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Morning Brief, Tuesday, June 12

Americas Getty Images A federal court of appeals delivered another stinging rejection of the legal strategy of the George W. Bush administration when it ruled that the U.S. president does not have the authority to detain civilians as “enemy combatants.” The full majority opinion can be found here (pdf). The U.S. Senate has begun debating ...

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Americas

Getty Images

A federal court of appeals delivered another stinging rejection of the legal strategy of the George W. Bush administration when it ruled that the U.S. president does not have the authority to detain civilians as “enemy combatants.” The full majority opinion can be found here (pdf).

The U.S. Senate has begun debating new energy legislation, and nervous lobbyists are queuing up for what ex-Sen. John Breaux calls “the mother of all bills”.

Senate Democrats came up short yesterday of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster on a no-confidence vote against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Europe

Former Croatian Serb leader Milan Martic was sentenced to 35 years in jail for war crimes he committed in Croatia during the early 1990s.

The European Union has agreed to provide technical assistance to the Palestinian finance ministry, skirting an international boycott of the Hamas government.

Russian police left a crowd of about 2,000 protesters unmolested yesterday during an opposition rally in Moscow that was led by FP contributor Garry Kasparov.

Asia

U.S. officials say that, with the aid of a Russian bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, North Korea may at last be able to get the $25 million in frozen funds that are a crucial component of February’s nuclear agreement.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, whose suspension in March by President Pervez Musharraf has sparked widespread protests in the country, may contest the allegations against him.

After being mistaken for Taliban fighters, U.S. forces killed seven Afghan police officers in a friendly fire incident in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Middle East

Gaza seems to be in complete meltdown mode, with attacks on the home of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (You can follow the action at the blog of reporter Charles Levinson, who is in Gaza City.)

A new report (pdf) by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon finds that the “surge” of U.S. troops in Iraq is not working. And now Iraqi insurgents appear to have embraced a new tactic: blowing up bridges, while the militia of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is renewing its push for control of Sunni areas. Focusing on Iraq’s stalled oil law, CENTCOM commander William J. Fallon reiterated to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that he needs to make progress on political goals before opposition to the war reaches the breaking point in the U.S. Congress. Careful readers will note that the New York Times reporter was invited to Fallon’s meeting with Maliki, an unusual occurrence. 

Today’s Agenda

  • Israel’s Labor Party chooses between ex-PM Ehud Barak and ex-spook Ami Ayalon in a second-round runoff election for its new leader.
  • Russian negotiators are in Vienna for an extraordinary meeting with European officials about the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which the Russians says is “hopelessly outmoded.”
  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher is in Islamabad, Pakistan; a Pakistani spokeswoman denied rumors that Boucher’s mission is to convince Musharraf to allow the return of exiled PM Benazir Bhutto. 
  • President Bush heads to Capitol Hill today hoping to resuscitate the stalled Senate immigration bill.
  • Bolivian President Evo Morales will play soccer at a height of over 18,000 feet today to protest a ban by soccer’s ruling body on high-altitude games.
  • Today is World Day Against Child Labor.
  • It’s also the 83rd birthday of former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush.

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