Morning Brief, Wednesday, January 17

Iraq and Middle East A gruesome two-bomb car and suicide combo killed more than 70 people at a university in Baghdad, many of them students. Juan Cole comments: “I report these attacks every day, and have seen some violence in my time, but this one is tough.” A truck bomb also hit a police station ...

604785_obama_scrum_05.jpg
604785_obama_scrum_05.jpg

Iraq and Middle East

A gruesome two-bomb car and suicide combo killed more than 70 people at a university in Baghdad, many of them students. Juan Cole comments: "I report these attacks every day, and have seen some violence in my time, but this one is tough." A truck bomb also hit a police station in Kirkuk.

Israel's army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, is stepping down after being criticized for botching this past summer's war with Hezbollah. 

Iraq and Middle East

A gruesome two-bomb car and suicide combo killed more than 70 people at a university in Baghdad, many of them students. Juan Cole comments: “I report these attacks every day, and have seen some violence in my time, but this one is tough.” A truck bomb also hit a police station in Kirkuk.

Israel’s army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, is stepping down after being criticized for botching this past summer’s war with Hezbollah. 

Condoleezza Rice has left the Middle East after getting Sunni Arab leaders to sign off on her administration’s new get-tough policy toward Iran. The United States is upset that Russia sold weaponry to Tehran, but guess what? So did the Pentagon.

Obamarama



SCOTT OLSON/Getty Images

Yup, he’s running, and it’s a media circus. You can watch the video announcement on his “exploratory committee” website, and troll through bloggers’ reactions here. Stronger stomachs may opt for the fun and games at ABC’s The Note.

Europe

German PM Angela Merkel wants Europe to have another go at the EU constitution, saying that Europe faces a “historic failure” if it doesn’t pass by 2009. Funny, I would have thought that voters’ rejection of the document signaled that the politicians and bureaucrats need to come up with something palatable to the European public first.

Asia

For the first time, the powerful commerce ministry in China, responsible for export promotion, signaled its grudging acceptance of a 3 percent rise in the renminbi against the dollar. 

2007 is a crucial year for resisting “Taiwan independence” (by peaceful means), says the Chinese official responsible for resisting Taiwan independence. 

India is accusing Pakistani border guards of shooting at its soldiers in order to provide cover fire for militants infiltrating into Kashmir. Attacks are up in neighboring Afghanistan, but the U.S. says it has caught some major Taliban leaders.

Elsewhere



CARSTEN KOALL/Getty Images

Nine out of 10 top business leaders are optimistic about the next three years, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit

Muhammad Ali turns 65 today.

Freedom is not on the march, reports Guy Dinmore in the Financial Times. He got his paws on an advance copy of Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report, which comes out later today. 

Hugo Chávez, friend of Fidel, says Castro’s going to be fine despite reports to the contrary. 

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.