Home > News > News in Brief: 30 October 2008

News in Brief: 30 October 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Iraqi tribal leader: awakening movement is over. Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman is emir of the Dulaim tribe and leader of the Iraq National Salvation Front, the political front of Anbar province’s awakening movement. Niqash met with al-Suleiman and asked him about his bloc’s preparations for the elections, fears of electoral fraud and the integration of awakening soldiers into the government army. (Niqash)

Iraq Outlines Changes It Wants in Pact With U.S. Iraq wants a security agreement with the U.S. to include a clear ban on U.S. troops using Iraqi territory to attack Iraq’s neighbors, the government spokesman said Wednesday, three days after a dramatic U.S. raid on Syria. Also Wednesday, the country’s most influential Shiite cleric expressed concerned that Iraqi sovereignty be protected in the pact. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani wields vast influence among the Shiite majority and his explicit opposition could scuttle the deal. (Washington Post)

Blasts rock Indian state. Police say at least 12 bombs have exploded across the northeastern Indian state of Assam, killing 56 people and injuring more than 200 others. Matt McClure, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Delhi, said the Indian prime minister had appealed for calm and would visit the region on Friday. The home ministry confirmed it had not received any prior warning of the blasts and vowed to investigate and find the culprits. (Al Jazeera)

Suicide blasts kill at least 31 in Somalia. Five suicide blasts rocked government and international targets in northern Somalia on Wednesday, killing at least 31 people, according to international security officials, in the most highly coordinated terrorist strike in years in the troubled East African nation. (McClatchy)

IAEA misses the mark on Iran. The biggest hurdle on the path of normalization of Iran’s nuclear file is the IAEA’s demand that Iran should somehow prove “the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities”. Historically, the only other country subjected to such a demand by the IAEA was Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and one would think that the agency would have drawn an appropriate lesson from that major fiasco. (Asia Times)

Protests in Damascus. Thousands of Syrians have taken to the streets of the capital Damascus to protest against a US raid which killed eight people near the border with Iraq. Riot police were deployed outside the US embassy as the demonstrators, mostly civil servants and students, gathered for the government-backed protest a few kilometres away. (Syria Comment)

Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders to meet in Moscow. The Kremlin says Russia’s president will host leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia for weekend talks on settling their 20-year conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. (Today’s Zaman)

Taliban storm government office in Kabul. Taliban militants stormed a government building in the centre of the Afghan capital on Thursday and one of them blew himself up inside, killing five people, officials and witnesses said. (Globe and Mail/AP)

India can buy uranium anytime and stockpile: Canada. Canada, one of the key members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), on Thursday said that India can order for uranium anytime and can even stockpile. “We have been waiting for a long time for the Indo-US deal to come through and since IAEA India specific agreement and NSG’s waiver are in place, we are keen that India buys uranium from Canada anytime,” Grandey, a key person who helped in the Indo-US deal process, said. (Times of India)

Algerian leader clears way for third term. Algeria’s president, who led his oil- and gas-rich North African nation out of a bloody Islamic insurgency, started clearing the way Wednesday to give himself a third term in office, announcing plans to abolish limits that would have prevented his re-election. (Today’s Zaman)

Auditors: Private security in Iraq cost over $6B. No one knows for sure, but auditors think the United States has paid well over $6 billion to private security companies who have been guarding diplomats, troops, Iraqi officials and reconstruction workers in Iraq. (IHT)

Hamas: We’ll free ‘political prisoners’ in Gaza before unity talks. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Thursday for the first time that the Islamist group was holding political prisoners in the Gaza Strip and promised to release them as a goodwill gesture before Palestinian unity talks. (Haaretz)

Quake in Pakistan Kills at Least 215. A powerful earthquake jolted parts of southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, causing widespread destruction in one of the poorest areas of the country, officials said. (New York Times)

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