Analysts believe Iran scientist death was a foreign hit
Andrew Hammond, Reuters – July 26, 2011
(Reuters) – Western security agencies were most likely behind the killing of an Iranian scientist in an operation that underlines the myriad complications in the conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme, analysts say. Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran on Saturday, the third murder of a scientist since 2009. One was killed in a car bomb, the second by a device detonated remotely.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Names Mediator In Power Struggle
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty – July 26, 2011
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is said to have appointed a mediator to resolve disputes within the government — including the ongoing dispute between President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the parliament, which has also challenged the supreme leader’s authority. Khamenei named his ally and former judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmud Shahrudi to head an arbitration body charged with mediating the disputes, Iranian agency reports say.
North Korea Seen Conducting Large-Scale Military Drill Soon
Steve Herman, Voice of America – July 26, 2011
South Korean government sources say, based on information from intelligence teams, North Korea appears poised for a rare, large-scale military drill.he chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, addressing reporters in Washington on Monday, did not make mention of the apparent preparations in North Korea for a military exercise. But the admiral did express concern that Pyongyang’s military will conduct some sort of action against the South again, at some point.
N.Korea Lays Train Tracks to New Missile Site
Chosun Ilbo – July 25, 2011
North Korea has been laying train tracks between a new missile test site in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province and a nearby railroad station. In October last year before it shelled Yeonpyeong Island, the regime reportedly conducted an engine combustion test for the Taepodong-2 or an improved version of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile in Tongchang-ri.
Confronting an Unrepentant North Korea
Doug Bandow, The American Spectator – July 26, 2011
Just the other day the Kim Jong-il regime threatened to “wipe out” both the U.S. and South Korea if they started a war. Adm. Mike Mullen , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned: “I’m not convinced that they won’t provoke again.” Another day, another North Korean threat. The Korean Central News Agency constantly spews forth vicious epithets to little effect. But North Korea’s uncompromising policy makes any negotiated settlement seem unlikely.
N. Korea conditionally agrees to meet with S. Korea over seized assets
Yonhap – July 27, 2011
SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) — North Korea conditionally accepted South Korea’s proposal to hold talks this week to resolve an ongoing dispute over the handling of seized South Korean assets at a North Korean mountain resort, Seoul’s unification ministry said Tuesday. The North sent the South a notice earlier in the day that business representatives should be brought to the talks, according to the ministry. On Monday, South Korea proposed that officials from the two sides meet Friday at the resort on Mount Kumgang for a third round of talks.
Envoy Says U.S. Will Start Afghan Pullout, Slowly
Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times – July 25, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan — The new American ambassador to Afghanistan took the oath of office on Monday, saying in a succinct but personal speech that the United States would start to pull back from its engagement here — but only gradually. The ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, a diplomat with deep experience in some of the most difficult postings of the last 40 years, spoke to embassy staff members and senior diplomats at a moment when the Afghan war, while incrementally improved in terms of NATO casualties, is claiming a rising number of civilian lives and the Afghan government remains shaky.
In Libya’s West, Signs of Growing Frustration With NATO
C.J. Chivers, New York Times – July 24, 2011
One of the consistent experiences of reporting alongside opposition fighters in Libya is feeling the delineation between what the rank and file have to say of the NATO bombing campaign and the statements of the officials in the Transitional National Council, the de facto rebel authority. Officially, the rebel leadership cannot thank the pilots flying overhead enough. Those closer to the fighting or who live in harm’s way, however, have a richer take.