Tim Dobson

On November 16 the Iraqi cabinet agreed to a final draft of a “security agreement” that would replace the current United Nations mandate — which has authorised the occupation since 2003 but that is scheduled to expire on December 31.
On October 23, an estimated 30,000 university students took over Rome’s streets. Marching to the chant of “Berlusconi is a piece of shit”, students passed the train station, receiving cheers from young Kurdish immigrants.
Two-and-a-half million people marched through the streets of Rome on October 25 in opposition to the policies and corruption of the right-wing government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
A new documentary, A Well-Founded Fear, to be broadcast on SBS on November 19, documents the deaths of nine Afghan refugees who were returned to Afghanistan after having their asylum applications rejected.
Faced with the complete collapse of its financial system, the Icelandic government has accepted a US$6 billion “bailout package”, which would include more than $1 billion input from the International Monetary Fund.
On October 15, the United States and Iraqi governments agreed on a draft security pact, which could result in US troops being withdraw from Iraqi cities by the middle of 2009 and from Iraq entirely by 2011.
Britain’s most senior military commander in Afghanistan, Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, told the British media about the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan that “We are not going to win this war”.
“The surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated”, US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama told Fox News on September 4. Obama’s claim echoed Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain. Both candidates claim that the surge, which involved sending more than 20,000 extra US troops into Iraq, has reduced violence and “stabilised” Iraq, rescuing the occupation from the indigenous resistance.
On September 17, the Thai parliament elected a candidate from the People’s Power Party (PPP), Somchai Wongsawat, to be the next prime minister.
On September 2, Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej declared a state of emergency in response to the political crisis brought about by ongoing demonstrations and government buildings organised by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which has called on Sundaravej to resign.


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