29 Killed During Holiday Festival in Iraq

An unspecified safety problem prompted an emergency shutdown at a Russian nuclear power plant, but no increase in radiation levels were reported, federal officials said Tuesday. (AP)

ALGERIA

Islamists Battle Algeria's Army

Fifteen people have been killed in a clash between Islamist militants and Algerian security forces in the eastern region of Batna, local media report. (BBC)

JORDAN

U.N. Investigator Says Torture 'Routine' in Jordan

A UN human rights investigator charged on Tuesday that torture is both widespread and routine in Jordan, especially to extract confessions from terror suspects, while security forces enjoy total impunity. (Reuters)

GUANTANAMO BAY

Uighurs' Detention Conditions Condemned

Chinese Uighurs who have been imprisoned for the past month at a new state-of-the-art detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are being held around the clock in near-total isolation, a circumstance their lawyers say is rapidly degrading their mental health, according to an affidavit filed in federal court yesterday. (Washington Post)

U.S.-IRAN

U.S. Rejects Iran Nuclear 'Timeout'

The US has rejected a call from the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog for a "timeout" in the showdown with Iran over its nuclear program. (BBC)

NIGERIA

Nigerian Militant Attack Frees 125 Inmates

Nigerian separatist militants released 125 inmates when they stormed a police station in Port Harcourt in an attack to free their leader that claimed at least two lives, police said on Tuesday. (Mail & Guardian)

TAIWAN

The 'Black Hole' of Taiwan Criminals

When the driver of an armored security van, identified as Lee Han-yang, 45, allegedly drugged his colleague and fled Taiwan to the mainland city of Kunming with NT$56 million (US$1.72 million) in early January, it seemed as if he had pulled off a perfect heist. (Asia Times)

ANALYSIS & OPINION

To Ban the Bomb, Sign the Peace

By Paul B. Stares

Of all the crises facing the new United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, the fraying nuclear nonproliferation system is arguably the most consequential. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has warned of 30 "virtual new weapons states" on the horizon. (NY Times)

Russians Are Cunning: They're Why America's Defense Must Never Rest

By Peter Brookes

The Russians are going ballistic over the possibility the United States will deploy a missile-defense system in Central Europe in the coming years. (Boston Herald)

The Writing's On the Wall for Iran

By Leon Hadar

Rejecting the notion that the United States was planning to attack Iran and Syria, White House spokesman Tony Snow called it a myth or an "urban legend." (Asia Times)

The Ba-Da-Boom Crew

By Eugene Robinson

If you've been following the Lewis "Scooter" Libby perjury trial, I can understand how you might confuse Dick Cheney with Tony Soprano. Cheney's office is beginning to sound a lot like the Bada Bing, minus the dancers. (Washington Post)

Developing the Tribal Belt

By Shabid Javed Burki

There is now a raging debate on the role Pakistan is playing — or not playing — in the revival of the Taliban in the southern districts of Afghanistan. The debate is being conducted in a number of different forums. (Dawn)

It Is No Easy Thing Being Lebanon

By Frederic C. Hof

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