Home > News > News in Brief: 23 October 2007

News in Brief: 23 October 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Turkey pushes for diplomatic end to Kurdish rebel crisis. Turkey reassured Iraq on Tuesday that it wants a diplomatic solution to the problem of Kurdish rebel rear-bases but rejected a conditional ceasefire offer made by the guerrillas. (AFP)

Iraq to Help Turkey Crack Down on Rebels. A top Iraqi official said today the country would “actively help” Turkey halt the activity of Kurdish rebels who have been striking across the border from northern Iraq, a promise delivered amid a flurry of international diplomatic efforts to prevent a widening conflict between the two countries. (Washington Post)

Iranian MPs add to nuclear splits. More than 180 Iranian MPs have signed a letter praising former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who has resigned from his post. A top foreign policy adviser to Iran’s supreme leader also said Mr Larijani should not have been allowed to resign. On Monday, 183 MPs signed a letter praising Mr Larijani’s performance as a nuclear negotiator after he was replaced by deputy foreign minister Saeed Jalili, a close ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr Larijani had repeatedly offered his resignation and, on Saturday, Mr Ahmadinejad finally accepted it. (BBC)

In Iraq, Conflict Simmers on a 2nd Kurdish Front. Deadly raids into Turkey by Kurdish militants holed up in northern Iraq are the focus of urgent diplomacy, with Turkey threatening invasion of Iraq and the United States begging for restraint while expressing solidarity with Turkish anger. Yet out of the public eye, a chillingly similar battle has been under way on the Iraqi border with Iran. Kurdish guerrillas ambush and kill Iranian forces and retreat to their hide-outs in Iraq. The Americans offer Iran little sympathy. Tehran even says Washington aids the Iranian guerrillas, a charge the United States denies. True or not, that conflict, like the Turkish one, has explosive potential. (New York Times)

Bhutto accuses government of cover-up in suicide bombing. Benazir Bhutto yesterday accused the Pakistani government of staging a cover-up after it refused her request for British and American experts to join the inquiry into last Thursday’s suicide bombing. (Guardian)

Thousands flee Congo fighting. About 8,000 Congolese refugees have fled into neighbouring Uganda to escape renewed clashes between government forces and fighters loyal to militia leader Laurent Nkunda. Thousands fled northern Kivu province after Nkunda ignored a Monday deadline to disarm his militia. (Al Jazeera)

Somali food aid chief released. The head of the Somali operations for the World Food Programme (WFP) has been released by authorities almost one week after he was captured as government forces forced their way into a UN compound in Mogadishu. In response to the detention the agency halted food distribution to 75,600 Mogadishu residents who have been displaced by fighting that has persisted since the interim government and its Ethiopian allies forced the Islamic Courts movement from the capital last December. (Al Jazeera)

China identifies Xi Jinping as the next party leader. Mr Xi, one of the “princelings” – the communist equivalent of bluebloods, emerged ahead of Mr Li, suggesting that he may be in line to assume the top position of president and party boss. Mr Li could take on the less powerful position of premier. (The Independent)

Kyrgyz leader tightens control. The president of Kyrgyzstan has dissolved parliament in a bid to tighten his control of the legislature after a constitutional referendum saw him extend his authority. But the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said on Monday it was concerned at reports of ballot-stuffing and other irregularities during the nationwide referendum on Sunday. (Al Jazeera)

Report: Most of $1.2 billion to train Iraqi police unaccounted for. The U.S. State Department is unable to account for most of $1.2 billion in funding that it gave to DynCorp International to train Iraqi police, a government report said Tuesday. (CNN)

Bush Delivers Supplemental War Funding Request to Congress. President Bush has submitted to Congress a request for $42.3 billion in supplemental war funding. The amendment places the total funding for the global war on terrorism at $189.3 billion for fiscal 2008. (U.S. DoD)

Sarkozy tells PM: Palestinian refugees will not return to Israel. Palestinian refugees should be resettled in a Palestinian state, not in Israel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Monday. (Haaretz)

India: Is Manmohan battered by allies and enemies? Resignation rumours surface, are denied, and surface again. His allies turn against him and editorials question his leadership. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is taking a political beating after a stalled nuclear deal, in what many Indians see as the decline and steady fall of a weak leader betrayed by his allies, manipulated by enemies and revealed as increasingly ineffective. (India Express)

Afghan public increasingly pessimistic. The Afghan public has become more pessimistic about the future of their country after a year of rising insecurity and Taliban violence, Afghanistan’s largest-ever opinion poll has found. (FT)

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