Morning Brief, Monday, October 23, 2006
Iraq Tony Blair maintains that Britain will hold the line. A U.S. State Department official walks back his candid comments on the Iraq war—broadcast on al Jazeera. Has Washington changed its stance on amnesty for insurgents battling U.S. troops? “There’s been a change in the position of the Americans,” Jabr Hadeeb Jabr, an independent Shia ...
Tony Blair maintains that Britain will hold the line.
A U.S. State Department official walks back his candid comments on the Iraq war—broadcast on al Jazeera.
Has Washington changed its stance on amnesty for insurgents battling U.S. troops?
“There’s been a change in the position of the Americans,” Jabr Hadeeb Jabr, an independent Shia politician and member of the Council for Reconciliation government agency, said. “Before, they refused to give any amnesty to the people killing Americans because there was some dispute about the risk of rewarding their killers.”
Japanese towns are getting missile alert systems.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency is planning to provide every city, town and village in Japan with receivers for satellite signals warning of a ballistic missile attack or natural disaster.
Against a backdrop of security fears, U.S. and South Korean negotiators resume trade talks.
`A free trade agreement with the United States will not only help improve our economy’s productivity but also can work as an effective counterbalance against uncertainties deriving from the North Korean nuclear problem,” said the South Korean finance minister.
Tension may be growing between the Chinese military and North Korea.
An argument that North Korea's concessions to China may be the calm before the storm.
North Korea's options are dwindling and its inability to achieve its diplomatic objectives will force it eventually to engage in more high-risk confrontational measures, even as it appeals for negotiations with the US. Kim will be emboldened by perceptions that Washington does not have a military option, because of the proximity of Seoul to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the deteriorating Iraqi security situation and the potential face-off with Iran.
Khartoum gets its man: outspoken UN envoy Jan Pronk is packing his bags.
Darfur's rebels are striking back.
For the first time in more than two years, rebels fighting the government for more autonomy are making brazen, direct and successful attacks on soldiers, and are declaring that all previous cease-fires are no longer in effect.
American and British envoys are negotiating quietly with Sudanese officials.
Ahmadinejad still defiant as the Security Council ruminates.
The Washington Post profiles the European court that defies Putin—and gets results.
While President Vladimir Putin has been marginalizing Russia's parliament, opposition, media and human rights groups, this international court sitting 1,250 miles away in Strasbourg, France, has emerged as a powerful check on the excesses of the Russian bureaucracy and failures by the country's own investigative organs and courts to follow Russia's laws.
Facing competition, Panama votes overwhelmingly to widen its crowded canal.
The Panama Canal Authority, which runs the waterway, had warned that if the canal was not expanded, business would be lost to other shipping routes, including the Suez Canal. Nicaragua, to the north, has proposed building its own canal between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
The markets think that OPEC doesn't have the will to cut output, and oil prices sink accordingly.
David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist
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