World News Brief, Thursday October 22

US Supreme Court intervenes in Guantanamo closure (+ analysis); Pakistan closes schools and universities fearing further attacks; Tensions in Japan-US military ties; Britain and France charter plane to expel refugees; and more

Top of the Agenda: US Supreme Court to Decide Who Can Free Guantánamo Inmates

The United States Supreme Court decided Tuesday (WashPost) to consider whether judges should be able to release Guantánamo Bay detainees into the United States if they are considered not to be "enemy combatants."

The court's decision to hear the case involving a group of Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs could complicate (AP) the Obama administration's plans to close the military prison in January.

The Obama administration says the decision to release detainees should be reserved to the executive branch and that decisions about whether detainees should be shipped to the United States should be decided both by Congress and the executive branch. Lawyers for the Uighurs argue against (WashPost) restricting what judges may do to release freed detainees, based on a 2008 court decision Boumediene v. Bush.


By taking on the case, the Supreme Court is putting itself in a position to make the decision (LA Times) on whether the executive branch can keep holding a prisoner even if the courts have found him not to be a threat.

The case could fizzle out if the Uighurs are resettled in other countries before it is heard and decided sometime after January. That gives the Obama administration months to find places (NPR) for the detained men.


A CFR Backgrounder examines the legal and security issues surrounding the closure of Guantánamo.

A CFR working paper by Daniel Prieto warns that the United States lacks a comprehensive framework for dealing with transnational terrorism.


PACIFIC RIM: Gates Pushes Japan on U.S. Military Ties

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates pushed Japan's new democratic-led government on Wednesday to accept a deal (Reuters) to reorganize US military presence in the country. A broad plan to reorganize U.S. forces was agreed upon in 2006 with Japan's conservative party.

China: Human Rights Watch said dozens of members of China's Uighur minority are missing (The Australian), more than three months after violence between Uighurs and China's majority ethnic Han broker out on July 5, killing nearly two hundred. China has sentenced twelve people to death over the conflict.

A CFR Backgrounder looks at the Xinjiang Uighur region in China.



Pakistan Closes Schools Nationwide After Bombings
France Sends Afghan Migrants Back to Home Country


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on