Futures prices for crude oil quickly reversed their two-day decline as Iran's military boasted of successfully test-firing missiles capable of reaching Israel. Prices that closed at $136.04 a barrel Tuesday were back up to $138.34 at midday in trading in London. A Revolutionary Guard commander said the tests "demonstrate our ... might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with a harsh language."Skip to next paragraph
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Russia is "deeply distressed" at the newly signed deal to build part of a proposed US missile defense shield in the Czech Republic, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. Medvedev (above, c., in a light moment at the Group of Eight meetings with President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Maerkel) vowed there would be a Russian response to the system, although he did not go as far as his foreign ministry, which threatened to retaliate "with military/technical methods."
US forces in Iraq will "mostly be done" with their work by the middle of next year, Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday. But Dubik, who was in charge of training Iraq's Army and police, said long-term US help will remain necessary because the Iraqis still lack experienced commanders.
Opposition sources in Zimbabwe appeared to confirm Wednesday that discussions with the government on sharing power are imminent. A lawyer for Tendai Biti, the chief negotiator for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), successfully sought the return of his client's passport so Biti can travel to neighboring South Africa for the talks. The passport was confiscated last month when Biti was charged with treason. On Tuesday, the MDC denied a claim by the government that talks were in the offing.