Home > News > News in Brief: 19 July 2007

News in Brief: 19 July 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

U.S. threatens action in Pakistan. The Bush administration, after publicly demanding that Musharraf rein in militants linked to al Qaida, on Wednesday threatened to launch attacks into Pakistani territory if it sees fit. (McClatchy)

27 Pakistanis killed in attack on Chinese convoy. At least 27 Pakistanis were killed Thursday when a suicide car bomber hit a police-guarded convoy of Chinese workers in the country’s troubled southwest, officials said. (Middle East Times)

Moqtada al-Sadr switches tactics to meet Changes in Iraq. After months of lying low, the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr has re-emerged with a shrewd strategy that reaches out to Iraqis on the street while distancing himself from the increasingly unpopular government. (The New York Times – free login may be required)

Brisk polling in India’s Presidential election. Brisk polling was today reported from across the country in one of the most bitterly contested presidential elections, with the AIADMK and MDMK breaking ranks with their partners in the Third Front to participate in the polls. (The Hindu)

Blair begins new job with Quartet meeting in Lisbon. Tony Blair will today have his first meeting with the four major world powers that make up the Quartet, in his new role as special envoy to the Middle East. (Guardian)

How Murdoch had a hotline to the PM in the run-up to Iraq war. Tony Blair had three conversations with the media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the nine days before the start of the Iraq war, the Government has disclosed. Details of the former prime minister’s contacts with Mr Murdoch have been released under the Freedom of Information Act. After trying to block disclosure for four years, the Government backed down in a surprise change of heart the day after Mr Blair resigned last month. (The Independent)

Iranian President in Damascus for talks with Assad. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flew in to Syria on Thursday for talks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad on regional issues, mainly on Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. (Haaretz)

Evidence of Iranian Support for Afghan Insurgency Mounts. “Our purpose is jihad against foreigners and the government of Afghanistan,” he told IWPR “Many Muslims from other countries have come here for this.” A resident of Farah Province, which borders Iran in western Afghanistan, he identified himself as a member of Lashkar-e-Mohammad Rassoulullah (Soldiers of Mohammad the Prophet), a jihadi organisation that, he said, was supported by Iran. “There are a lot of Iranians in our group,” he said. “Many of them from the Iranian Baloch tribes. They say they have come to do jihad against America.” (IWPR)

EL SALVADOR: Spectre of War Looms After 15 Years of Peace. Violent clashes between the police and demonstrators are sounding alarm bells for the peaceful coexistence that was achieved in El Salvador in the 1990s after 12 years of civil war, say human rights lawyers, analysts and activists. (IPS)

Powell: Thinning U.S. Resources Will Require Pullout. Over the past several weeks, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has spoken with increasing openness about the nature of the war in Iraq, about what went wrong, and about the limitations of the current strategy. — Audio of an interview is also available at the site. (NPR)

US Papers Thursday: The Man Who Wasn’t. The papers are chock-a-block with Iraq reading today, with several important developments in Iraq and stateside grabbing headlines, debate continuing over the National Intelligence Estimate, and a couple of enterprise reports for good measure. (IraqSlogger)

Russia expels four UK diplomats. Russia is to expel four British diplomats in the continuing row over Moscow’s refusal to extradite the main suspect in the Litvinenko murder case. (BBC)

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