Taliban commander: we cannot win war and al-Qaida is a ‘plague’
Julian Borger / The Guardian
One of the Taliban’s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces in the country.
Libya’s Jibril has vote lead, Islamists say not beaten
Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Hadeel Al-Shalchi / Reuters
Mahmoud Jibril, Libya’s western-educated wartime prime minister who many view as a moderate, and his National Forces Alliance party have a lead in the vote tally from Saturday’s landmark election.
DRC official claims Rwanda aiding M23 rebels
An official in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed that Rwanda is aiding and arming the M23 rebel group operating in a volatile border area, raising tensions between the neighboring nations.
Trade deficit narrows on exports, cheaper oil in May
The trade deficit narrowed slightly in May as a rise in exports, including those bound for Europe and China, eased the pain of a slowdown in the broader economy, a government report showed on Wednesday.
China backs Annan’s call for Iran role in Syria talks
Douglas Hamilton / Reuters
China threw its weight behind U.N. envoy Kofi Annan on Wednesday, backing his call to include Iran in internationally-brokered talks to resolve Syria’s crisis, in the face of strong Western opposition.
U.S. crafted Pakistan “apology” to suit allies abroad, opponents at home
Missy Ryan and Andrew Quinn / Reuters
In the end it was a meeting in a nondescript conference room in Chicago that finally set in motion the long-awaited U.S. apology to Pakistan last week ending a seven-month impasse over NATO supply routes for the Afghan war.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
The Nuke Review: July 2 – July 8
Kim Jong-il ordered the mass production of nuclear bombs. Citing an internal document from North Korea, Japanese news reports that the late leader Kim Jong-il instructed DPRK officials “to mass-produce nuclear bombs” by using highly enriched uranium.
The Need for Export Control Reforms
International sales of defense technology and equipment are complex and deeply interwoven into a bureaucratic web of regulation, licensing, and compliance enforcement. Recent violations regarding the sale of weapons technology demonstrate that the export control regime needs to be reformed.
Coal Industry’s Struggles Continue
Monthly data released for the month of April by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that for the first time, electricity generated from natural gas was equal to generation from coal-fired power plants, evidence that coal’s position continues to slip.
Support Biofuels Now Or Pay The Price Later
Brig. General John Adams USA (Retired)
Despite the recent buildup, neither increased domestic oil production nor the building of oil pipelines south from Canada will result in energy independence or low fuel prices in the long term.
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