Home > News > News in Brief: 3 November 2008

News in Brief: 3 November 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Gunmen kidnap French aid worker in Kabul. Gunmen today kidnapped a French aid worker from a street in Kabul in the latest of a series of attacks against westerners in the Afghan capital. A driver for the Afghan national intelligence agency who tried to intervene was shot dead, police said. A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said the Islamist group was not involved in the incident. (Guardian)

Afghan government adviser kidnapped in Pakistan. An Afghan government adviser was kidnapped by gunmen in Pakistan, police said on Monday. Kohistani is the third prominent Afghan official to be abducted in Pakistan recently. (Gulf News)

Fear of Taliban reaches Lahore. his city has long been regarded as the cultural, intellectual and artistic heart of Pakistan, famous for its poets and writers, its gardens and historic sites left over from the Mughal Empire. The turmoil sown by militancy may have reached into the capital, Islamabad, but it rarely seemed to intrude here among the leafy boulevards that are home to many of Pakistan’s secular-minded elite. But in recent weeks, panic has found its way even here, with a series of small bombs and other threats that offer a measure of just how deeply the fear of militant groups like the Taliban has penetrated Pakistani society. (IHT)

AFGHANISTAN: ‘If Talks With Taliban Bring Peace, I’ll Support It’. Western officials are increasingly turning to new strategies in an effort to stabilise Afghanistan and defeat the insurgency here, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. The various initiatives — from negotiating with the Taliban to arming tribal militias — have differing degrees of support from Afghans. (IPS)

A strike against ‘Iranophobia’. On the eve of the United States presidential elections, a landmark visit to Tehran by the head of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been widely regarded in the Persian Gulf region as a major diplomatic overture toward Tehran by the US-backed oil sheikdoms. (Asia Times)

American dream expelled from Syria. A belated victim of the United States raid into Syria on October 27 was the American school in Damascus. The institution has been a controversial satellite of US interests in Syria since its founding more than a half-century ago, and it has often been featured as political football during the two nations’ turbulent, often bitter relationship. (Asia Times)

Petraeus visits shaky anti-terror ally Pakistan. Pakistan and the U.S. had a chance to sort through tensions in their anti-terror alliance Monday as David Petraeus, the general newly tasked with responsibility for America’s two wars, visited the Muslim nation. (Khaleej Times/AP)

A 21st-Century Bretton Woods? Global financial summit hinges on China playing a role once taken by U.S. As international pressures build to create a new international financial and currency order in the wake of the most severe global crisis since the 1930s, interest—and fantasy—center not only on the critical role of the United States but equally on China. China is now in the spotlight not only because of its position as a rising economic power, not only because of its vast financial currency reserves in the range of $2 trillion, but also because of currency strategies that align the yen to the dollar to keep its value low in order to maximize exports. (Japan Focus)

Egypt: governing party spokesman talks of country’s present and future. Quote: ‘There seems to be an open season for attacking Gamal Mubarak and the party, and it falls immediately ahead of the NDP’s conference. It is an attempt to divert attention and stir up public opinion. It has happened for at least five years. Every year there are the same claims, that this is a conference to plan the succession, and every year it is not.’ (Al-Ahram)

Dalai Lama admits Tibet failure. The Dalai Lama says he has lost faith in the Chinese government and is giving up efforts to push for greater autonomy for Tibet. With the situation inside Tibet getting worse, he said it was now up to the Tibetan people to decide how to move forwards. (Al Jazeera)

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