Home > News > News in Brief: 25 December 2008

News in Brief: 25 December 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Somali President May Quit, Advisers Say. Advisers to Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf said Wednesday that he would yield to mounting internal and international pressure and resign over the weekend, but officials close to him insisted the situation remained dynamic. Talk of Yusuf’s impending resignation came as the prime minister he appointed last week quit, saying he wanted to end the political infighting that has paralyzed Somalia’s transitional government as an Islamist militia has advanced across the southern half of the country. The opposition had charged that the appointment was illegal. (Washington Post)

Obama to Inherit Legacy of Free Market Free Fall. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars thrown at banks large and small, the U.S. economy is in a free fall, just weeks before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, analysts say. (IPS)

Pakistan’s spies reined in. After several failed attempts, Pakistan is taking steps to clip the wings of the powerful military dominated Inter-Services Intelligence, which has consistently been accused of dragging its feet in prosecuting the United States-led “war on terror”. At the same time, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is trying to clear the path for its surge in Afghanistan. (Asia Times)

Egypt Says Gaza Truce Unlikely With Escalation. Prospects of restoring the Egyptian-brokered truce dimmed this week after Israeli soldiers killed three Hamas gunmen they said were trying to plant explosives along the Gaza-Israeli border. Militants responded with rocket fire at southern Israel. (New York Times)

Hamas ‘may extend’ truce if Israel ends siege, stops attacks. An Egyptian-mediated six-month truce ended Friday and Hamas initially said it would not renew it in light of repeated Israeli violations of the deal. (The Daily Star/AFP)

Israeli cabinet Okays military operation in Gaza; airstrike kills one and injures three. The Israeli cabinet okayed a major military operation against the Gaza Strip, Israeli media outlets reported Wednesday evening. The electronic website of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz quoted an Israeli official as saying, “Our response will be substantial and painful to Hamas.” (Ma’an)

Leader of Coup in Guinea Installs Governors. The army captain installed as de facto head of state in Guinea in a military coup moved to cement his grip on power, but said he would not stand for president in promised elections. (New York Times)

Final phase of elections in Indian Kashmir begin. Hundreds of protesters chanting pro-independence slogans clashed with soldiers in the main city of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday, the last day of voting in state elections. (Today’s Zaman)

Iraq reverses position on fate of Iranian rebel group, vows humane treatment. The White House on Monday said it received assurances from Baghdad that an Iranian rebel group based in Iraq will not be expelled to a country where they may be persecuted, apparently excluding their return to Iran. The comments appeared to contradict a vow on Sunday from an Iraqi government delegation to oust the 3,500 PMOI rebels based at Camp Ashraf. The delegation spoke ahead of a trip by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to Tehran, where the government has long demanded the rebels be transferred to Iran. (The Daily Star/AFP)

Thousands of candidates may complicate Iraq’s provincial elections. Iraqi voters next month will see 14,500 candidates vie for 440 open seats on provincial councils, an outpouring of interest in a new phase of Iraqi self-government that could make for a baffling ballot. (McClatchy)

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