Morning Brief, Monday, December 18

Iraq and Middle East Tensions are coming to a boil in the Palestinian territories after President Mahmoud Abbas called for new elections. His goal? To unseat the Hamas government. Hamas plans to boycott, but Tony Blair says to go ahead. Gunmen attacked the Red Crescent (like the Red Cross, only Islamic) in Iraq, kidnapping dozens. ...

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605462_abumazen.thumbnail5.jpg

Iraq and Middle East

Tensions are coming to a boil in the Palestinian territories after President Mahmoud Abbas called for new elections. His goal? To unseat the Hamas government. Hamas plans to boycott, but Tony Blair says to go ahead.

Gunmen attacked the Red Crescent (like the Red Cross, only Islamic) in Iraq, kidnapping dozens.

Iraq and Middle East

Tensions are coming to a boil in the Palestinian territories after President Mahmoud Abbas called for new elections. His goal? To unseat the Hamas government. Hamas plans to boycott, but Tony Blair says to go ahead.

Gunmen attacked the Red Crescent (like the Red Cross, only Islamic) in Iraq, kidnapping dozens.

Is Iran’s Holocaust-denying president on the outs? Voters expressed discontent with the radical Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Friday’s elections, putting pragmatist Hashemi Rafsanjani back in business.

The U.S. sent 33 detainees home from Guantanamo, leaving 395 in the detention facility. 16 of those released were from Saudi Arabia.

Asia

North Korea is typically defiant at the start of today’s resumed six-party talks over its nuclear weapons. Expectations are low. So far, North Korea wants the sanctions lifted before anything happens. The good news: it looks like the participants have at least agreed on the shape of the negotiating table.

Europe

Did someone say la unilatéralisme? France is bombing the Central African Republic in order to save Darfur.

Brussels plans to deep-six France’s effort to tax goods from non-Kyoto countries. Among other reasons, it’s just not practical.

To make matters worse, truffle production is plummeting and Chinese counterfeits are on the rise.

Elsewhere

U.S. policy in Somalia is failing, says the Washington Post.

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