The United States has placed 50 suspected Afghan drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban on a Pentagon target list of 367 insurgents to be captured or killed, the New York Times reported on August 10, citing a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report to be released this week.
Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, told reporters in Islamabad on August 7, "According to my intelligence information, the news [that Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud is dead] is correct.... And to be 100 percent sure we are going for ground verification and once the ground verification reconfirms, which I think is almost confirmed, then we will be 100 percent sure," Qureshi said.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term as Iran's president on August 5, as hundreds of opposition supporters demonstrated against his reelection.
Euna Lee and Laura Ling, the two American journalists arrested by North Korean border guards on March 17 after straying into North Korean territory from China, arrived by private jet at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport early on August 5, accompanied by former President Bill Clinton.
At least two Iranian state-run TV stations — Press TV and al Alam — reported on August 1 that the nation's border police on the previous day arrested three American hikers who apparently inadvertently strayed across the poorly marked border separating Iran from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
Voice of America (VOA) News reported on July 29 that Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) — a member of the strategic assessment team working with General Stanley McChrystal, the new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan — has advised that the U.S. government and its allies need to be more realistic about what is needed to win the Afghan war, and that may include more troops.
Voice of America (VOA) News reported on July 29 that Defense Secretary Robert Gates — speaking after a two-day visit to Iraq — has said there is a chance the United States may speed up the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the embattled Middle Eastern nation.