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Morning Brief, Wednesday, September 19

MARK WILSON/Getty Images News Global Economy Evidently seeing the credit crunch as a more imminent threat than inflation, the Fed’s Open Market Committee moved to cut the federal funds rate by half a percentage point. The markets loved it, especially in Asia. And Europe. Middle East Iraq’s sectarian violence has led to massive internal migration, ...

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MARK WILSON/Getty Images News

Global Economy

Evidently seeing the credit crunch as a more imminent threat than inflation, the Fed’s Open Market Committee moved to cut the federal funds rate by half a percentage point. The markets loved it, especially in Asia. And Europe.

Middle East

Iraq’s sectarian violence has led to massive internal migration, according to a forthcoming report by the International Red Crescent Organization. Surprisingly, “some Iraqis would rather continue to live in mixed communities,” according to the report’s findings.

Gaza is more isolated than ever. Israel has now declared it an “enemy entity” and plans to reduce shipments of fuel and electricity.

On a tour of the Persian Gulf, Centcom commander Adm. William Fallon denied reports that he disagreed with Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed frustration with IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei, but said, “The diplomatic track can work but it has to work both with a set of incentives and a set of teeth.”

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq has temporarily banned ground travel for civilians outside the Green Zone.

Asia

Burmese monks are increasingly taking to the streets to protest against the government. 

Pol Pot’s right-hand man may finally face justice for Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia.  

Forget about Typhoon Wipha. The NBA is about to take China by storm

Europe

Commenting on the policy reaction to the Northern Rock implosion in Britain, Martin Wolf observes that the Brown government has now effectively transformed “bank deposits into public debt at the stroke of a pen.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled his pension reform package. The battle with France’s powerful unions begins in earnest.

Russia’s radar system in Azerbaijan is inadequate for U.S. missile defense, according to the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Europe is putting a hold on bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic.

Elsewhere 

Zimbabwe is “closer than ever to complete collapse,” according to the International Crisis Group.

This just in: traffic sucks.

Today’s Agenda

  • U.S. President Bush is expected to call for more wiretapping authority during a speech at NSA headquarters.

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