Major Taliban Leader Arrested; Cheney Pakistan Trip Credited

The former proprietess of a long-running Washington, D.C.-area "sexual services firm" is trying to sell information about her wealthy customers to cover the costs of her legal defense. (ABC News)

Prosecutors Crack Insider-Trading Ring

The defendants included husband-and-wife lawyers, registered representatives, compliance personnel and hedge fund portfolio managers who improperly relied on hundreds of tips during five years of illegal trading. (AP)


Germany Wants Talks on NATO Missile Shield

Germany called on Friday for talks on creating a NATO missile defence shield for Europe, a day after the United States vowed to press ahead with its system without alliance approval. (Reuters)


Putin Makes a Feared Former Rebel President of Chechnya

President Vladimir Putin appointed Ramzan Kadyrov, a widely feared official whose security forces have been accused of kidnappings, torture and other abuses, to be the new president of the battered Russian republic of Chechnya. (International Herald Tribune)


Shanghai to Prosecute Nine Government, State Industry Officials Over Pension Scandal

China plans to prosecute nine former government and state industry officials over a politically charged pension fund scandal in its business hub of Shanghai, state media reported Friday. (AP)


Activist: 80 N Koreans to Seek U.S. Asylum

Eighty North Korean refugees are hiding in various Asian countries and preparing to seek asylum in the United States, a South Korean activist said Friday. (AP)

A South Korean Reporter's Confession

Last year a Beijing-based South Korean journalist, Park Ki-sung, scored a major "scoop" when he reported for the Yonhap News Agency that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, was paying a "secret" - though afterward Park revealed it was not quite so secret - state visit to China. (Asia Times)


Insurgents Vow to Kill 2000 To Avenge "Rape of Muslim Women"

The so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" posted a statement on militant Internet forums Thursday night announcing a new raid to avenge "the rape of Muslim women in Iraq." The decision was made in response to a call by their leader, says the group, which al Qaeda in Iraq is part of. It also claims to have intensified its operations recently in Baghdad recently and to have been behind the assassination attempt on the Iraqi vice president. The statement, which was issued in forces and police are killed, "one thousand for every sister." (ABC News Investigative Unit)


The Silence That Kills

By Thomas L. Friedman

On Feb. 20, The A.P. reported from Afghanistan that a suicide attacker disguised as a health worker blew himself up near "a crowd of about 150 people who had gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open an emergency ward at the main government hospital in the city of Khost." (NY Times – paid subscription required)

Looking for a New Home in Iraq

Having solidified its leadership and opened up financial lifelines, al-Qaeda is preparing for its next major step - establishing a new base in the heart of the Middle East, Iraq. (Asia Times)

How Much Embassy Is Too Much?

Mention the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Lawrence Eagleburger and he explodes. (Washington Post)

Test Ahead for Taliban

By Gamal Nkrumah

For the good of his country, United States President George W Bush must withdraw his military personnel in Afghanistan. (Al-Ahram)

Raddatz' Book Marks the Explosion of the Iraqi Insurgency

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