Home > News > News in Brief: 15 January 2009

News in Brief: 15 January 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Israel hits UN refugee agency, media offices in Gaza as army advances. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said its compound, where up to 700 Palestinians were being sheltered, was hit twice by fire and three staff members were injured. A hospital in Gaza City with 500 people inside caught fire on Thursday after an Israeli strike, Al Jazeera also reported. It was not immediately clear whether there were any injuries, AFP reported. The strike occurred near the Al-Quds Hospital in the southwestern neighbourhood of Tal Al-Hawa, where hundreds of people had taken shelter from advancing Israeli tanks in the early morning hours. Since Israel unleashed its Operation Cast Lead on December 27, more than 1,000 people have been killed and around 5,000 wounded, according to news agencies. (Hurriyet)

Gaza: Coming Up to Crunch Time. “The war isn’t yet over, but it’s the beginning of the final chapter,” said Eytan Ben-Eliyahu, former Israeli air force chief, on Israel Television Wednesday night. “This is the crunch moment,” he added. (IPS)

GCC in Security-Sympathy Fix Over Gaza. As Israel’s assault on Gaza continues into a third week, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries remain distressed on two fronts — mounting Arab anger over Palestinian causalities and concern over Tehran and Tel Aviv using Hamas to settle their differences. (IPS)

USA: Prelude to an Inaugural. (TomDispatch)

Islamists take bases in Mogadishu. The last Ethiopian troops in Somalia’s capital have left Mogadishu, two years after they captured it from Islamists who again control much of it. A BBC reporter says most of the six vacated bases have been taken over by insurgents from different factions, seemingly working together. Troops loyal to the interim government have control of only two of the bases. (BBC)

Russia feels pinch over arms plans. Though Russia’s top brass won’t admit it, the country’s financial woes are having an impact on plans to modernize the armed forces. The government has cut the “expenses” of the military by 15%, while the defense industry is struggling to fulfill the demands of the Kremlin’s agenda as signs of even deeper problems emerge. (Asia Times)

Russia-Ukraine gas dispute enters 9th day. Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, said Ukraine had “again today refused to transit Russian gas to Europe through its export pipelines.” The Russian company said it had requested that Naftogaz, the Ukrainian gas company, accept nearly 100 million cubic meters of gas for export to Moldova, the Balkans and Slovakia, “but Ukraine has now declined on the grounds that there was not a technical agreement in place for gas transit throughout 2009.” (International Herald Tribune)

Turkey: Ergenekon suspect Güney’s testimony aired on television. The police testimony of Tuncay Güney, who is seen as a key figure in the ongoing Ergenekon investigation because he appears to have been a member of multiple intelligence agencies, both legitimate and clandestine, was aired on television yesterday for the first time. (Today’s Zaman)

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