. Iran has long had the same deal, shipping cash instead of ore.

Taliban Could Drop Oppostion to Girls' Education? - VOA
September: Taliban bomb girls' school near Peshawar - Daily News
November: Taliban Bombs Girls School In Pakistan - RTT News
Just Yesterday? Pakistan Blast Kills Female Teachers, Injures Students - NDTV

IAEA seeks permission from Myanmar for nuke inspectors to visit - Washington Times
Background: US Cables Detail Myanmar-North Korea Nuclear Cooperation Including Uranium Export - ISIS
Conclusion: North Korea Wants Uranium for Weapons, South Says - NTI

China falling short on enforcing sanctions on Iran - CS Monitor

Precursor to Violence: Details on Iran arms smuggling to West Africa guerrillas to be disclosed - Telegraph
Major powers snub Iran invite for nuclear tour - New York Post
U.S. agencies believe Iran's nuclear efforts have slowed - Reuters

Hundreds protest over high prices in south Jordan - Reuters
'Organized by the Jordan Social Leftist Movement' w/support from unions - VOA
Jordan's Islamists say will join opposition protests on jobs, inflation - AP
Socialists Ignite, Tunisia to Jordan? "Social conflict in Maghreb has international implications" - World Socialist

Lebanon PM in Turkey Following Government Collapse - VOA
On Turkey: Turkish PM: "Turkey Stands By Hamas," is a "Political Group," Not Terrorists - Arutz Sheva

Soldiers accused of permitting arms to get to AQ cells, taking payments - AKI

Gates to North Korea: End belligerent acts - CNN
U.S. Can Eliminate North Korean Missile Sites, SoKor General Says - NTI
South Korea Reluctant to Resume Talks With North - VOA

Taliban kill female police officer, her relatives in Pakistan - AFP
Police investigate TV journalist's murder in Karachi - AKI

NATO, Russia Plan Meeting on Missile Defense Collaboration - NTI
Russia puts its own addendum to New START nuclear treaty - Monsters & Critics
Ask A Pole: Crash report angers Poles and shakes ties with Russia - Washington Post
Ask A Russian: IAC report not to affect Russia-Poland thaw - Voice of Russia

UPDATE: Tunisian President Dismisses Government Amid Protests - VOA
In Tunisia's capital, a peaceful protest turns violent - CNN
Protesters Chant, Calling President "Assassin" - VOA
Protesters Call on Tunisian Leader Ben Ali to Quit - WSJ

January 13, 2011

1. Hizballah's withdrawal of its ministers from the Lebanese government has caused a collapse. Move is seen as directed by Iran and timed to influence/protest expected UN tribunal indictments of Hizballah terrorists in the 2005 Hariri assassination.

2. US sends top representatives, including the Vice President, to contain relations and strains in Pakistan following the assassination of a governor in Islamabad and the weakening of the Zardari government. On one had, long term support is assured while on the other hand the gov't is prodded to deal with AQ & Taliban swiftly.

3. Latest high-level visits to China signal US efforts to smooth relations there, too. China seen flexing in displays of power and influence, including test flight of its stealth fighter. The contentious topic of a free Taiwan is likely to hit center stage soon.

Pakistan wants Muslim states' troops in Afghanistan - Sify (India)

Member of top al-Qaeda operative's cell denied habeas petition - Long War Journal
Morocco says soldiers let arms get to al-Qaeda - Reuters
Al-Qaeda claims kidnapping of Frenchmen found dead in Niger - Reuters
Pakistan frees leader with links to al-Qaeda and Taliban - Telegraph (UK)
Obama administration ramping up war on terror - Washington Times

New China-US Showdown Looming Over Taiwan - Washington Times
China's Stealth-Fighter Bombshell 'Orchestrated from Above' - The Chosun Ilbo (Korea)
Chinese lawyer discloses his torture - Telegraph (UK)
Tajikistan Cedes Land to China in Border Deal - BBC

Iran-Backed Group Claims Attack on US Forces in Iraq Using New Types of Rocket - MEMRI

Hizballah withdraws from Lebanon government, causing collapse - Monsters & Critics
Iran's Role in Collapse of Lebanese Gov't May Serve as Warning for Iraqis - FOX News
Described as "Hizballah's Latest Suicide Mission" - New York Times
Lacking Leverage, U.S. Grasps for a Solution in Lebanon - New York Times
Lebanon turmoil unlikely to descend into clash - Jerusalem Post
Still: Israeli troops on alert after Lebanon govt falls - Washington Post

Gates: N. Korea will pose direct threat to U.S. - Washington Times
N.Korean Regime Intensifies 'Reign of Terror' with Executions, Shoot to Kill Orders - Chosun Ilbo (S. Korea)
N. Korea seen as drawing bead on both Seoul, U.S. - Washington Times

In Pakistan, Biden pledges long-term American support - Washington Post
Take speedy action against AQ, Taliban: Mullen to Pak - Hindustan Times (India)
Pakistan's Weakened President Zardari heads to US - AFP
Indian soldier injured in Pakistan firing across Kashmir border - Monsters & Critics
Militants blow up gas pipeline in SW Pakistan - AFP
Bomb kills policeman, wounds five in NW Pakistan - AFP

Egypt to Hamas: Stop Gaza rockets or face new Israel war - Reuters
But... Hamas facing difficulties with Palestinian militants (Islamic Jihad, PFLP, PRC) - Asharq Al-Awsat

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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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