Home > News > News in Brief: 19 August 2008

News in Brief: 19 August 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

French troops die in Afghan battles. Ten French Nato troops have been killed in battles with Taliban fighters near Kabul, the Afghan capital, officials said. Around 21 soldiers were also wounded in the battles. (Al Jazeera)

Pakistan coalition meets on Musharraf successor. Leaders of Pakistan’s ruling coalition met Tuesday to discuss a replacement for President Pervez Musharraf, as the deaths of 41 people in Islamist violence underscored the new government’s challenges. (AFP)

Nato is walking a tightrope over Georgia. Nato foreign ministers are walking a tightrope today at an emergency meeting in Brussels called to discuss the Georgia conflict. They want to send a tough message to the Kremlin, but the big powers know that they cannot afford to isolate Moscow which remains an essential partner for the US and Europe in dealing with other major crises such as the showdown with Iran over its nuclear programme. (The Independent)

Georgian planning flaws led to failure. Georgia made an over-confident assumption of its combat capabilities when it began operations against the breakaway region of South Ossetia and it underestimated the scale of the Russian response. Georgia’s first tactical blunder was also its most serious strategic setback. (Asia Times)

Russia seizes prisoners in raid on Georgia’s main port. Russian forces briefly seized Georgia’s main seaport on Tuesday and carted away about 20 Georgian soldiers in a raid that paralyzed one of Georgia’s key commercial hubs for several hours, port officials said. (McClatchy)

Algeria bombing kills 43. A bomb attack east of Algiers on Tuesday killed 43 people and wounded 38, the Algerian interior ministry said, in one of the bloodiest incidents in years in the OPEC member state. (FT)

Kurdish Control of Kirkuk Creates a Powder Keg. Of all the political problems facing Iraq today, perhaps none is so intractable as the fate of Kirkuk, a city of 900,000 that Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens all claim as their own. The explosive quarrel over the city is one major barrier to creating stable political structures in the rest of Iraq. (New York Times)

Iraqi troops, US helicopters raid office of Diyala’s provincial governor. A police official says Tuesday’s raid triggered a firefight between the troops and the guards of Governor Raad Rashid Al Tamimi, killing his secretary and wounding four guards. Police also say a member of the provincial council was arrested. (Gulf News/AP)

China turns tap on currency flows. China, which has long been concerned with restricting the flow of funds out of the country, is now turning its focus on limiting speculative inflows of capital looking for returns from the appreciating yuan. (Asia Times)

Philippine military vows to strike back at Muslim rebel. The Philippine military vowed on Tuesday to take ‘aggressive actions’ against Muslim separatist rebels who killed 49 people in a rampage that also displaced more than 66,000 residents in southern provinces. (Khaleej Times)

Zimbabwe inflation jumps to 11.27 million percent: CSO. Zimbabwe’s annual inflation, already the highest in the world, jumped to 11.27 million percent in June from 2.2 million the previous month, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) said on Tuesday. The latest inflation figure shows the economic turmoil — Zimbabwe is already suffering chronic shortages of food and fuel — is worsening with no signs that Zimbabwe’s rival parties will reach a power-sharing deal to end the country’s political crisis. (Khaleej Times/Reuters)

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