IRAN: Top Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is warning Tehran's government it will not be able to put down the reform movement by force, and says he is not afraid to become a martyr. In a statement posted on opposition Web sites (Mousavi's own Kaleme site and Jaras) Friday, the reformer said Iran is in the midst of a "serious crisis." Mousavi warned jailing or killing opposition leaders will not calm the situation. He also called on the government to adopt a five-point plan, which includes freeing political prisoners and establishing new, transparent election laws.
AFGHANISTAN: News reports say this week's suicide attack on a base in eastern
Afghanistan struck at the heart of America's covert operations in the
Former intelligence officers briefed on the incident spoke to major U.S. news outlets on condition of anonymity.
They said the base in Khost province (called Forward Operating Base Chapman)
was responsible for gathering intelligence along the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and then overseeing efforts to kill top
militant leaders, often with the use of drones.
The intelligence officers also said it appeared that the suicide
bomber, a man wearing an Afghan army uniform, was being courted as an
informant, and may not have been searched.
PAKISTAN: Pakistani security officials say at least three militants are dead in
the second attack by a U.S. drone in as many days.
Officials say the drone launched a missile Friday
at a car traveling in the North Waziristan tribal region, near the
border with Afghanistan.
Officials and witnesses said militants later surrounded the blast site
and removed the bodies, which were burned beyond recognition.
Three people were killed in a U.S. drone attack Thursday in the same
The United States has been using drones to hit al-Qaida and Taliban
targets in the region.
US - AIRLINE ATTACK: U.S. President Barack Obama says he will meet with his security chiefs
Tuesday in Washington to discuss how to prevent a repeat of the failed
Christmas Day (December 25) attack on a U.S.-bound jetliner.
In a written statement Thursday, Mr. Obama said he received preliminary
reports from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and another
senior official on the "human and systemic failures" that occurred
leading up to last Friday's incident. The president says he will review
additional reports over the next few days.
US - NOKOR: In a New Year's message Friday, North Korea has called for an end to hostile relations with the United States.
A joint editorial by several state newspapers says the fundamental way
to ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the rest
of Asia is to end the hostile relationship between North Korea and the
The message, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, also
said that North Korea wants a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. It said
that can be brought about through dialogue and negotiations.
NEW YEAR'S DAY 2010: Hundreds of thousands of people were on hand in New York City's Times
Square at midnight Friday as 2010 finally arrived on the continental
The revelers cheered as the traditional crystal ball dropped down a
23-meter long pole during the last minute of 2009. The huge crowd
braved frigid temperatures hovering near minus one degree Celsius.
New York police were out in force in the historic tourist attraction
after a failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S. airliner rekindled
security fears. Authorities swept the area with biological and
radiation detection equipment.
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