US - NOKOR: A top U.S. intelligence official says North Korea's recent nuclear test
and missile launches, and the country's political situation are "a
potentially dangerous mixture."
Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair says that while the
overall pattern is a familiar one for North Korea, the level of risk is
higher because Pyongyang is doing provocative things at a time there
are questions about a succession of power.
Blair made his remarks in Washington during an address Monday evening
to business leaders with ties to the intelligence community.
NOKOR - NUCLEAR: North Korea says it will use its nuclear weapons both to defend itself
and as an offense against those who seek to attack the regime.
An editorial published Tuesday in North Korea's state-run Minju Joson
newspaper says its nuclear arsenal will be a strong deterrent against
any enemies, and will also be used to carry out a "merciless offensive"
against those who violate its dignity and sovereignty.
BURMA - THAILAND - REFUGEES: Thai authorities have confirmed that thousands of ethnic Burmese have
crossed the border to escape recent fighting between ethnic rebel
forces and government soldiers.
Human rights groups say as many as 3,000 ethnic Karen villagers have
fled into Thailand since the military began attacks on the Karen
National Union forces.
Burma's military government has been battling the Karen ethnic
insurgents for decades, and has stepped up pressure on the rebels to
end the fighting and support elections set for next year.
THAILAND - VIOLENCE: Officials in southern Thailand say gunmen opened fire inside a mosque
during evening prayers, killing at least 11 people and wounding at
least 12 others.
Police initially said five men carrying assault rifles on Monday evening sprayed the worshippers with bullets.
But a military official later said there were only two attackers.
One of the dead was the imam of the mosque in Narathiwat province.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
IRAN - ELECTION: Tens of thousands of Iranians rallied Monday to show support for
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi ahead
of Friday's presidential election.
Supporters of Mr. Ahmadinejad crowded into the Imam Ruhollah Khomeini
mosque, while thousands of people who support former Prime Minister
Mousavi formed a human chain that stretched through the city. The huge
rallies reflect official predictions of high turnout at the polls.
PAKISTAN: The U.S. director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, says the
Pakistani army is making gains against Islamic militants because
Pakistan's citizens are supporting the fight against extremists.
Speaking in Washington late Monday after a recent trip to Pakistan,
Blair said this is the first time in the campaign that Pakistani army
operations have the support of both the government and the public.
On Tuesday, Pakistani officials said the nation's army sent military
helicopters to a northwestern region to support villagers who have
taken up arms against Taliban militants.
US - CIA - INTERROGATIONS: The CIA has told a federal judge that releasing documents about the
agency's interrogations of suspected terrorists during the
administration of former President George W. Bush would endanger
In papers sent to the judge in New York, CIA Director Leon Panetta said
the documents would compromise national security by informing U.S.
enemies of what was known about them and how the information was
US - MIDEAST: U.S. envoy George Mitchell is in Jerusalem to discuss Middle East peace with Israeli leaders.
Mitchell met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israeli
President Shimon Peres Tuesday. He told Mr. Peres that everyone
involved in the peace process shares an "obligation" to create
conditions for a quick conclusion of negotiations.
Mitchell will also hold talks with Israel's foreign minister before meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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