Morning Brief, Thursday, March 22

U.S. Constitutional Showdown  Congress escalated the fight over the eight fired federal prosecutors yesterday, with a House judicial subcommittee dishing out subpoenas for Karl Rove and other Bush administration honchos. AFP Middle East What’s up with Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia? Is it splintering, with some parts training in Iran while others play nice with ...

603118_070322_khamenei_05.jpg
603118_070322_khamenei_05.jpg

U.S. Constitutional Showdown 

Congress escalated the fight over the eight fired federal prosecutors yesterday, with a House judicial subcommittee dishing out subpoenas for Karl Rove and other Bush administration honchos.

AFP

U.S. Constitutional Showdown 

Congress escalated the fight over the eight fired federal prosecutors yesterday, with a House judicial subcommittee dishing out subpoenas for Karl Rove and other Bush administration honchos.

AFP

Middle East

What’s up with Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia? Is it splintering, with some parts training in Iran while others play nice with the Iraqi government?

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei threatened to take “illegal steps” with Iran’s nuclear program if new U.N. sanctions pass the Security Council.

Egypt’s largest opposition group urged Egyptians to boycott Monday’s referendum on a series of dubious constitutional amendments that were rammed through parliament by the ruling National Democratic Party to chants of “With spirit, with blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you, oh Mubarak.”

Europe

What’s the value of an Italian journalist? Apparently, five Taliban prisoners.

Russia’s clampdown on the press deepens

On the impending occasion of the EU’s 50th birthday, author Timothy Garton Ash calls for “a new European narrative.” The Economist calls for more scoffing.

Asia

Not happy with how the game in Beijing was playing out, North Korea’s top negotiator took his ball and went home.

Japanese companies, taking the hint from a government alarmed by Japan’s low birth rate, are starting to offer baby bonuses

Will China get old before it gets rich? Howard French investigates. Meanwhile, Chinese stocks are marching to new highs

Elsewhere

Somalia’s latest spasm of violence continues, as Ethiopian tanks get into the action

The Niger Delta is too dangerous for EU election monitors. Nigeria’s polls are scheduled for April 21st.

Coal is the new “it girl” of power plant technology, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

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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.
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