Morning Brief, Monday, February 5

ALI AL-SAADI/AFP Iraq and Middle East More Iraqis are blaming the United States for failing to deliver on its security promises after last week’s horrific violence. How much is Iran responsible for the bloodshed? We don’t really know, writes Newsweek‘s Mark Hosenball. “We have no choice but to reach an agreement,” said Hamas leader and ...

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604275_iraq_020407_05.jpg

ALI AL-SAADI/AFP

Iraq and Middle East

More Iraqis are blaming the United States for failing to deliver on its security promises after last week's horrific violence. How much is Iran responsible for the bloodshed? We don't really know, writes Newsweek's Mark Hosenball.

ALI AL-SAADI/AFP

Iraq and Middle East

More Iraqis are blaming the United States for failing to deliver on its security promises after last week’s horrific violence. How much is Iran responsible for the bloodshed? We don’t really know, writes Newsweek‘s Mark Hosenball.

“We have no choice but to reach an agreement,” said Hamas leader and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh before talks with President Mahmoud Abbas on the infighting in Gaza.

Israel named a new army chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi.

20 foreigners were sentenced to be lashed and given short prison stints for attending a party serving alcohol in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. More importantly, nine Saudis and one Moroccan were arrested for funding terrorism outside the kingdom. 

Washington

U.S. President George W. Bush presents his 2008 budget to Congress today. Defense and energy are up; welfare’s down.

The anti-surge resolution could spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for Senate Republicans. 

Europe 

A letter bomb exploded in London, injuring one woman. Could it be traffic-related?

Bird flu has struck England, but so far the outbreak is limited to birds.

Asia

North Korea may be willing to halt its nuclear activities in exchange for fuel oil and an end to U.S. financial sanctions. Not good enough, says the top U.S. negotiator. Talks resume on Thursday in Beijing.

Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians have been left homeless by flooding.

Apparently, referring to Japanese women as “baby-making machines” can get you in trouble—especially if you’re the minister of health. And the remark has Japan’s prime minister in hot water as well.

The United States and China are at loggerheads over Beijing’s alleged export subsidies.

Elsewhere 

Got a blog? It could earn you beer money

Global warming hits the poor worst of all, says the United Nations secretary general. 

The week ahead

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