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N’Djamena, Chad – According to Chadian news reports, on Saturday, Feb. 2, rebels entered Chad’s capital, and heavy fighting was reported around the Presidential Palace. Col. Thierry Burkhard of the French military reported to the Associated Press that an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 rebels had entered the city. The United States and France recommended that any of their citizens in N’Djamena seek shelter in their respective embassies. In spite of these reports, Mahamoud Adam Bechir, Chad’s Ambassador to the United States, has claimed that government forces have the situation under control and are driving the rebels back. Bechir also reported that Chadian President Idriss Derby is secure in the Presidential Palace.

Washington, D.C. – The World Bank is reporting that it has been using millions of dollars of U.S. funding to support the buildup of Iran’s petrochemical industry. According to FOX News, the Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has provided approximately $120 million in securities to a trio of Japanese and Thai companies, who in turn have invested over $40 million in a state-owned Iranian oil company. This comes as both the United States and the United Nations have actively been trying to dissuade foreign nations from investing in Iranian industries, particularly its energy infrastructure. MIGA, which provides financial guarantees and securities in order to secure investment in developing countries, received roughly $24 millions in U.S. taxpayer-funded contributions since 2000.

Pakistan – On Friday, Feb. 1, the pakistani military successfully test-fired a new medium-range ballistic missile. Pakistani Military officials report that the missile, known as the Ghauri, has a range of just over 800 miles and is capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf praised the military for the successful launch and told the audience present at the event that such a success means that Pakistan now has a nuclear deterrence capability.

Sources: Nytimes.com, Foxnews.com, MSNBC.com

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