Iran fires 14 missiles in 2nd day of war games
Parisa Hafezi, Reuters – June 28, 2011
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards tested 14 missiles on Tuesday, the second day of war games intended as a show of strength toward the Islamic Republic’s enemies Israel and the United States. The Iranian-made surface-to-surface missiles, with a maximum range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), were fired simultaneously at a single target, the official IRNA news agency reported.
IRAN: Activist and documentary filmmaker seized; reasons undisclosed
Los Angeles Times – June 28, 2011
Renowned filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi was taken from her Tehran home Sunday by unidentified security forces for “unknown” reasons, reported the Iranian opposition website Kaleme. According to the website of former premier Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the prominent women’s rights activist may have been seized by intelligence services of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.
Iran’s president warns against more arrest of his allies
AP – June 29, 2011
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s embattled president has denounced recent arrests of his allies on corruption charges and has warned against detentions of any Cabinet members. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday the arrests are “politically motivated” and seek to pressure his government. Dozens of the president’s allies have been detained over the past months in an evolving power struggle between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s clerical leaders.
Maersk fears new U.S. sanctions may disrupt Iran’s food imports
Reuters – June 29, 2011
The head of Maersk Line (MAERSKb.CO) on Wednesday raised concerns that U.S. sanctions against a major Iranian port operator could disrupt food shipments to the Islamic Republic. Lawyers for the world’s top container shipping firm were reviewing whether it needed to alter its operations in Iran to comply with last week’s blacklisting of Tidewater Middle East Co by the United States.
Rare inter-Korean meeting fails
CNN International – June 29, 2011
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — A rare inter-Korean meeting ended prematurely Wednesday with no progress. North Korea told the South to “go back” according to Lee Jong-Joo, a spokeswoman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, insisting they would not talk with anyone from the government itself. A delegation of twelve South Korean government officials and businessmen crossed the border into North Korea’s Kumgang tourist resort to try to resolve a dispute over South Korean assets there.
Gov’t Softens Stance on Apology from N.Korea
The Chosun Ilbo – June 29, 2011
South Korea is after all ready to hold unconditional inter-Korean nuclear talks without insisting on an apology from North Korea for last year’s attacks on the Navy corvette Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island last year. The announcement came right after Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan discussed Seoul’s North Korea policy with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. Seoul’s insistence on an apology was increasingly seen in both China and the U.S. as the main obstacle to further talks with North Korea
South Korea, U.S. Agree to Maintain Strong Posture on North
Global Security Newswire – June 27, 2011
South Korea and the United States on Friday said they would not deviate from an allied approach on North Korea that focuses first on an improvement in inter-Korean relations before any aid-for-denuclearization talks are held, Reuters reported (see GSN, June 24).
Taliban hotel attack kills at least nine, rattles Afghan capital
Pamela Constable and Javed Hamdard, Washington Post – June 29, 2011
The siege of the Intercontinental by a squad of Taliban suicide bombers and heavily armed gunmen was one of the most sophisticated and audacious attacks on the capital in years. It took the lives of at least nine civilians, including hotel staff and visitors, and wounded a dozen more, ending only when surviving attackers were shot dead by NATO helicopter gunships during a pre-dawn last stand on the hotel roof.
What Would Nixon Do?
Gideon Rose, New York Times – June 25, 2011
PRESIDENT OBAMA has made good on his pledge to begin drawing down American forces in Afghanistan, but his stated strategy is unlikely to lead to a successful withdrawal. What he needs is a strategy for getting out without turning a retreat into a rout — and he would be wise to borrow one from the last American administration to extricate itself from a thankless, seemingly endless counterinsurgency in a remote and strategically marginal region. Mr. Obama should ask himself, in short: What would Nixon do?
Nuclear Plant’s Vital Equipment Dry, Officials Say
Matthew L. Wald, New York Times – June 27, 2011
FORT CALHOUN, Neb. — When safety regulators arrive for a tour of a nuclear plant, the operators usually give the visitors a helmet, safety glasses and earplugs. When Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, got to the Fort Calhoun plant on Monday morning, the Omaha Public Power District offered him a life jacket. Vital equipment like generators, pumps and controls are dry, according to the power company and to Mr. Jaczko, who spent a couple of hours clambering over walls of sandbags and inspecting waterproof barriers, some of which were added in recent months at the commission’s insistence.
Obama to Hold News Conference Wednesday
Mark Landler, New York Times – June 28, 2011
President Obama will hold a news conference on Wednesday morning in the East Room of the White House, the administration said on Tuesday. Mr. Obama will take questions a day after armed insurgents attacked a luxury hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, apparently targeting foreigners. The president is also expected to face questions about the NATO-led air campaign in Libya and his decision not to seek Congressional authorization under the War Powers Resolution.