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Iraqi army launches major assault on Diyala province in push to uproot Al Qaeda

George here with a look at what’s cooking on Meedan...

It’s been a bloody week in Iraq after a series of women suicide bombers targeted Shiite pilgrims on their way to pay homage to Imam Mussa al Khadim. What a day then for the Iraqi government to launch a major operation in Diyala province to root out what it calls ‘the last stronghold of Al Qaeda’ with thousands of troops and police. Could this be the beginning of the end for Al Qaeda in Iraq?

This week also saw the tragic death of the doyen of Arab cinema – Youssef Chahine – at the very respectable age of 82. He was a controversial figure in his time, using his film to criticize the government of his country, Egypt. Still, a number of senior NDP members made it out to his funeral, along with many hundreds of other Egyptians, famous and not-so-famous. Is Chahine then to be remembered as the greatest ever Arab filmmaker?

Sony has had its hands in filmmaking for some time, but it’s another part of its business – its telephone operator Ericsson – that is causing it stress. The Japanese electronics giant has just reported its first quarter profits down by almost 50 percent on last year, forcing it to issue a profits warning for the following quarter. What can Sony do to rediscover its flair?

One businessman who certainly isn’t feeling the slump is Richard Branson. The British entrepreneur has just launched the mothership craft which is to carry a rocket full of space tourists high into the upper reaches of earth’s atmosphere. The rocket itself won’t be ready for some time, but still rich adventurers are getting very excited. Is this the future of tourism, or just a passing fad for the wealthy?

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