Home > News > News in Brief: 12 November 2008

News in Brief: 12 November 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

UN says Gaza running out of food. The UN relief and works agency has said it will run out of food within the next 48 hours as the blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel continues. Christopher Gunness, the agency’s spokesman, told Al Jazeera the people in Gaza were being put through not just a “physical sense pf punishment but also a mental one. Something very unusual is happening here. This is becoming a blockade against the UN itself.” (Al Jazeera)

Obama to Explore New Approach in Afghanistan War. The incoming Obama administration plans to explore a more regional strategy to the war in Afghanistan — including possible talks with Iran — and looks favorably on the nascent dialogue between the Afghan government and “reconcilable” elements of the Taliban, according to Obama national security advisers. (Washington Post)

Kurdish expansion moves threaten stability in northern Iraq. Although world attention has focused on the battle to control oil-rich Kirkuk — where the late Saddam once purged Kurds, and now Kurds and Kurdish parties are purging Arabs — the strip of small villages connecting Sinjar to Khanaqeen has turned into a powder keg as Kurdish and Arab parties compete for the loyalties of the minorities. Both sides are using economic incentives, intimidation, detention and in some cases murder. (McClatchy)

Ten-Year Probe Reveals Oceans in Peril. A thousand points of light are being shone into the dark ocean depths as scientists from 82 countries work to complete the decade-long global research effort called the Census of Marine Life. (IPS)

Algeria deputies scrap term limit. The Algerian parliament has approved a constitutional amendment that abolishes a two-term limit for the president. The change opens the way for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a third term in elections due next April. (BBC)

Russia Aims to Extend Presidential Term Limit. Russia’s parliament said it will fast-track a bill to extend the term of the presidency, as early as this week. The move may be a bid to return Vladimir Putin to power. (Deutsche Welle)

Russia-Georgia: the Aftermath. The war in Georgia has triggered a new level of deep mistrust between Russia and its ‘Western partners’. The dramatic events of August 2008 have re-established Russia as a threatening military power in the South Caucasus energy corridor running from Baku to Georgia’s Black Sea coast. (ICG)

Islamist fighters seize two key towns in Somalia. Remnants of an Islamist government waging an insurgency against Somalia’s interim authorities took over two strategic towns in on Tuesday, the latest territory gain by a strengthening rebellion, officials said. (The Daily Star)

India test-fires nuclear-capable missile. India test-fired a medium-range, nuclear-capable missile on Wednesday from a land-based launcher in eastern India, a defence ministry official said. (Gulf News/AP)

Iran test-fires new missile. Iran has test-fired a new generation of surface-to-surface missiles, state television reported today. (The Independent/Reuters)

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