Wednesday, May 5, 2010

FP morning brief 5/5

Pakistan arrests 7 over Times Square bomb plot

Top news: Pakistani officials say they have arrested seven people in Karachi in connection with last weekend's failed bombing attempt in New York's Times Square. At least one of the men arrested was reportedly a friend of Pakistani-American suspect Faisal Shazad. Some media reports have identified the arrested men as his relatives. Shahzad comes from a wealthy family in Northwest Pakistan and his father is a former top officer in the air force.

Shahzad is said to have admitted his role in the attempt and has told authorities that he received training in Pakistan. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that Faisal has been providing "useful information" since he was pulled off a plane to Dubai on Monday night. While authorities have not yet determined whether Shahzad was tied to any international terrorist group, suspicion has focused on factions of the Pakistani Taliban. If proven true, this would be the Pakistani Taliban's first attempted attack on the United States.

British election: Candidates are making their final push for votes ahead of Thursday's election with polls giving David Cameron's Conservatives a narrow lead over Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party and challenger Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.

  • Taliban suicide bombers attacked a government compound in the Southwestern Afghan province of Nimroz.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is set to meet Chinese leaders in Beijing today on day three of his trip to China.
  • Kyrgyzstan's interim government has begun a criminal investigation of firms that sold fuel to the U.S. airbase at Manas.
Middle East
  • Iraq's two main Shiite blocs, including one led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki say they will unite in an attempt to form a government.
  • Iran began new war games in the Persian Gulf.
  • Syria's government criticized the United States's renewal of sanctions against Damascus.
  • Protesters clashed with police in Athens as thousands of government workers went on strike.
  • Northern Irish police arrested five IRA dissidents in connection with a series of recent bombings.
  • A new wave of volcanic ash forced flight cancellations in Ireland and Scotland today.
  • Iran has agreed in principle to have Brazil mediate its stalled nuclear fuel swap talks.
  • Relief workers are rushing to take advantage of calm weather in the Gulf of Mexico as they attempt to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • Former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner was named to lead the 12-nation South American group, UNASUR.
-By Joshua Keating

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