Israel’s Barak boosts Obama amid U.S. threats on Iran
Dan Williams, Reuters — December 22, 2011
Israel’s defense minister extolled what he called Barack Obama’s resolve and risk-taking on Thursday, remarks likely to help the president’s re-election bid after the Pentagon beefed up warnings to Iran over its nuclear program.
Iran’s navy chief says his forces will hold war games in international waters
The Washington Post — December 22, 2011
Iran’s navy chief said Thursday his forces plan to hold a 10-day drill in international waters beyond the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, an exercise that could bring Iranian ships into proximity with U.S. Navy vessels.
South Korea Will Allow Citizens to Send Condolences to North
Jason Strother, Voice of America — December 22, 2011
The South Korean government has not offered North Korea official condolences about the death of ruler Kim Jong Il, but it is allowing private citizens and organizations to express their sympathy by granting rare cross-border contact. The decision does not sit well with some activist groups who say no one should feel sorry about the loss of a dictator.
Thousands gather in snow to mourn Kim Jong Il
CBS News — December 21, 2011
ens of thousands of mourners packed Pyongyang’s snowy main square Wednesday to pay respects to late leader Kim Jong Il as North Korea tightened security in cities and won loyalty pledges from top generals for Kim’s son and anointed heir.
US admits mistakes over killings of Pakistan troops
BBC News — December 22, 2011
The US military has admitted it bears significant responsibility for last month’s air strike on the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
US airstrike on Pakistani troops: Both sides to blame, says Pentagon
Doina Chiacu, Phil Stewart, and Michael Georgy, Christian Science Monitor — December 22, 2011
The Pakistan military fired on US helicopters and gaps in US information lead to a US airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, says Pentagon in report.
Baghdad explosions kill at least 63 in first major violence since U.S. departure
Dan Morse and Aziz Alwan, The Washington Post — December 22, 2011
More than a dozen explosions in Baghdad on Thursday killed at least 63 people — the first major violence in Iraq since the U.S. completed its troop pullout. At least 194 people were reported injured in the two-hour spate of bombings, said officials at the Ministry of Interior, who were speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.