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.
U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell wrapped up three days of talks in the Middle East on July 28, telling reporters that he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made "good progress" in their talks on advancing Middle East peace efforts.
A poll carried out by ComRes for the British tabloid newspaper The Independent on July 28 has found that 58 percent of Britons say the war in Afghanistan is "unwinnable," with only 31 percent believing that victory can be achieved. Fifty-two percent of those polled answered that all British forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan immediately, while 43 percent want them to remain.