NEWS ROUNDUP: January 22

U.S. falls short on new Iran sanctions
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany agreed Tuesday to impose new sanctions on Iran over its suspect nuclear program, yet the measures appeared to fall short of what the Bush administration had wanted.

Budgetary spat in Iran
Supreme leader Khamenei sides with the parliament speaker in his standoff with President Ahmadinejad. What the move means is up for debate.

Padilla sentenced to more than 17 years in prison
Jose Padilla, the Brooklyn-born convert to Islam who was once accused by the government of plotting to detonate a “dirty bomb” in the United States, was sentenced on Tuesday to 17 years and four months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to help Islamic jihadist fighters abroad.

Tom Ridge: Waterboarding is torture
The first secretary of the Homeland Security Department says waterboarding is torture. “There’s just no doubt in my mind – under any set of rules – waterboarding is torture,” Tom Ridge said Friday in an interview with the Associated Press. Ridge had offered the same opinion earlier in the day to members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference.

Bush officials narrow foreign horizons
In the final year, Bush administration officials are scaling back ambitious diplomatic goals, and appear more intent on managing crises than on reaching legacy milestones.

Gazans fear crisis after four days of blockade
Four days into an Israeli blockade that has cut off food and fuel to the Gaza Strip, residents of the strip contemplated Monday how long it would be until disaster hit. One family of 13, shivering in the cold, counted its eight remaining candles. A bakery that normally feeds thousands had three days’ worth of flour.

Next target was US consulate: Bhutto killing suspect
A teenaged boy arrested last week on suspicion of involvement in former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto’s assassination has told investigators that his next target was the US consulate in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

U.S. commander in Pakistan as Taliban attack fort
A top U.S. commander met with Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Kayani on Tuesday as the Pakistani military said it had repulsed an attack by Taliban fighters on a fort near the Afghan border, killing 37 of them.

Britain ‘as inept as US’ in failing to foresee postwar Iraq insurgency
The government’s top foreign policy advisers were as inept as their US counterparts in failing to see that removing Saddam Hussein in 2003 was likely to lead to a nationalist insurgency by Sunnis and Shias and an Islamist government in Baghdad, run by allies of Iran, the Guardian has learned.

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