Morning Brief, Wednesday, December 20

Iraq and Middle East Is President Bush going wobbly? He tells the Washington Post: “We’re not winning, we’re not losing” in Iraq. New Defense Secretary Bob Gates is in Baghdad to get the skinny from U.S. commanders on the ground.  Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni fundamentalist, says that President Bush must have “brainwashed” Tony ...

605380_hashemi5.jpg
605380_hashemi5.jpg

Iraq and Middle East

Is President Bush going wobbly? He tells the Washington Post: "We're not winning, we're not losing" in Iraq.

Iraq and Middle East

Is President Bush going wobbly? He tells the Washington Post: “We’re not winning, we’re not losing” in Iraq.

New Defense Secretary Bob Gates is in Baghdad to get the skinny from U.S. commanders on the ground. 

Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni fundamentalist, says that President Bush must have “brainwashed” Tony Blair into rejecting a timetable for withdrawal of coalition troops. For a more erudite analysis of Tony Blair’s impact on U.S. policy, read this Chatham House report.

Grand Ayatollah Sistani, whose political influence has been declining in Iraq, apparently favors a new coalition in parliament that would exclude Shiite firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr.

Al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri pops up again to declare Palestinian elections useless. Meanwhile, Gaza is calm for now after more fighting yesterday. 

Europe

Holocaust denier David Irving, jailed in Austria for “denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz,” will be released

A British report calls for civil rights for robots.

Three more in London have tested positive for polonium-210, bringing the total to ten cases in the U.K. to date.

Asia

South Korea’s Yonghap news agency reports “signs of a breakthrough” in the six-party talks, probably due to a concrete proposal from U.S. negotiators that would offer significant incentives for the North Koreans to abandon their nuclear weapons program.

Stocks rose in Thailand after the government’s embarrassing policy reversal following yesterday’s stock market mini-crash. The Thai finance minister says the plunge was supposed to be a feature, not a bug of the short-lived new controls on foreign capital.

Elsewhere

The conflict in Somalia is exploding after Ethiopia ignored an Islamist ultimatum to withdraw its troops. More on this later today from FP.

 

 

 

Google and NASA have finally teamed up. Does that mean I will be able to get directions from my house…  to the moon? Sadly, no.

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