US-AFGHANISTAN: The top U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan is warning that
the mission "will likely result in failure" if more troops are not sent
within the next year. The New York Times and The Washington Post
published portions of a confidential assessment made by General Stanley
McChrystal on their Web sites Monday. The general wrote that inadequate
resources will risk a longer, more-costly conflict that will probably
result in defeat. But he says success in Afghanistan is still achievable if military forces can reverse insurgent momentum.
OBAMA-FOREIGN POLICY: U.S. President Barack Obama and his national security team are
reviewing McChrystal's report, which he submitted to Defense Secretary
Robert Gates on August 30. The president is trying to decide whether to
send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. U.S. President Barack Obama says he will not make a decision on the war
in Afghanistan based on "the politics of the moment," as he faces
rising public opposition in the United States to the conflict. In a series of televised interviews broadcast Sunday (CNN's State of the Union, ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos, NBC's Meet The Press, CBS's Face the Nation), Mr.
Obama said he does not have a deadline to withdraw U.S. troops from
Afghanistan but he does not believe in an indefinite occupation.
US-TERROR SUSPECT: Three Afghan men are set to appear in U.S. federal court Monday on
charges of making false statements in a counter-terrorism investigation. The men, arrested Saturday, could face eight years in prison if convicted. Najibullah Zazi, a legal permanent U.S. resident, and his father, a U.S. citizen (Mohammed Wali Zazi), will appear in court in (the western city of) Denver,
Colorado. The third man, Ahmad Wais Afzali, will appear in New York.
Afzali is also a legal permanent resident of the United States.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says Zazi is believed to
have lied to authorities when he denied knowing about about bomb-making
instructions federal agents found in his car.
IRAN-FOREIGN CURRENCY: Iranian state media say the country will change its foreign currency reserves from the U.S. dollar to the euro.
The reports say President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered the switch
following a decision by the Forex Reserve Fund's board of trustees. Iran has already switched from using dollars to euros for its oil sales, a key source of foreign income. The country has been taking steps to distance itself from the U.S.
banking system as Washington moves to economically isolate the Tehran
government for its controversial nuclear program.
THAILAND-PROTESTS:Thai authorities have allowed protesters to rally at a disputed temple site on the country's border with Cambodia, a day after violent clashes injoured 20 people. Thai nationalists gathered Sunday near the 11th-century Khmer temple that has been at the center of tension between Thailand and Cambodia for the past year.The demonstrators from the People's Alliance for Democracy, known for their distinctive yellow shirts, called for the government to ensure Thai sovereignty over the area.