Home > News > News in Brief: 7 November 2008

News in Brief: 7 November 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Russia Studies New US Missile Defense Proposal. The United States has presented Russia new plans for a missile defense system in the hopes of mollifying Moscow’s objections to the program and salvaging nuclear control accords between the two nations. (Deutsche Welle)

Let’s throw away the rule book. Bretton Woods II must establish economic doctrines that work in emerging economies as well as in capitalism’s heartland. The world is sinking into a major global slowdown, likely to be the worst in a quarter-century, perhaps since the Great Depression. This crisis was “made in America,” in more than one sense. (Guardian)

In Rare Turn, Iran’s Leader Sends Letter to Obama. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent an unusual letter congratulating President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday for his victory in the American presidential race, even though the two nations have had no diplomatic ties for nearly 30 years. (New York Times)

Iraq, Shell: gas deal not a monopoly, as documents and top lawmaker contend. Officials at Royal Dutch Shell and the Iraqi Oil Ministry refute claims that a proposed gas joint venture would have exclusive access to Basra province’s gas industry, though a key member of Parliament criticizes the project. (Iraq Oil Report)

Syrians stare terror in the face. Syrians have been rocked by revelations that several members of the Lebanon-based terror group that carried out a deadly suicide attack in Damascus in September were Syrians. This is testimony to just how vulnerable Syria has become to terrorism and fundamentalism, and indicates that such groups must have already infiltrated more vulnerable places like Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. (Asia Times)

Winter Soldier: Domingo Rosas. One veteran’s chilling account of what he saw while serving in the Iraq War underscores the violent way U.S. forces have treated Iraqi detainees, even after they’ve died. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

37 civilians killed in US strike: Afghan report. A coalition airstrike and clashes with the Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan earlier this week killed 37 civilians and 26 insurgents, according to an Afghan government report released Friday. (Gulf News)

13 killed in suspected US drone missile strike. Suspected US drones fired missiles into a Pakistan border region on Friday killing 13 militants, including four foreigners, officials said, the latest in a series of strikes that has infuriated Pakistan. (Gulf News)

Will Obama Have to Adjust His Timetable on Iraq? Senior U.S. military officials will likely advise Barack Obama to adjust his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by mid-2010. While promising a 16-month timetable for getting all U.S. fighting forces out, Obama repeatedly insisted on what he calls a “responsible” withdrawal. (Time)

The USA’s New Littoral Combat Ships. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is the U.S. Navy’s newest surface combatant class. Optimized for shallow seas and operations within 100 miles of shore, but deployable across the ocean, LCS ships are a centerpiece of the USA’s new focus on littoral warfare. They will help to counter growing “asymmetric” threats like coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines, global piracy, and terrorists on small fast attack boats. (Defense Industry Daily)

China official ends turbulent Taiwan trip. A Chinese official left Taiwan today after a turbulent visit that produced landmark trade agreements but also sparked angry protests by thousands opposed to China’s claim of sovereignty over the self-ruled island. (The Independent/Reuters)

Lebanese dialogue to resume in December. Lebanon’s rival political leaders met on Wednesday for a second round of talks on lingering disputes but no breakthrough was made given deep-seated differences over Hizbullah’s weapons and the dialogue’s participants. (The Daily Star)

Russia: First Time a Tragedy, Second Time a Farce? Where there’s smoke in Moscow, there must be a conflagration of speculation: various media outlets were predicting on November 6 that Russia’s political supremo, Vladimir Putin, will officially reclaim the presidency as early as 2009. One report, printed in the Moscow newspaper Vedomosti and citing an unidentified source close to the Kremlin, hinted that incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev was merely keeping the seat warm for Putin. Medvedev, the report suggested, might even resign next year, opening the way for Putin’s “re-election.” The flurry of media speculation followed Medvedev’s announcement on November 5 that he would seek to lengthen the presidential term from four to six years. (Eurasianet)

Palestinian youth unemployment rate soars. The highest percentage of unemployed Palestinians is made up by youth. The age group hardest hit is those aged 20-24, at a little less than half unemployed (43.4%). The statistic is distorted due to the disparity between West Bank and Gaza employment rates. Of the same age group, 35.1 percent were unemployed in the West Bank while in Gaza, the same age group represented 58.5 percent. (Ma’an)

Barak to Rice: Israel convinced Iran working on nuclear arms. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday that Israel was convinced Iran is working toward creating an atomic bomb while simultaneously deceiving the world by negotiating over supervision of its contentious nuclear program. (Haaretz)

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