Home > News > News in Brief: 14 October 2008

News in Brief: 14 October 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

A mad scramble over Afghanistan. An impression is being created that there is a “rift” between the United States and Britain regarding the reconciliation track involving the Taliban. The plain truth is that the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are in this murky game together. (Asia Times)

Iraq Opens Bidding on Oil Field Contracts. Iraq opened bidding Monday on the first round of contracts to develop its oil fields since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a move intended to jump-start a sector crucial to the country’s rebuilding. (Washington Post)

Water row may affect Pakistani-Indian ties. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has warned a brewing row with India over the waters of the Chenab river in the disputed Kashmir region could harm improving ties between the old rivals. (Today’s Zaman)

Ankara breaks ice with Barzani in key talks in Iraq. Turkish officials are to meet with Massoud Barzani in Baghdad today, the first public talks with the Iraqi Kurdish leader since the US-led war on Iraq. (Today’s Zaman)

Asian, European Markets Continue Upbeat Rally. Feverish buying in Japan on Tuesday replaced last week’s market panic, as the benchmark Nikkei stock index soared to its largest-ever percentage gain in a single day, up 14.15 percent — part of a global rally in stocks that continued throughout Asia and Europe. (Washington Post)

The Long Term Solution to Our Financial Crisis. As the world slowly awakens to the concept that all wealth perhaps can’t be measured by digits in the bank, the global economic and political elite have been meeting to potentially form a “new Bretton Woods,” kick started by global guarantees of banking deposits, direct government investment in banks, and global rate cuts. (The Oil Drum)

Milton and the Meltdown in Iceland. was intrigued by what is happening in Iceland, so the following is a piece I’ve written on it. It has some introductory macro-economics in it, which I think it is good to keep in perspective as we consider the frantic attempts being made to prevent an economic depression. (Progressive Economics Forum)

Negotiations on as troop pullout deadline nears. With time running out for the conclusion of an agreement governing American forces in Iraq, nervous negotiators have begun examining alternatives that would allow US troops to stay beyond the December 31 deadline, according to US and Iraqi officials. (Gulf Times/L.A. Times)

Syria-Israel Peace: The Impact on Non-State militias. Several weeks ago, I was asked to answer the following four questions about the impact of a Syrian-Israeli peace on terrorism in the region. Here are my answers. (Syria Comments)

Syria formally establishes diplomatic ties with Lebanon. Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree on Tuesday establishing diplomatic relations with Lebanon for the first time since the 1940s, the official Syrian news agency reported. (Haaretz)

Europe Deals With Immigration. Holland had imported workers from those countries in the 1960s and early ’70s, and although the guest-worker program was discontinued in the mid-1970s, family reunification and, more recently, marriages between Dutch residents and people from their ancestral homelands sustained the migratory flow. Approximately 10 percent of Holland’s 16.4 million inhabitants have non-Western roots, and about 1 million of these residents are Muslim. (Slate)

India, Brazil for ending Doha round modalities by December. Expressing their commitments for early conclusion of the Doha Development Round, India and Brazil on Tuesday said it was possible to complete the modalities by 2008. (Times of India)

The new path to space: India and China enter the game. The space race at the beginning of the space age greatly accelerated the development of human spaceflight, raising the question of what would have happened without that competition. Dwayne Day examines the current state of Indian and Chinese human spaceflight planning to see what a more “normal” development might be like — if there is such a thing. (The Space Review)

Public Stage for Iran’s Ex-President Fuels Talk of Political Return. Former President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate under pressure by political allies to challenge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in elections next year, held a high-profile event here on Monday that many saw as a possible first step in his return to the political arena. (New York Times)

Lebanese Christian strongman visits Tehran. It would have been unthinkable for any Middle East Christian leader to pays his respects to the ayatollahs in Tehran before the indecisive Israel-Hizballah war of 2006 and the subsequent collapse of US and Israeli positions. But now, the once pro-West Lebanese Christian strognman, Gen. Michel Aoun, who has become a close ally of the Iranian surrogate Hizballah and Syria, is leading the way. (DEBKAfile)

Guardian Weekly podcast: The downward spiral in Afghanistan. Julian Borger, the Guardian’s diplomatic editor, reports on a leaked assessment from US security agencies that warns of a “downward spiral” in the coalition effort to stabilise Afghanistan. (Guardian)

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