Home > News > News in Brief: 6 October 2008

News in Brief: 6 October 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Explosion rocks Pakistan MP’s home. A suspected suicide bomber has blown himself up outside the house of a Pakistani MP, killing at least 15 people and wounding another 40, according to police. Akbar, who is a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), the party of Nawaz Sharif, a former prime-minister, was reportedly injured in the attack. (Al Jazeera)

Pakistan, US await militant showdown. With Britain’s commander in Afghanistan saying the war against the Taliban cannot be won, and with Afghan President Hamid Karzai inviting Taliban leader Mullah Omar back to Afghanistan to join the political process, the Western coalition is trying a new approach of reconciliation. (Asia Times)

US to Lift Sanctions on Syria? More on Syrian Military North of Lebanon. The stories on the US being on the verge of lifting sanctions on Syria, seem too good to be true. al-Akhbar has a very good spread on the Syrian deployment in the north. It seems that it’s more substantialal than we thought. However, it certainly is not a prelude to an invasion. (Syria Comment)

Germany guarantees savings. Germany said on Sunday it would guarantee all private German bank accounts – currently worth €568bn – in a dramatic move to prevent panic withdrawals as fears over the worldwide financial crisis spread to Europe’s largest economy. (FT)

Another meltdown Monday as London shares crash again. Shares in London and the rest of Europe crashed today in what dealers were calling another “meltdown Monday”. (Guardian)

Ethnic clashes rock northeast India. At least 33 people have been killed and thousands forced to flee their homes after local tribesmen and Bangladeshi settlers clashed in northeast India, police and hospital officials said. (Al Jazeera)

Bush’s final Iran blunder? By announcing that the United States is no longer interested in opening a consular office in Iran, the George W Bush administration has forfeited a golden opportunity for a timely diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. This announcement came a day after a major foreign policy speech by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York at which he used the opportunity to reiterate Iran’s genuine interest in this possibility. (Asia Times)

German Foreign Minister Wants to End ‘Enduring Freedom’ Participation. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says he wants to withdraw his country’s elite KSK force from Afghanistan. The troops are participating in the US-led “Enduring Freedom,” but they haven’t been used in three years. (Spiegel)

First Russian live missile fire air exercise near Alaska. Not since 1984, just before the fall of the Soviet Union, has Russia ventured to launch dozens of nuclear bombers for an exercise in which Tu-95 Bear bombers will fire live cruise missiles. Exercise Stability 2008 will take place Oct.-6-12 over sub-Arctic Russia uncomfortably close to the US state of Alaska, and Belarus. (DEBKAfile)

Bush to sign nuclear Bill this week. President George W Bush will sign the Congressional approval of the Indo-US nuclear deal into law on October 8, hopefully taking care of Indian concerns over a couple of new riders in the legislation. (Gulf News)

Hamas: PA President Abbas’s term over in January. Hamas lawmakers in the Gaza Strip have passed a resolution declaring that Abbas’ presidential term ends in January. They say he must call new elections in the coming days. (Haaretz)

Another inconvenient truth. At last, many of the world’s political leaders have begun to realize that diverting land and food crops to produce biofuels leads to higher food prices. But an equally important consequence of this policy folly is being largely ignored in the public and political debate: Producing biofuels will further deplete the world’s already overtaxed water supply. (International Herald Tribune)

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