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 Wednesday, October 18, 2006



  • French forces TO Israel: Stop Lebanon overflights or we'll open fire: The commanders of the French contingent in UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) have warned that if Israeli warplanes continue their overflights in Lebanon, they may have to open fire on them, Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday. Read here for more

  • Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it opposed a new law that would divide Iraq into federal regions. Iraq's Parliament approved last week a law that allows for the country's 18 provinces to join federal regions. Read here for more

  • As of Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006, at least 2,775 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,207 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers. Read here for more

  • A poll conducted for CNN over the weekend suggests support among Americans for the war in Iraq is dwindling to an all-time low. Just 34 percent of those polled say they support the war, while 64 percent say they oppose it. Read here for more

  • The U.S. government had sufficient basis to designate an Israeli extremist group a foreign terrorist organization, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.The State Department "reasonably found" in 2003 that the group Kahane Chai made death threats against Israeli police and then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The anti-Arab group Kahane Chai was founded by Binyamin Kahane, the American-born son of slain extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Meir Kahane, who was shot and killed in 1990 after a speech in New York, was an advocate of expelling Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Binyamin and his wife were killed in an ambush-style attack in 2000 in the West Bank. Read here for more

  • George Bush and Tony Blair were looking more isolated than ever last night as the ground shifted further under their strategy of remaining in Iraq "until the job is done". The President and the Prime Minister were left clinging to the dream of establishing a lasting democracy in Iraq as their advisers urged them to look for a new, more realistic, exit strategy.A leaked report by the Iraq Study Group, chaired by former US secretary of state James Baker, a close friend of the Bush family, paved the way for a large-scale withdrawal of US forces and a dramatic shift of US policy.It suggested that instead of the "stay the course" policy, President Bush could extricate the US from the quagmire of Iraq by removing US forces to bases outside Iraq. In an even more spectacular U-turn, they are believed to suggest that Iran and Syria could be invited to co-operate in the stabilisation of lawless Iraq. Read here for more

  • FIJI'S military has given its government three weeks to drop contentious legislation or resign. The armed forces delivered the blunt ultimatum a week before regional leaders, including Australian Prime Minister John Howard, meet in Fiji for the Pacific Islands Forum, the Fiji Times said.The renewed military-government tension in Fiji comes as the forum prepares to address the breakdown in Australia's relations with the Solomon Islands. Read here for more

  • Venezuela will continue to fight for a seat in the United Nations Security Council even as the U.S. steps up efforts to block its bid, President Hugo Chavez said. ``I say here to the whole world: Venezuela will continue in the battle,'' Chavez said at a speech in Caracas. ``Venezuela is surrounded, Venezuela will not surrender. Let them do whatever they think is convenient.'' Chavez said the U.S. is using its influence in the International Monetary Fund and on bilateral trade negotiations to boycott Venezuela's bid. Read here for more

  • Suspected Tamil rebels carried out a suicide bomb attack on a naval base located in southern Sri Lanka, causing heavy damage and killing at least one sailor, military officials said Wednesday.At least three huge explosions were reported from the Dakshina naval facility, located 117 km south of the capital Colombo. Read here for more

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