Morning Brief, Tuesday, March 13

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images Middle East Most Iraqi insurgents appear to have taken a vacation yesterday, or perhaps the Iraqi prime minister’s surprise visit to insurgent stronghold Ramadi heralds some kind of temporary truce. Israel recalled its ambassador to El Salvador, who was found drunk, naked, and wearing bondage gear in the embassy compound. I guess ...

603366_070313_ramadi_05.jpg
603366_070313_ramadi_05.jpg

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images

Middle East

Most Iraqi insurgents appear to have taken a vacation yesterday, or perhaps the Iraqi prime minister's surprise visit to insurgent stronghold Ramadi heralds some kind of temporary truce.

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images

Middle East

Most Iraqi insurgents appear to have taken a vacation yesterday, or perhaps the Iraqi prime minister’s surprise visit to insurgent stronghold Ramadi heralds some kind of temporary truce.

Israel recalled its ambassador to El Salvador, who was found drunk, naked, and wearing bondage gear in the embassy compound. I guess they don’t send their best and brightest to that particular post.

“Hundreds of Hamas members have been sent to Iran for training,” says the head of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service.

A Russian contractor cut nuclear fuel deliveries to Iran. Is it about payment or politics?

Europe 

Kosovo is a test of Russia’s intentions toward Europe, writes Richard Holbrooke. 

The Russian Academy of Scientists is sounding the alarm about government attempts to control the historically-autonomous body. 

Hungary wants to become a hub for gas supplies to Europe. 

French Prime Minister Dominque de Villepin swallowed his considerable pride and endorsed Nicolas Sarkozy for president. 

Asia

The U.S. Treasury Department is moving ahead with efforts to financially isolate Banco Delta Asia, a Macao bank accused of laundering money for the North Korean government. Won’t that mess up the deal? Mohamed El Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency is in Pyongyang today, so I suppose he’ll find out firsthand.

Pakistani police took the stick to lawyers who were demonstrating against the firing of a top judge.

China has reached consensus with the United Nations over deployment of African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, according to Xinhua.

Elsewhere

President Bush landed in Mexico, where he faces tough questions from his Mexican counterpart on drugs and immigration. U.S. lawmakers are putting the final touches on similar immigration reform bills in the House and Senate.

Zimbabwe’s opposition says its leaders were badly beaten by police. 

Does the Eiffel Tower really qualify as a wonder of the world?

Gasoline prices are up 33 cents in the United States over the last month. 

Key dirty bomb ingredients are still out there, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. 

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