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News in Brief: 27 May 2009

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A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Shadow Wars. In the past, war was an extension of a nation’s politics “too important,” as World War I French Premier Georges Clemenceau commented, “to be left to the generals.” But increasingly, the control of war is slipping away from the civilians in whose name and interests it is supposedly waged. While the “privatization” of war has frustrated the process of congressional oversight, its “covertization” has hidden war behind a wall of silence or denial. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Tajikistan: Are Islamic Militants Trying to Make a Comeback in Central Asia? Officials in Tajikistan are adamantly denying a large-scale government security operation in the eastern Rasht Valley has anything to do with reports that a notorious Islamic militant commander has returned to the area from Pakistan. Authorities are sticking with the story that the beefed up security presence in the mountainous region is connected with a government anti-drug offensive. (EurasiaNet)

Russian Gazprom eyes role in Iran-Pakistan pipeline. Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom is keen to participate in a pipeline to carry Iranian gas to Pakistan, the Kommersant daily reported on Wednesday, citing company and government officials. ‘This project is advantageous to Moscow since its realisation would carry Iranian gas toward South Asian markets so that in the near future it would not compete with Russian gas to Europe,’ Kommersant wrote. Russian exports satisfy over one quarter of Europe’s gas needs, but the European Union has sought to lessen its dependence with the construction of the Nabucco pipeline to pump Caspian Sea gas to Europe which would bypass Russia. (Dawn)

India: PM Manmohan set to head 79-member Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to head a 79-member council of ministers, including 33 cabinet ministers and 45 ministers of state, in his second term as head of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in India. The outgoing government had 78 ministers, just one less than the present Cabinet. (Times of India)

Car Bombing Kills at Least 30 in Pakistan. At least 30 people were killed and more than 250 injured Wednesday when an explosives-ridden car exploded outside a police building in Pakistani city of Lahore, government officials said. (Washington Post)

Iran restores Facebook. Iran restored access to Facebook yesterday after a block on the social networking website last week generated accusations that the government was trying to muzzle one of the main presidential campaign tools of the reformist opposition. (Guardian / AP)

N Korea ‘not bound by armistice’. North Korea has declared an end to its half-century-old armistice with the South, saying that it sees Seoul’s move to join a US-led anti-proliferation initiative as a “declaration of war”. The warning carried on state media on Wednesday comes two days after North Korea conducted a second nuclear test and also follows a series of missile launches. (Al Jazeera)

Divided Dubai. Dubai’s population can be divided into four major parts. First, there is a large working class that makes up about half the population. (This proportion is likely to decline over the next few months as Dubai ceases to be the world’s most intense site of construction activity.) This section of the city is generally invisible while not at work. Most laborers are forced to live in crowded camps on the outskirts of the city, where land is cheap, and conditions are generally poor. These camps often lie in inaccessible locations, meaning it would be hard for a worker to travel to the city and back by bus on a weekday even if he were not already working 10 or 12 hours a day. (Aqoul)

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  1. May 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm

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