Morning Brief, Tuesday, January 2

It’s 2007. Happy New Year.  Iraq and Middle East A record number of Iraqi civilians were killed last year, according to Iraq’s interior ministry. Iraqi Shiites don’t trust the United States and resent what they see as America holding them back from ruling Iraq as they see fit. The Iraqi government is investigating the leaked ...

605160_saddam_noose5.jpg
605160_saddam_noose5.jpg

It's 2007. Happy New Year. 

Iraq and Middle East

A record number of Iraqi civilians were killed last year, according to Iraq's interior ministry.

It’s 2007. Happy New Year. 

Iraq and Middle East

A record number of Iraqi civilians were killed last year, according to Iraq’s interior ministry.

Iraqi Shiites don’t trust the United States and resent what they see as America holding them back from ruling Iraq as they see fit.

The Iraqi government is investigating the leaked video footage, shot on a cellular phone, of the ugly last moments of Saddam’s execution.

Surprisingly low numbers of Iraqis are getting U.S. visas despite the worsening sectarian violence in their home country.

Washington

President Bush and other dignitaries paid their final respects to Gerald Ford this morning. Ford will be memorialized in a funeral service at the National Cathedral today, and then his casket will be flown to his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Europe

Parisians have begun a sit-in along the Seine in order to raise awareness about the homeless problem. 

Romania and Bulgaria have officially joined the European Union

Asia

Battling an appreciating currency that threatens its export-driven economy, South Korea is cutting restrictions on offshore investments. The won rose 9 percent against the dollar in 2006.

Repair work will begin soon on undersea telecommunications cables that were damaged in last week’s earthquake off the coast of Taiwan. The quake knocked out disrupted phone and Internet communications around the region.

Ninety people are feared dead after an Indonesian jet liner crashed; the wreckage has not yet been found despite earlier claims to the contrary. 

Thailand’s military leader blames “local politics” for a series of small bombs that hit Bangkok on New Year’s Eve. 

Elsewhere

Somalia’s newly-relevant prime minister says he needs the Ethiopian troops that brought him power to stay for months, but the Ethiopians want to leave in weeks.

Oprah Winfrey opens a posh $40 million school for girls in South Africa. 

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