Monday, September 14, 2009


* EU, Iran to hold nuke talks on Oct. 1 Iran will meet with world powers next month for the first time in more than a year in an attempt to reduce tensions over its refusal to curb nuclear activities, while Teheran warned Israel and the US on Monday against a military strike.

* Netanyahu Rejects Full Settlement Halt Ahead of Mitchell Talks Israel will not impose a total freeze on West Bank settlement construction and will move ahead with projects already approved, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said ahead of talks with U.S. envoy George Mitchell.

* Bin Laden calls Obama 'powerless' in Afghan war Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden described President Barack Obama as "powerless" to stop the war in Afghanistan and threatened to step up guerrilla warfare there in a new audiotape released to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

* Terror group builds big base under Pakistani officials' noses A Pakistani terrorist group that's allied with al Qaida and sends jihadists to Afghanistan to fight U.S. and government troops is building a huge new base in full view of the authorities in Pakistan's most heavily populated province, locals and officials told McClatchy.

* Forget normalization - Saudi Arabia steps up boycott of Israel Despite efforts by Washington in recent years to bring about a normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, Saudi Arabia has been steadily intensifying its enforcement of the Arab League boycott of Israel.

* Saddam's legacy thrives in the Arab world Saddam Hussein killed more Arabs and Muslims than any other Middle Eastern leader in recent history.

* Venezuela's Chavez touts $2.2 million arms deal with Russia The announcement comes amid growing tensions between the leftist leader and the conservative government of Colombia, which recently agreed to host US military personnel on its bases.

* Obama to urge financial overhaul US President Barack Obama is poised to call on Congress to approve an overhaul of the US regulatory regime.

* Urgency in US Middle East talks The US Middle East envoy George Mitchell said Washington shared in a "sense of urgency" following talks with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

* China-U.S. Trade Dispute Has Broad Implications An increasingly acrimonious trade dispute between China and the United States over the past three days is officially about tires, chickens and cars, but is really much broader.