OUTGOING U.N. OFFICIAL: DEAL WITH TALIBAN
The departing head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, warned Thursday that the window to achieve success in Afghanistan was narrowing and that "negative trends" in the country could become irreversible over the next year. Eide, above, stressed the need for a political solution to end the conflict with the Taliban. He also cautioned against excessive militarization of international efforts in Afghanistan. Eide, a Norwegian diplomat, had an 18-month tenure that was marked by rising bloodshed and criticism of his handling of the fraud-plagued presidential elections in August.
DECISION NEAR ON 9/11 TRIAL
President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's plan to try him in civilian court in New York City. The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed remain under military jurisdiction, said administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
SENIOR TALIBAN OFFICIAL NABBED
Pakistan's intelligence agents have arrested Agha Jan Mohtasim, a former finance minister for the Taliban before the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, two intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give their names to the media. The arrest was made in Karachi on an undisclosed date.
Singapore's navy has "received indication" that a terrorist group is planning attacks on oil tankers in the Malacca Strait, according to an advisory Thursday from its Information Fusion Centre. The 600-mile strait, between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, saw about 15 million barrels of oil passed through it every day in 2006 -- about a third of global seaborne volumes, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. "Nearly half" of the world's shipping fleet would need to reroute if the strait was blocked, it said.