Home > News > News in Brief: 15 April 2009

News in Brief: 15 April 2009

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A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Militants open a new front in Pakistan. When a United States Predator drone recently attacked the tribal headquarters of Baitullah Mehsud it not only missed the Pakistani Taliban leader, it stirred a hornet’s nest. Mehsud has vowed to strike back in the urban areas, starting in the port city of Karachi… (Asia Times)

US Takes Afghan Strategy to Villages. The deepening U.S. involvement in the Afghan war is forcing villagers to answer a dangerous question: Whose side are you on? (Wall Street Journal)

Turkey: Washington’s geopolitical pivot. United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Ankara has significantly raised the stakes in the complex game for control of Eurasia. The key purpose of the trip was a US wooing of Turkey due to the strategic place it holds between Europe and Russia, the US’s great competitor for Central Asia… (Asia Times)

Azerbaijan: Is Baku Ready to Cause Geopolitical Problems over Turkish-Armenian Thaw? Hope is laden with peril in the South Caucasus these days. After decades of enmity, Armenia and Turkey appear ready to make peace. But Azerbaijan — Turkey’s ally and Armenia’s enemy — has made it known that if the developing rapprochement does not take Baku’s interests into account, then it is ready to blow up the region’s present geopolitical and economic balance. (Eurasianet)

China launches second satellite in GPS system. China fired into orbit on Wednesday its second satellite in a programme to build an alternative to the global positioning system based on US satellites. (Gulf News / AP)

China juggles its future in Africa. The myth that China is merely in Africa for its resources is as false as the myth that China will soon need to retreat from the continent due to the global recession. Beijing is there for soft power, new markets and nurturing a new diaspora, while the downturn will merely sap the West’s viability as… (Asia Times)

Jordan convicts three Hamas militants who operated in country. A Jordanian court convicted Wednesday three militants from the radical Palestinian group Hamas who were allegedly operating in Jordan. The three were convicted on a number of charges including monitoring the Israeli embassy in Amman, and military sites on the borders with Israel and Syria for the militant group. (Haaretz)

Jordan raises level of alertness after Egyptian report of Hizbullah cell… Amman has raised its level of alertness despite the lack of specific warnings on possible terror cells working in the Hashemite kingdom. (Jerusalem Post)

Why Hamas is no ‘extremist’. In the mechanistic template imposed by western leaders on the Middle East, of ‘moderates’ who must be supported versus ‘extremists’ who must be isolated and undermined, Hamas has to be painted, by mechanical necessity alone, as ‘extremists’. Hamas has become the ‘extremists’ to answer in neat symmetry to the ‘moderates’ of Ramallah, who for other reasons American and European leaders wish in any event to support. (Conflicts Forum / openDemocracy)

MIDEAST: Aid Rots Outside Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is piling up in cities across Egypt’s North Sinai region, despite recent calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. (IPS)

India tests nuclear-capable missile: official. India Wednesday successfully tested a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a facility in eastern Orissa state, defence sources said. (Khaleej Times / AFP)

Ukraine Arrests Three Attempting To Sell Radioactive Material. Ukraine’s SBU security service has arrested three men, including a regional lawmaker, who allegedly tried to sell a radioactive substance suitable for use in a terror attack. (RFE/RL)

Thailand Revokes Thaksin’s Passport. Thailand has revoked the passport of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for instigating political unrest, the government spokesman said. (New York Times)

Algerian court confirms Bouteflika’s re-election. Algeria’s highest legal body has confirmed President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika’s landslide re-election victory and rejected 47 appeals by challengers who alleged mass fraud. The chief of the Constitutional Council, Boualem Bessaih, said Bouteflika won 90.23 percent of the vote, according to Algerian newspaper reports Tuesday. (The Daily Star)

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