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February 7, 2011

1. Protests in Egypt continue as governance talks continue and banks re-open. Regardless the date of Mubarak's exit or the form of government Egypt will adopt, the push is on in the West to portray the Muslim Brotherhood as non-threatening. Meanwhile, the secretive Islamist organization distances itself from former IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei, no longer sensing the need for his perceived international appeal.

2. Seen as a warning to its external foes, Iran announces a new satellite and missile plan. But the regime's true threat lies within, and its prisoner execution rate in the past month is believed to be over 100. The executions, much more about intimidation than justice, have reportedly had the intended effect of chilling grassroots opposition to the regime.

3. Another NATO/American fuel convoy enroute to Afghanistan was attacked and torched inside Pakistan. A Jamestown Foundation report, aptly titled "Fresh Violence Threatens to Make Karachi the New Mogadishu," takes a sober look at the deterioration of Pakistan in the face of US challenges in Afghanistan.

4. In Lebanon, Iran has officially offered "defense funding" to the Lebanon government - its exclusive underwriting of Hizballah notwithstanding. Meanwhile, the UN tribunal prosecuting the Rafik Hariri assassination case spent the day in "technical hearings" on "the definition of terrorism." Lebanon is all but lost.

Shadow Taliban Gov't: Tax-collection ledger of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - NDTV
Afghan Taliban would be open to talks: report - Reuters
Context: Talks w/NATO would be from Taliban position of strength - Daily Mail (UK)

Demonstrations Continue Amid Government Talks - Telegraph (UK)
'McLaughlin Group' Panel Explains How Obama Botched Egypt - Breitbart.tv
Muslim Brotherhood Dumps El Baradei; So El Baradei Dumps Peace Treaty w/Israel - HNN
US embassy cables: Suleiman on dangers posed by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - Guardian (UK)
Muslim Brotherhood Enters Negotiations in Egypt - BigPeace
What Do Egypt's Christians Think? - AOL
Concerns grow over Egypt's WMD research - MSNBC

Iran tells of new satellites, missile plan as a warning to foes - UPI
Iran's opposition leaders hope to draw from protests in Egypt - Washington Post
Iran's 'Day of Rage': Opposition Leaders Ask for Rally Permission - RFE/RL
Execution rate in Iran alarms UN human rights chief, Intimidates Iran protesters - CNN
UN: At least 66 execution in Iran's death penalty in January - OneIndia
121 In Six Weeks: Prosecutor General Confirms Secret Birjand Executions - IranHumanRights.org

Iraq swirls with rumors of Egypt-like protests to come - CS Monitor
Will He: Iraq's Maliki Doesn't Rule Out Third Term - WSJ
Or Won't He: Report: Iraq PM won't seek third term - CNN

Bedouin Arms Smugglers Now See Opening in Egyptian Sinai into Gaza - WSJ
Natural gas supply to Israel cut off after blast at Egyptian terminal - Washington Post
Hamas commander said back in Gaza after Egypt jailbreak - Ha'aretz
"How I escaped from prison" - Asharq Al-Awsat

Bolton: Lebanon, not Egypt, may determine the fate of democracy in the Middle East - LA Times
Iran is ready to start defense funding for Lebanon: minister - Daily Star (Lebanon)
Iran offers Lebanon defense assistance - Press TV (Iran)
UN court holds technical hearing, Hariri indictment remains secret - M&C

Another oil convoy bound for Afghanistan attacked in Pakistan - CNN
Fresh Violence Threatens to Make Karachi the New Mogadishu - Jamestown
Lahore shooting: US ambassador presses Pakistan's president to release American official - Winnipeg Free Press
3 more Americans barred from leaving Pakistan - Hindustan Times

Al-Shabaab Islamists cut off hand of Somali teenager for theft - Somaliweyn

Regional Impact of Thailand's Withering Democracy - World Politics Review

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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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