Morning Brief, Tuesday, December 19

Iraq and Middle East Insurgents have nearly cut the electricity to Baghdad, and attacks on U.S. and Iraqi targets are at a record high. The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military are now questioning whether the White House would use a surge of 15-30,000 troops effectively. A Libyan court has condemned six Bulgarian ...

605422_bulgarians.thumbnail5.jpg
605422_bulgarians.thumbnail5.jpg

Iraq and Middle East

Insurgents have nearly cut the electricity to Baghdad, and attacks on U.S. and Iraqi targets are at a record high. The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military are now questioning whether the White House would use a surge of 15-30,000 troops effectively.

A Libyan court has condemned six Bulgarian nurses to death for, allegedly, deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV/AIDS. 

Iraq and Middle East

Insurgents have nearly cut the electricity to Baghdad, and attacks on U.S. and Iraqi targets are at a record high. The Joint Chiefs

of Staff of the U.S. military are now questioning whether the White House would use a surge of 15-30,000 troops effectively.

A Libyan court has condemned six Bulgarian nurses to death for, allegedly, deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV/AIDS. 

There’s supposed to be a truce in Gaza, but the fighting goes on between Fatah and Hamas-aligned gunmen. 

Europe

Another story that hasn’t gotten much attention this year: it’s boom-time in Germany.

Google can’t figure out how to dominate the Russian market.

Wondering why Jacques Chirac has been so nice to Vladimir Putin lately? Wonder no more: Russia’s Gazprom has inked a deal to supply Gaz de France with 12 million cubic meters of natural gas per year for the next 24 years.

‘Islamophobia’ is on the rise in Europe, says a new report.

Asia

What’s the matter with Thailand? Thai stocks took a nosedive yesterday in the biggest sell-off since the Asian crisis began there in 1997. The trigger? Strict new controls on capital. Thailand will now reverse course.

The six-party talks continue in Beijing. North Korea says that financial restrictions must be lifted, or there’s no deal over its nuclear weapons.

Elsewhere 

The trial of a top death-squad boss may implicate some members of Colombia’s political elite, undermining the Uribe government.

Newsweek‘s Fareed Zakaria says:  “For the sake of his own freedom agenda, President Bush must move beyond Iraq.”

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