Maliki Critical of Bush, Calls for Better Weapons for Iraq


Report: Iraqi Leader Says U.S. Should Provide Better Weapons in Comments Critical Of Bush

Iraq's prime minister said security forces would have better control over their country if the United States had equipped them with more -and better -weapons, speaking during an interview in which he was deeply critical of Washington, an Italian daily reported Thursday. (AP)

Iraqi PM: 400 Shiite Fighters Detained

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said 400 fighters from a key backer of the Shiite-led government have been arrested, and a government spokesman said Thursday the U.S. is not giving Iraqi security forces enough money for training and equipment. (AP)

Series of Blasts Kill 19 in Baghdad

A series of explosions and shootings rocked Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing at least 19 people and wounding dozens, police said. (AP)


Washington 'Snubbed Iran Offer'

Iran offered the US a package of concessions in 2003, but it was rejected, a senior former US official has told the BBC's Newsnight programme. (BBC)


U.S. Vows to Hunt Al Qaeda Fugitives in Somalia

U.S. operations in Somalia will go on until key al Qaeda targets are eliminated, a Pentagon official said, as debate sharpened over Washington's next move in the stricken nation. (AFP)


Russia Says Murders Are a Plot Against Putin

A senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the murders of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and former spy Alexander Litvinenko are part of an attack by powerful groups against the head of state. (Reuters)


Six Foreign Hostages Freed in Nigerian Oil Delta

Six foreign hostages were freed in Nigeria's oil-producing delta on Thursday and President Olusegun Obasanjo voiced impatience with his policy of negotiation in the face of rising violence in Africa's oil heartland. (Reuters)


Russian Media Scorn Massive 'Terror' Alert

Russian newspapers poured scorn on Thursday on a vast anti-terrorism operation launched nationwide on Wednesday, asking whether the whole scare was just an exercise or even a politically motivated trick. (The Mail and Guardian)


U.S. 'To Halve' No-Fly Watch List

The US is reviewing the list it uses to bar suspected terrorists from travelling on airliners, saying it hopes to halve the number of names. (BBC)

FBI Probes Mercury Spill on Subway Platform

The FBI is looking for a man who spilled five ounces of mercury on a Los Angeles subway platform three days before Christmas, according to CNN. (USA Today)


From Drugs to Guns

Long known for its wheeling and dealing in heroin, methamphetamines and pirated video discs, Myanmar's United Wa State Army (UWSA), the world's largest armed narcotics-trafficking group, is dangerously diversifying its business interests into a new type of contraband: newly produced war weapons. (Asia Times)


A Spy Program in From the Cold

Of the many ways that President Bush has trampled civil liberties and the balance of powers since the 9/11 attacks, one of the most egregious was his decision to order wiretaps of Americans' international calls and email without court approval. (NY Times)

Politics and Corruption

In its secretive purge of key U.S. attorneys, the Bush administration is needlessly giving comfort to any number of individuals now under federal investigation. Most prominently, there is Representative Jerry Lewis, Republican of California, whose dealings as appropriations chairman have been under scrutiny in the continuing investigation of lawmakers delivering quid pro quo favors for contractors and lobbyists. (International Herald Tribune)

A New Chance for Peace?

By Jimmy Carter

I am concerned that public discussion of my book "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid" has been diverted from the book's basic proposals: that peace talks be resumed after six years of delay and that the tragic persecution of Palestinians be ended. (Washington Post)

Sudan Vagueness on Darfur Deliberate

By Opheera McDoom

Khartoum is employing a deliberate policy of vagueness on the deployment of U.N. troops to its Darfur region to mitigate internal divisions and avoid confrontation with the international community, analysts say. (Reuters)

Mao Was Cruel - But Also Laid The Ground For Today's China

By Will Hutton

Nobody wants to be an apologist for Mao. Even the Communist party, five years after his death, delivered the verdict that his crimes during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution meant that he had been 30% wrong. (The Guardian)

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, Hoda Osman and Elizabeth Sprague of the ABC News Investigative Unit. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ABCNEWS.