Home > News > News in Brief: 23 November 2009

News in Brief: 23 November 2009

A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Out of Iraq, into the Gulf. The United States may (or may not) be pulling out of Iraq, but militarily speaking, through US sites and those of its key regional partners, it is planning to get deeper into the Gulf region, from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to Jordan and Oman. (Asia Times)

Why French Algerians’ football celebrations turned into a battle. Algerians were celebrating that they had, for the first time since 1986, qualified for the World Cup. As the final whistle blew in the match against Egypt, there was near-delirium across Paris. As the evening went on, more than 12,000 Algerians poured on to the Champs Elysées… Armed police had by now gathered around the Arc de Triomphe, trying to break up the crowds. They were met with taunts, stones and fireworks. The party soon degenerated into a riot and the cries of “Vive l’Algérie” were replaced by the familiar battle cry of “Nique la police” (Fuck the police). The police responded with teargas and baton charges. There were 60 arrests, and similar scenes in Lyon and Marseille. The violence carried on and by Friday morning the police reported that more than 200 cars had been burnt in the suburbs of Paris. (Shamel Azmeh)

Israeli jet strike Gaza targets. Palestinian medical workers say seven injured in attack on number of targets in Strip. IDF spokesperson says strikes targeted weapons factories, smuggling tunnel, in response to rocket fired on Israel Saturday. (Ynet)

Iraq parliament passes new vote law. Iraq’s fractious parliament on Monday approved an amended version of a law needed to hold a general election next year, but sidestepped a veto by Sunni Arab Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, lawmakers said. The law will return to the presidential council, where lawmakers close to Hashemi said he might veto it again — potentially delaying by a month the election due in January and threatening U.S. plans for a troop drawdown next year. (Reuters)

Larijani says Iran pursue more global interaction. An influential Iranian politician says Tehran must pursue a foreign policy strategy that is based on interaction with other world powers. “It is only through such interaction that we can harness tension and reduce the level of hostility. This can only be achieved through well-planned, active and cautious diplomacy,” Mohammad-Javad Larijani said in interview that was aired on Sunday night. Mohammad-Javad Larijani is a well-known figure inside Iranian politics and the brother of two top officials, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Sadeq Larijani. (PressTV)

Japan to build fleet’s biggest helicopter destroyer to fend off China. The nation’s Maritime Self-Defence Force is reportedly planning to construct a new 284 metre long destroyer capable of transporting 14 helicopters, 4,000 people and 50 trucks. The purchase is part of a wider military build up in which the Defence Ministry has sought funds to purchase around 40 F-35 fighter jets which will become the future mainstay of the nation’s air force, according to Kyodo News. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), is projected to cost around £61 million (nine billion yen) and is currently being developed by the United States, with Britain and Australia as founding partners. (Telegraph)

USA: Spy satellites lose their mystique. Unlike the more sordid aspects of espionage, spy satellites have reputation for being a nice “clean” way to check up on things that ones foes, friends, and others are doing. For almost fifty years it has been reasonably easy for the Intelligence Community (IC) to convince Congress to fund these programs. The legislature has traditionally be willing to concede that the government’s specialists have the expertise and the ability to build the state-of-the-art satellites and the ground based image interpretation systems that the nation needs. That seems to be changing. (The Space Review)

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