- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
President Obama will meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Washington today to try to urge the two governments to work together to combat Islamist militants, offering billions of dollars in aid in return.
Zardari met with the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday in an attempt to reassure them about his country’s efforts to fight the Taliban, but most lawmakers apparently left the meeting unconvinced of Pakistan’s commitment. Obama also seems to be taking a more skeptical approach to Karzai than his predecessor.
In Afghanistan, the Red Cross is now saying that U.S. airstrikes yesterday killed dozens of civilians, including children. If the reports are confirmed, the incident has the potential to overshadow the talks in Washington.
- Nepal’s Maoists have taken to the street in order to prevent other parties from forming a government.
- U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth is traveling to Asia to attempt to restart stalled North Korea nuclear talks.
- India’s top suspect in the Mumbai attacks has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
- A car bomb exploded at a fruit and vegetable market in central Baghdad.
- Tony Blair told reporters that the U.S. will roll out a new Middle East peace plan within weeks.
- U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi, who is imprisoned in Iran, ended her hunger strike for health reasons.
- South Africa’s parliament is set to elect Jacob Zuma president today.
- A French magistrate has opened a corruption investigation into three African heads of state.
- The 18 Zimbabwean opposition activists who were jailed yesterday will be released on bail.
- Russia is expelling two Canadian diplomats in retaliation for the expulsion of two Russians from NATO. NATO is also conducting miltary exercises in Georgia today under heavy criticism from Russia.
- The Czech Republic’s senate will likely vote to ratify the EU’s controversial Lisbon treaty today.
- New Spanish government figures show unemployment rising less slowly and consumer confidence recovering.
- The U.S. Treasury Department is planning to require that banks demonstrate they can survive without taxpayer aid before exiting the TARP program.
- Venezuela’s National Assembly gave preliminary approval to a law that would make it easier for the government to seize control of oil contracts.
- The U.S. confirmed a second death from swine flu, but authorities now say the disease is no worse than regular seasonal flu and people should act accordingly.
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