World News Brief, Wednesday February 24

EU condemns Hamas hit as Israel refuses to co-operate with British inquiry; Google re-enters talks with China; Has senior Taliban leader been arrested?; Australia plans new face scan for visitors; and more

Top of the Agenda: EU-Israel Tensions Rise over Assassination

The European Union condemned the use (Reuters) of fraudulent EU passports to assassinate Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, signaling its discontent with Israel and raising concerns over Israel-EU ties. At a meeting in Brussels, EU officials said the assassination was "profoundly disturbing" and that its citizens' rights were violated. Dubai has accused Israel of being behind the killing, while Israel has not denied or confirmed it played any role.

Diplomats said the statement was intended to pressure Israel, though it did not directly refer to Israel because there was no proof Israeli agents were involved. Spokesman for Hamas in the Gaza Strip Sami Abu Zuhri said the EU statement was insufficient and would tempt Israel to carry out "more crimes of this kind." France and Germany have asked Israel for an explanation, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy strongly condemned the assassination. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to cooperate with a British inquiry into the use of British passports in the incident. Lieberman rebuffed (Independent) Miliband's request. He said because there was no proof of Israeli involvement, "there is no need to deal with the matter."


The LA Times discusses the appropriateness of a country carrying out extrajudicial killings in the name of state security.


This CFR Backgrounder examines the Palestinian militant movement Hamas.


PACIFIC RIM: China-Google Talks

Google will resume discussions with the Chinese government over the fate of its China business in coming days, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Australia: Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan (AFP) visitors from roughly ten high-risk countries in a bid to combat terrorism.



US Says Afghan Taliban Leader Detained; Pakistan Not So Sure
Terror Suspect Who Planned NY Bombing Pleads Guilty


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