Home > News > News in Brief: 1 October 2008

News in Brief: 1 October 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

US senate to vote on India deal. The US senate is set to vote on a nuclear co-operation agreement between India and the US, the final legislative hurdle for a deal that overturns a 30-year ban on civilian nuclear trade with New Delhi. A spokeswoman for Harry Reid, the senate majority leader, said the vote would be held on Wednesday, after it was approved in the lower House of Representatives over the weekend. (Al Jazeera)

Iran fears nuclear witchhunt. The latest news from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), aside from a gloomy portrayal of an international agency starved of cash and manpower, is that it cannot confirm the absence of a clandestine Iranian nuclear program. (Asia Times)

Brief Talks With Syria Spur Speculation. A series of meetings between U.S. and Syrian diplomats, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart, Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, at the United Nations over the past week is stirring speculation that Washington may at last be moving toward engaging Damascus. (Antiwar.com)

The Pentagon’s new Africa command raises suspicions about U.S. motives. The U.S. Africa Command, the Pentagon’s first effort to unite its counterterrorism, training and humanitarian operations on the continent, launches Wednesday amid questions at home about its mission and deep suspicions in Africa about its intentions. (McClatchy)

Insurgents in Afghanistan Are Gaining, Petraeus Says. As he prepares to take up his post as head of Central Command, Gen. David H. Petraeus said in an interview this week that he expected the fight against the insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan to get worse before it got better. (New York Times)

A 14-plane US airlift lands high-powered FBX radar in Israel with US personnel. Huge US Air Force C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Gobemaster III transports have ferried the high-powered FBX-T anti-missile radar to Israel’s Nevatim Air Base south of Beersheba. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the transportable radar surveillance/forward-based X-band radar was accompanied by some 120 American European Command personnel. The area of its deployment at the Negev base has been fenced off and made off-limits to non-American personnel. (DEBKAfile)

IRAQ: Is Kurdish-Arab “Honeymoon” Over? Tensions between Kurds and the Iraqi government over disputed territory have heightened recently, raising fears that they might lead to ethnic clashes between Kurds and Arabs at a time when the war-torn country is slowly recovering from years of sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni Arabs. (IPS)

Pakistan Taliban dismiss claims of leader’s death. Questions swirled on Wednesday over the fate of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, with a Pakistani television channel reporting he had died of illness but Taliban spokesmen dismissed the report. (Gulf News)

Turning a Wall Street Giveaway Into a Rescue for All Americans. In the following article, David Sirota provides a summary of the complex issues involved in negotiations over how to respond to the credit market crisis. (In These Times)

Europe fights to calm markets. Governments across Europe have continued to prop up the battered financial sector, with Dexia, the Belgian-French financial services group, receiving more than $9bn from the Belgian, French and Luxembourg treasuries. (Al Jazeera)

Four Russian warships to stop in Libya. The four warships that Russia is sending to Venezuela in its first deployment of military power to the Western Hemisphere since the Cold War also will visit Libya and several other Mediterranean countries, the navy said Wednesday. (CNN)

Japan adrift in the Indian Ocean. For the second time in a year, the question of whether or not to extend Japan’s Indian Ocean commitment in the US-led war in Afghanistan may decide the fate of the Japanese cabinet. (Asia Times)

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