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Monday, Oct 20th

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Possible war with Iran could be month-long affair: Israel minister

War with Iran would probably turn into a month-long conflict on various fronts with missile strikes on Israeli cities and some 500 dead, Israel's civil defence minister said in an interview published on Wednesday.

"There is no room for hysteria. Israel's home front is prepared as never before," Matan Vilnai, a former general who is about to leave his cabinet post to become ambassador to China, told the Maariv daily.

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U.S. drone kills 5 militants in northern Pakistan

Drone attack A missile launched from a U.S. drone struck a suspected militant hideout in a tribal region in northern Pakistan where allies of a powerful warlord were gathered Saturday, killing five of his supporters, Pakistani officials said.

The strike in North Waziristan against allies of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant commander whose forces frequently target U.S. and other NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, comes amid speculation over whether Pakistan will launch an operation against militants in the tribal region.

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Australian politicians demand inquiry into Iraq invasion

Malcolm FraserThey say an independent inquiry must investigate the circumstances that led the then National-Liberal coalition to participate in the US-led invasion in 2003 in which Australia contributed 2,000 troops, including special forces. It must also conduct a review of the war powers of the government, and draw lessons for the future.

Demands for an inquiry are led by former Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, former defence secretary, Paul Barratt, and former chief of the Australian Defence Force, General Peter Gration.

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U.S. To Start Carving Up Afghanistan's Vast Resources

In yet another move that could be seen coming from a mile away by even the most casual observer, a recently released statement from the Department of Defense is announcing that U.S. agencies are now “aiding” Afghanistan to locate and pinpoint the nation’s mineral wealth.

This “treasure mapping” of Afghanistan is being conducted in anticipation of the opening of the bidding process for private companies who are no doubt salivating as they wait in the wings for their opportunity to gobble up the natural wealth of the impoverished and war-torn nation and, subsequently, turn it into massive profits.

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US drone strikes listed and detailed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen

Drone strikesAre drone attacks becoming the face of modern warfare? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has collected the comprehensive database of reported drone attacks.

It shows hundreds of attacks: 337 at least in Pakistan, largely along the tribal areas of Waziristan, especially in the northern part - something which becomes very obvious in the chart below{see interactive chart].

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Tony Blair's Iraq meetings to remain secret after government veto

The government has vetoed an order by the independent freedom of information watchdog to release the minutes of cabinet meetings held immediately before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The government has vetoed an order by the independent freedom of information watchdog to release the minutes of cabinet meetings held immediately before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

He described the case as "exceptional" and one where, in his view, the public interest demanded the papers should be kept secret. He says he took into account "serious potential prejudice to the maintenance of effective cabinet government".

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Blair-Bush Iraq war transcript may be suppressed

Bush-Blair transcripts An explosive transcript of one of Tony Blair's final conversations with George Bush before the invasion of Iraq may be suppressed by the coalition government, Whitehall sources have confirmed.

Dominic Grieve, the attorney general, believes there is "a case to answer" in favour of blocking an information tribunal ruling that ordered the former leaders' telephone exchange to be released in the public interest.

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