Home > News > News in Brief: 30 December 2008

News in Brief: 30 December 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Israeli vessel hits Gaza-bound boat. A small boat, damaged as it tried to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, has arrived in the Lebanese port of Tyre. The Dignity started taking on water after it was hit by an Israeli naval vessel as it approached the Israeli coast with its cargo of medical aid. (Al Jazeera)

Gulf Arabs divided over Gaza solution at summit. Gulf Arab heads of state were divided at a summit in Oman on Tuesday over how to address the conflict between Israel and Hamas, even though they were united in calling for an end to Israeli raids on Gaza.Qatar, one of the six US allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council, has called for an Arab summit to discuss the offensive that has killed about 350 Palestinians, while regional power Saudi Arabia has said it saw little benefit in a meeting where leaders make weightless statements. (DAWN)

Three Israelis killed, 32 injured in 100 Hamas missile attacks Monday. The three Israelis killed were IDF career officer, Sgt. Maj. Lutfi Nasr e-Din, 38, from Daliat Hacarmel, at Nahal Oz, a woman motorist, Irit Sheetrit, 39, mother of four, who sought shelter in the Ashdod bus terminus, 30 km from Gaza; and earlier in Ashkelon, Hani al-Mahdi, 27, a construction worker from the Bedouin Negev village of Ar’ur. (DEBKAfile)

Only mild Security Council criticism for Israeli attacks. After an emergency closed-door session Sunday night, the 15-member Security Council issued a politically bland statement expressing “serious concern” over the devastating Israeli air strikes on Gaza and calling for an “immediate halt to all violence.” Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, points out that the Security Council “reflected the strategic goals and alliances of the most powerful veto- wielding countries, particularly that of the United States.” (Electronic Intifada)

Mubarak: We’ll open Gaza crossing only if PA takes control. But Egypt resists dealing with the Islamic militant Hamas because it opposes the militant group’s 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip and insists Abbas is the legitimate Palestinian leader. Yemeni protesters angered by Cairo’s cooperation with Israel in imposing a blockade on Gaza stormed the Egyptian consulate in the southern city of Aden on Tuesday, witnesses said. (Haaretz)

Next EU president Czech Republic defends Israeli strikes in Gaza. The Czech Republic, which takes over the European Union’s presidency on January 1, defended Israel’s strikes against Hamas on Tuesday. (Haaretz)

Israel presses on with Gaza attacks. Israel rejected any truce with Hamas Islamists today and said it was ready for “long weeks of action” on the fourth day of the fiercest air offensive in the Gaza Strip in decades. (The Independent/Reuters)

Pakistan is Said to Close U.S. Supply Route. Pakistan closed the main route used to ferry supplies to U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan on Tuesday after launching a fresh offensive against militants in the area. (New York Times)

INDIA : Seeking China’s Support in Dealing With Pakistan. As the Pakistani government digs its heels in against India’s demands for action on the suspected masterminds of the November terrorist strikes in Mumbai, the Indian foreign policy establishment is looking to China rather than the United States for support. (IPS)

Omar Abdullah set to become Kashmir’s next ruler. The young, charismatic heir of a political dynasty in Indian-administered Kashmir appeared set to head a coalition state government with India’s ruling Congress party, in what is seen as giving hope to a region beset by separatist rebellion. (DAWN)

Afghanistan: Media Outlets Under Siege. Afghan officials and international donors like to promote the country’s “lively, free and privately owned media.” It is a success story highlighted in both Afghanistan’s much-toted National Development Strategy and at donor conferences. Yet, in most newsrooms across Afghanistan the story is somewhat different. (EurasiaNet)

Ghana opposition claims poll win. Tensions are high in Ghana as opposition candidate John Atta Mills claims election victory, ahead of official results. (BBC)

Gazprom renews Ukraine gas threat. Russia’s Gazprom has reiterated it will cut gas supplies to Ukraine on 1 January if no new contract is signed. (BBC)

Supporting the F-5 Aggressor Fleet. “F-5Ns” are routinely flown by American Navy and Marines “aggressor” squadrons in training exercises, where they simulate the small, low-cross-section (and hence hard to spot) enemies that gave American pilots such trouble in Vietnam. (Defense Industry Daily)

Atomic John: The Bomb as Fetish. “Atomic John,” an intriguing article that appeared in the New Yorker on December 15, 2008, is particularly remarkable for what it reveals about the inability of some Americans to confront the consequences of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan. (Japan Focus)

A Crack in The System. By 1998, AIG Financial Products had made hundreds of millions of dollars and had captured Wall Street’s attention with its precise, finely balanced system for managing risk. Then it subtly turned in a dangerous direction. (Washington Post)

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