Home > News > News in Brief: 23 August 2008

News in Brief: 23 August 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

US: 30 militants killed in west Afghanistan clash. U.S.-led troops attacked a compound where Taliban leaders were meeting and killed 30 militants, American and Afghan military officials said Friday, but the Interior Ministry said a large number of civilians died. The U.S. said it would investigate. (Washington Post)

Civilian deaths anger Afghans. Hundreds of Afghans have staged an angry protest in the Shindand district in western Afghanistan after scores of people were reportedly killed in an raid by US-led forces. The Afghan interior ministry has said that at least 76 civilians died in Thursday’s attack, most of them women and children. (Al Jazeera)

65 killed in fresh violence in northwest Pakistan. At least 26 people, a majority of them security personnel, were killed in three attacks by the local Taliban in Pakistan’s troubled northwest on Saturday even as security forces shot dead over 40 militants in clashes in the same region. (Times of India)

Militants ready for Pakistan’s war. Pakistan has declared all-out war on militants. This will delight the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Washington, which for many years have complained of the country’s spotty record. Militants previously allowed to operate under the radar will now have to fight back. (Asia Times)

Bhutto’s widower Zardari to stand for president. The widower of assassinated former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto will be a candidate for president, an official of his party said on Saturday. (Globe and Mail/Reuters)

Despite Pullout, Russia Envisions Long-Term Shift. As the Russian Army withdrew most of its forces from Georgia, it was becoming ever more clear on Friday that Moscow had no intention of restoring what once was — either on the ground or diplomatically. (New York Times)

Markets Tumble on War Fears. Worries over Russia’s involvement in the escalating conflict in South Ossetia sent Moscow stock markets tumbling Friday. (Moscow Time)

Russia snaps military cooperation with NATO. Russia has suspended all military cooperation with NATO in a reaction to the alliance’s siding with Georgia in its war with Russia over South Ossetia. (The Hindu)

CIA More Fully Denies Deception About Iraq. The controversy over a best-selling author’s account of forgery and deception in the White House deepened yesterday with a new CIA denial that it helped the Bush administration produce phony documents suggesting past links between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. (Washington Post)

Babacan, Lavrov in talks over dubious Caucasus platform. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the phone to discuss a proposed cooperation platform for the crisis-hit Caucasus amidst reports that Turkey will include its estranged neighbor Armenia in regional peace efforts via Russia. (Today’s Zaman)

Philippines rebels want peace talks. Muslim rebels have urged the Philippine government to halt a military offensive that they say threatens the collapse of the peace process in the troubled southern region. (Al Jazeera)

MI5 facilitated U.S. to torture. In a scathing indictment of Britain’s role in the alleged rendition and torture of terror suspects by U.S. authorities, the High Court has held that MI5 actively colluded with U.S. intelligence agencies in their use of illegal methods of interrogation to extract confession from a British resident held at Guantanamo Bay. (The Hindu)

Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership: A Practical Guide. The Middle East Institute hosts Gary Berntsen, a 20-year veteran in the CIA’s clandestine service, to discuss his new book, “Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership: A Practical Guide.” (MEI)

INDIA/US: Suppliers’ Group Stalls Nuclear Deal. Dashing hopes that the United States-India nuclear cooperation deal would sail through the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), a two-day meeting in Vienna of the 45-nation association has failed to produce a consensus on a U.S. drafted text. (IPS)

Siniora complains to Ban over Israeli threats to attack all of Lebanon. The Lebanese government sent a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday protesting Israeli threats to attack all of Lebanon, as media reports on Friday carried accounts of Hizbullah buying Russian weaponry and a Hizbullah official saying the group would soon take “earth-shattering” action against Israel, which will “no longer exist on the map.” (Daily Star)

Peace protest boats arrive in Gaza. Two boats being sailed by international peace activists on a mission to defy the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and deliver humanitarian aid reached their destination today. (Guardian)

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