Home > News > News in Brief: 10 October 2007

News in Brief: 10 October 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Israel in West Bank land grab. The Israeli army has ordered the seizure of Palestinian land surrounding four West Bank villages apparently in order to hugely expand settlements around Jerusalem, it emerged yesterday. The confiscation happened as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met to prepare the ground for a meeting hosted by President George Bush in the United States aimed at reviving a diplomatic solution to the conflict. However, critics said the confiscation of land suggested that Israel was imposing its own solution on the Palestinians through building roads, barriers and settlements that would render a Palestinian state unviable. (Guardian)

The US plans new military presence in Lebanon including big air installation close by Syrian border. The air base, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, will be located at Kleiat in northern Lebanon roughly 75 air miles from Damascus. The American air installation will also lie 22 air miles from Tartous, Syria’s main naval base and the Russian Mediterranean fleet’s command center. And the aircraft posted there will be minutes away from the joint Syrian-Iranian arms and missiles industries at Homs and Hamma. (DEBKAfile)

Unrest amid Kremlin secret police. Political stability in Russia is being threatened by infighting among current and former spies in Moscow, an official wrote in the Kommersant newspaper. Viktor Cherkesov, a former KGB agent and now head of the Federal Narcotics Control Service, said the infighting among security officials is based on jockeying for power when Russian President Vladimir Putin steps down next spring because of term limits. Putin has appointed many other former KGB officers to key positions, including First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is seen as a leading candidate to become the next president, a Los Angeles Times correspondent wrote from Moscow. (UPI)

Civilians killed in Pakistan battle. Dozens of civilians, including women and children, have been killed as Pakistani military jets targeted the positions of tribal fighters in North Waziristan, residents say. A military spokesman said that “militant hideouts” were targeted in Tuesday’s air raids but local residents said a market had been hit killing dozens of people. At least 250 people, including 47 soldiers, have died in four days of fighting in the tribal region. (Al Jazeera)

Doors closing on Iraqi displaced. A growing number of Iraqi provinces are refusing entry to internal refugees, the UN refugee agency has warned. The head of the UNHCR Iraq Support Unit told the BBC up to 11 governors were restricting access because they lacked resources to look after the refugees. (BBC)

Israeli strike on Syria kindles debate in U.S. At issue is whether intelligence that Israel presented months ago to the White House — to support claims that Syria had begun early work on what could become a nuclear weapons program with help from North Korea — was conclusive enough to justify military action by Israel and a possible rethinking of American policy toward the two nations. (International Herald Tribune)

Dirty Business Arises in Top European Companies. New investigations have thrown up serious questions about corruption in leading European companies. The French stock exchange regulator AMF (Autorité des marches financiers) said Oct. 3 that leading executives of the aeronautical company EADS were involved in “widespread insider trading” operations between November 2005 and April 2006. The total proceeds for beneficiaries who sold some 10 million shares were around 115 million dollars. (IPS)

Putin sees lack of evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons program. President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after conferring with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that Iran must be encouraged to make its nuclear program fully transparent, but pointed at the lack of definitive proof that Tehran was seeking to build atomic weapons. (International Herald Tribune/AFP)

White House And Turkey Fight Bill On Armenia. A proposed House resolution that would label as “genocide” the deaths of Armenians more than 90 years ago during the Ottoman Empire has won the support of a majority of House members, unleashing a lobbying blitz by the Bush administration and other opponents who say it would greatly harm relations with Turkey, a key ally in the Iraq war. (Washington Post)

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