Home > News > News in Brief: 4 November 2008

News in Brief: 4 November 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Obama carries lead over McCain as U.S. polls open. A confident Democrat Barack Obama stood ready to make history by being elected America’s first black president after wrapping up a marathon two-year campaign. But Republican John McCain stubbornly promised an underdog upset in Tuesday’s election. (AP)

E.U. Offers Road Map For Policy With U.S. European governments drew up a road map for relations with the new U.S. president Monday in their maiden attempt to present a concerted policy to guide dealings with the United States. (Washington Post)

China and Taiwan Expand Accords. Chinese and Taiwanese officials signed agreements on Tuesday expanding charter flights, maritime shipping and cooperation on food safety issues, bringing their governments closer together as both struggle to overcome economic slowdowns. (New York Times)

Ageing Sweden to open doors for Indian labour. Indian workers, both skilled and semi-skilled, may soon be able to seek employment in Sweden which is ushering in immigration policy reforms to meet the ever increasing demand of its labour market. (Times of India)

Pakistanis give Gen. Petraeus an earful on his first visit. Pakistani leaders, frustrated that they’re unable to curb U.S. missile strikes on Pakistani territory, publicly reproached Gen. David Petraeus Monday on his maiden visit to this country as the new U.S. commander for the Middle East. (McClatchy)

LEBANON: Another Rupture Sealed, For Now. Over the past few months, Tripoli, a large harbour city sitting on Lebanon’s northern shores, known for its mazy souks, century-old mansions and oriental sweets, has made front page headlines, falling prey to a series of deadly security threats. Following the recent political reconciliation between warring politicians, however, the army made headway towards establishing stability by infiltrating a terrorist cell accused of orchestrating attacks against the Lebanese army. (IPS)

India seeks ‘velvet divorce’ from Iran. The United States and Israel have largely succeeded in snatching India from the “other” side of the Middle Eastern geopolitical divide, that is, from Iran’s embrace. Delhi’s drift from Tehran, apart from potentially costing it in dollars and cents, will debilitate India’s overall foreign policy in the Persian Gulf region in the critical period that will follow the election of a new US president. (Asia Times)

Iranian minister impeached for fake degree. President Ahmadinejad of Iran suffered a humiliating and politically damaging setback today when his interior minister, Ali Kordan, was impeached for dishonesty after he confessed to holding a bogus law degree from Oxford University. (Times)

Iraq still thirsting for water that’s safe to drink. Waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid are endemic. A cholera outbreak this summer sickened hundreds in Baghdad and Babil province. Diarrhea is among the leading causes of childhood illness and death in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, a nonprofit aid agency. (McClatchy)

Oil revenue has fueled the country’s growth, and even as prices have plummeted, Azerbaijan’s energy resources remain a valuable prize. Evidence of this is the tug-of-war between Russia and Europe over natural gas from the next phase of a project that’s expected to at least double current production when it moves from the planning stage to completion. (IHT)

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