Home > News > News in Brief: 31 October 2008

News in Brief: 31 October 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Syria cuts off diplomatic contacts with Iraq. Syria decided to cut off diplomatic relations with Iraq and suspend the work of the security committee’s work between both countries as well as to draw down the number of Syrian troops deployed on common borders.Iraqi Foreign Minister Hosheyar Zebari reiterated in a phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Walid Al Moallem his country’s rejection to the US military operation on Syrian territories. (Alsumaria)

Spokesman: Israel’s prime minister to push for more talks with Syria before leaving office. A spokesman for Israel’s prime minister says Ehud Olmert believes peace talks with Syria should continue even though elections are pending. (AP)

A bumpy ride for the US over Syria. The United States raid into Syria marks another twist in the George W Bush administration’s policy towards Damascus, which has been dominated by threats and coercion with only a few glimpses of cooperation. At the same time, the policy of isolation has failed. (Asia Times)

US’s Syrian raid sets Iraq on fire. The United States raid on Syria on October 27, which led to the killing of eight civilians, sent shockwaves throughout Iraq, mainly enraging the Sunni community, former Ba’athists and tribal leaders who are pro-Syrian. It came as such a surprise to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that he was completely dumfounded at commenting. Here was the prime minister of Iraq, an ally of Iran and a former resident of Syria, watching Syria being attacked from his own territory – without his knowledge. (Asia Times)

Barclays seeks $11.8 billion injection. Barclays plans to raise £7.3 billion, or $11.8 billion, by selling shares to Abu Dhabi and Qatar to meet Britain’s new capital requirements for banks without the government’s help. (IHT)

U.S. to suspend Bolivia trade benefits as tensions mount. The Bush administration is poised to suspend lucrative trade benefits to Bolivia in a move that could further worsen tensions between the U.S. and the impoverished South American country. (McClatchy)

Russia focuses on Medvedev address after last-minute delay. Russia watchers were long curious to hear President Dmitry Medvedev’s first national address, originally scheduled for October 23. Now, interest has only grown, after a last-minute decision was made to delay it by almost two weeks. (Khaleej Times/DPA)

Somalia’s Pirates Flourish in a Lawless Nation. More than 75 vessels have been attacked this year, far more than any other year in recent memory. About a dozen have been set upon in the past month alone, including a Ukrainian freighter packed with tanks, antiaircraft guns and other heavy weaponry, which was brazenly seized in September. (New York Times)

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