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/ 31 May 2008

Burma junta under new pressure over cyclone victims

Burma’s junta on Saturday came under renewed international pressure from rights groups and the United States defence chief, who said its slow response to the cyclone disaster had cost "tens of thousands of lives". US Defence Secretary Robert Gates criticised the delay in allowing in foreign aid, saying US ships could have swiftly brought relief.

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/ 13 April 2008

Battles kill 13 in Sadr City, blockade eased

United States and Iraqi forces killed 13 gunmen in clashes and air strikes overnight in the Baghdad stronghold of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who said the US would remain his enemy until the ”last drop of my blood”. Authorities eased a blockade on Saturday in the Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad that had trapped residents in the slum for two weeks.

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/ 21 February 2008

US missile hits spy satellite

A missile from a United States navy warship hit a defunct US spy satellite 247km above the Earth in an attempt to blow apart its tank of toxic fuel, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. It was too soon to tell if the fuel tank had been shattered in the operation over the Pacific Ocean, the Pentagon said in a statement.

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/ 20 February 2008

US ready to shoot down wayward spy satellite

The United States Defence Department said on Wednesday that the window of opportunity is now open for it to try to shoot down a failing spy satellite. The navy is planning to hit the satellite with a heat-seeking missile as early as Wednesday night. ”We’re now into the window,” a senior defence official said.

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/ 11 January 2008

Doubts grow over Iranian boat threats

Doubts intensified on Thursday night over the nature of an alleged aggressive confrontation by Iranian patrol boats and American warships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, after Pentagon officials admitted that they could not confirm that a threat to blow up the US ships had been made directly by the Iranian crews involved in the incident.

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/ 8 December 2007

How intelligence expert rewrote book on Iran

The intelligence came from an exotic variety of sources: there was the so-called Laptop of Death; there was the Iranian commander who mysteriously disappeared in Turkey. But pivotal to the United States investigation into Iran’s suspect nuclear-weapons programme was the work of a little-known intelligence specialist, Thomas Fingar.

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/ 5 December 2007

Suicide bomber kills 13 in Kabul

A suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Afghan army personnel in Kabul on Wednesday, killing six military staff and seven civilians, a defence ministry source said. The bomber used a car in the attack, which happened during the morning rush hour on a road in the south-western part of the city.

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/ 15 November 2007

Israel braces for ‘the day after’

Israel is quietly preparing for the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran despite public pledges to deny its arch-foe the means to pose an ”existential threat”, Israeli political and defence sources said on Thursday. Israel predicts that Iran’s nuclear programme could produce warheads by 2009.

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/ 5 November 2007

Pakistan police use tear gas on lawyers

Pakistan police used tear gas and batons on Monday against lawyers protesting at President Pervez Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule and detentions mounted, prompting Washington to postpone defence talks. Musharraf cited spiralling militancy and hostile judges to justify Saturday’s action, and slapped reporting curbs on the media.