National Security Brief: Deadly Day For Afghan Civilians

– Tuesday was the deadliest day for Afghan civilians this year, with more than 40 people killed in a spate of bombings across the country targeting civilians in markets as people shopped prepare for the end of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta reminded Americans, “There is a war going on.”

– Jordan, faced with a flood of Syrian refugees, showed signs of taking sides in the Levantine country’s civil war by warning about regional instability. The former prime minister of Syria, who defected to Jordan last week, said, “The regime is collapsing.”

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– After a year of upheaval that saw a depression in Tunisia, the newly-democratized North African country’s economy is expected to grow by 3.5 percent this year.

– Even as North Korea forges ahead with its nuclear program, deals with the Chinese government suggested economic reform could be on the way for the impoverished and isolated dictatorship.

– A report in the Israeli press says that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to bury a commission report that would have legalized Israeli’s West Bank settlements and paved the way for them to more easily expand.