Home > News > News in Brief: 16 October 2008

News in Brief: 16 October 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

G-8 Nations Plan Summit On Global Financial Rules. The Group of Eight major industrialized nations announced Wednesday that they will convene a summit to plan changes in the regulation and structure of the world financial industry in hopes of heading off future economic turmoil. (Washington Post)

US: Terms Secret for Bank Hired to Manage Bailout. The George W. Bush administration has hired a Wall Street firm to lead its 700-billion-dollar bailout plan, but how much the U.S. is paying the firm is being kept secret. (IPS)

Bush administration authorized waterboarding in 2003, 2004. The administration of US President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to simulate drowning on Al-Qaeda suspects according to two secret memos issued in 2003 and 2004, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. (The Daily Star/AFP)

Energy superpower emerges in the Caspian. British consultancy firm Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA), making the announcement in Ashgabat regarding the first results of its audit of Turkmen gas reserves, said its low estimate under the established international and classification system is that the fields may have a minimum 4 trillion cubic meters of gas and as much as a staggering 14 trillion cubic meters. (Asia Times)

Russia-Georgia halt talks over breakaway regions. Talks to ease the conflict over Georgia’s Moscow-backed breakaway regions were suspended yesterday until next month, after diplomats failed to get Russia and Georgia to agree on who was allowed to take part. The sticking point was whether representatives from South Ossetia and Abkhazia should be allowed to participate and in what format. (Globe and Mail/Reuters)

Petraeus Mounts Strategy Review. Gen. David H. Petraeus has launched a major reassessment of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the surrounding region, while warning that the lack of development and the spiraling violence in Afghanistan will probably make it “the longest campaign of the long war.” (Washington Post)

Afghan governor says air strike killed 70 Taliban. About 70 Taliban fighters were killed in an overnight air strike by foreign forces in the southern Afghan province of Helmand near the Pakistan border, the provincial governor said on Wednesday. (Today’s Zaman)

NATO Modifies Airstrike Policy In Afghanistan. In a bow to public outrage over a recent spate of U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan that resulted in more than 100 civilian deaths, NATO officials have ordered commanders to try to lessen their reliance on air power in battles with insurgents, NATO and Afghan officials said Wednesday. (Washington Post)

Up North, Hothouse of Tension in Lebanon. The crumbling streets of this ancient northern city are starting to resemble a battleground. A string of bombings over the past two months has left at least 20 people dead, most of them Lebanese Army soldiers, and scores of wounded. Much is riding on the elections, scheduled for next spring. Hezbollah and its allies stand to gain a parliamentary majority for the first time. That would be another striking setback for American policy in the region, and would probably make Israel view all of Lebanon, not just Hezbollah, as its enemy in future wars. (New York Times)

Fatah rejects Hamas request for bilateral talks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction has rejected a request by Hamas rivals to meet separately ahead of multi-factional reconciliation talks next month in Cairo, Fatah officials said on Tuesday. (Today’s Zaman)

Canadian Liberals Look to Party’s Future. In the same way that Mr. Harper rebuilt right-of-center politics in Canada through political party mergers, some Liberals are now considering the idea of an alliance, formal or otherwise, between their centrist party and the left-of-center New Democratic Party, which is known as the N.D.P. and is led by Jack Layton. (New York Times)

Obama buys first video game campaign ads. Barack Obama, flush with cash and ramping up his advertising in the final weeks before the November 4 election, is making US political history by placing the first presidential campaign ads in online video games. (The Independent)

. US blowback in Iran’s electionsThe key issues in next year’s presidential elections in Iran will be the country’s nuclear program, its economy and the winner in the race for the White House in the United States. Of these three, the identity of new US president is likely to be the determining factor, and jockeying has already begun. (Asia Times)

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