Pakistan red faced over bugging
It seems that "rogue" intelligence elements in Pakistan have been doing a little unauthorized eavesdropping.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has blamed the bugging of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's suite in Islamabad during a state visit in October on two rogue Inter-Services Intelligence officers. Saudi Istakhbarat agents found and removed the bugs before Abdullah checked in.
An embarrassed Musharraf privately wrote to Abdullah apologizing for what he said was an unauthorized operation, carried out by agents acting on behalf of Iran-backed Shiite groups.
The Pakistani media, which broke the story, wrote that the ISI was interested if Musharraf had agreed to a Saudi proposal to accept the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif back from exile.
Arms supplier case files to be opened
An Ontario judge has ordered the release of sealed evidence at the center of a closed three-year-long court case involving Eurocopter Canada Ltd.
Eurocopter faces allegations of fraud, kickbacks and bribes over a 1986 deal where Eurocopter supplied helicopters in a $25 million deal to the Coast Guard.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided the company's offices in December 1999 and lawyers have argued about the constitutional validity of the search warrants ever since.
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber are enmeshed in the case. The Canadian government and military are closely watching the legal proceedings because Eurocopter is a leading contender to replace the military's ageing Sea King helicopters.
FBI's Mueller pressed for help by Yemen
Saleh in turn asked Mueller to help Yemen pressure Germany for the return of Sheikh Mohammed Ali al-Moayyad and his assistant, Mohammed Zaid, arrested in Germany earlier this year.
Yemen maintains that al-Moayyad, who founded and runs the al-Ehssan charity, should be tried on terrorism charges in Yemen, should sufficient evidence be found. Yemeni officials say CIA agents lured al-Moayyad to Germany, ostensibly to receive donations for his charity in a sting operation.
Saudi dialogue brings jeers
Saudi opposition activists are scoffing at efforts to mediate between the Saudi government and Muslim extremists.
A group of scientists and clerics are holding discussions with the government to open a dialogue between the two parties. London-based opposition leader Saad al-Faqih, head of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia commented, "The religious officials came up with this initiative as they felt they were to blame for not being able to prevent such attacks."
Editor in chief of the Saudi News Agency in Washington Ali al-Ahmad is far more scathing, saying, "Al-Qaida would not have existed if Osama bin Laden was granted the basic right to freedom of speech in his own country -- Saudi Arabia."
Americans look abroad
Journals of foreign analysis have been the beneficiaries of an increased appetite among Americans for their knowledge since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The flagship journal of the Council of Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, viewed by many as the leading publication on international affairs and foreign policy, has seen its total paid circulation climb 18 percent to 130,000 over the past two years.
The journal now sells twice as many copies as it did before Sept. 11. According to rankings of magazines by Barnes & Noble, Foreign Affairs climbed to No. 26 in 2003, up from No. 228 the pervious year.
In Barnes & Noble's news-current events category, Foreign Affairs now trails only People, Time, the Economist, Newsweek, the New Yorker, and the Atlantic.