14 Countries Part of CIA’s Global ‘Spider Web’

Officials in southern Nigeria blamed Peak Petroleum Industries Nigeria Ltd. for the June 2 kidnapping of eight foreign oil workers from an oil rig operated by Peak off the Nigerian coast. The two officials, a state governor and a traditional monarch, said Peak triggered the raid -- which ended with the hostages' June 4 release -- by failing to provide the nearby Bilabiri community with jobs and other benefits. These calls raise major concerns regarding the vulnerability of oil companies operating in Nigeria to ever-widening political and economic manipulation from local leaders. (Stratfor)


Sudan Inclined to Reject U.N. Peacekeeping Offer

President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir presides over this country still raw from 21 years of civil war and still suffering from marauding by militias in the Darfur region. But on Tuesday, he told U.N. officials that he didn't want the world body's help. (L.A.Times)


Our Rocky `Engagement' In Iraq

THE US MILITARY calls them engagements. Iraqi families are throwing back the rings. (Boston Globe)

Win Baghdad and We'll Forgive Haditha

Every major counterinsurgency waged by a Western power since the advent of mass-circulation media in the late 19th century has produced at least one scandal in which troops are accused of employing excessive force. (L.A.Times)

An Inflection Point in China's Banking Problem

The month of May witnessed an interesting phenomenon: a spate of reports on China's nonperforming-loan problem. What is most intriguing is that these reports did not come from organizations like Stratfor -- minor outfits that have been talking about this for a couple of years. It came from real, solid, serious mainstream organizations that were, and continue to be in some cases, quite positive about China on the whole. What is important here is not that China has a serious problem with bad loans in its banking system. That's old news. What is important is that mainstream analysts in the West now are taking official notice of it. The wide divergence between the Western perception of Chinese economic health and the realities of China's economy is beginning to close. There will be consequences to that. (Stratfor)

The Insider Daily Investigative Report (DIR) is a summary of major news articles and broadcasts relating to investigative news, including international terrorism and developments in Iraq. The DIR is edited daily from foreign and U.S. sources by Chris Isham and Hoda Osman of the ABC News Investigative Unit. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ABCNEWS.

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