The Iraqi government of PM Nuri al-Maliki takes over responsibility for 50,000 Sunni Arab fighters, in what are called 'Awakening Councils', whom the US has been paying $300 a month. The Shiite government is suspicious of these fighters, many of whom had earlier been guerrillas in cells attacking US troops and Iraqi police. Al-Maliki has been reluctant to accept them into the the formal army or police. The Awakening Council members are suspicious that al-Maliki plans to disarm and demobilize them, and to arrest and try many of them for their earlier guerrilla operations.
Turkey's Top Foreign Policy Aide Worries about False Optimism in Iraq
Ahmet Davutoglu, the chief foreign policy aide to Turkey’s prime minister, warned that recent optimism on Iraq in the United States overlooks significant, dangerous problems which remain unresolved and set out a viewpoint that says Iraq should be seen as a Yugoslavia on the verge of breakdown.
A report marked confidential and bearing the official seal of Spain's Defense Ministry charges that Pakistan's spy service was helping arm Taliban insurgents in 2005 for assassination plots against the Afghan government.
Washington's top nuclear negotiator took a new proposal to North Korea on Wednesday to try to salvage a derailed disarmament pact amid reported signs of activity around the communist country's nuclear test site.
There are concerns in Israel that Fatah's political faction may wish to reconcile with Hamas and redirect Palestinian anger at Israel. Anger is risng over continued incidents between extremist settlers and Palestinians coupled with lack of progress in the peace talks, and continued construction in the settlements.
A missile strike by a suspected U.S. drone killed at least six people in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, two Pakistani intelligence officials said Wednesday. American forces recently ramped up cross-border operations against Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Pakistan's wild border zone, a possible hiding place for Osama bin Laden.
Africa's first-ever solar-powered car race is underway in South Africa to raise awareness about alternative energy and promote science and technology, organisers said Wednesday.