Morning Brief, Wednesday, March 28

STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP Middle East Tony Blair, seeking to crank up Iran’s “total isolation,” froze all “bilateral business” with the Islamic Republic. Oil is up to $64 per barrel. The U.K. says its sailors were 1.7 nautical miles within Iraqi waters when they were captured by Iranian forces; Tehran says no, they were in 0.5km inside ...

602908_070328_royalnavy_02.jpg
602908_070328_royalnavy_02.jpg

STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP

Middle East

Tony Blair, seeking to crank up Iran's "total isolation," froze all "bilateral business" with the Islamic Republic. Oil is up to $64 per barrel. The U.K. says its sailors were 1.7 nautical miles within Iraqi waters when they were captured by Iranian forces; Tehran says no, they were in 0.5km inside Iran.

STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP

Middle East

Tony Blair, seeking to crank up Iran’s “total isolation,” froze all “bilateral business” with the Islamic Republic. Oil is up to $64 per barrel. The U.K. says its sailors were 1.7 nautical miles within Iraqi waters when they were captured by Iranian forces; Tehran says no, they were in 0.5km inside Iran.

By just two votes, the U.S. Senate signaled its support for a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008. 

The northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar has exploded in sectarian violence once again. 

Saudi Arabia promises full relations with Israel if it withdraws to the 1967 borders, allows a Palestinian state, and permits a “just solution” to the refugee issue. 

Europe 

EU citizens will soon be able to use their credit cards anywhere in the European Union, if a new banking reform goes through.

Don’t worry, a top U.S. general tells Russia. Our new missile shield will protect you.

Asia

North Korea faces a dire shortage of food, the country admitted in a request to the World Food Programme.

Asian countries are fueling housing and equity bubbles by holding on to too much foreign currency, the chief economist of the Asia Development Bank warned on Tuesday.

Elsewhere

The World Health Organization gives male circumcision two thumbs up as a way to prevent HIV/AIDS.

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s outspoken opposition leader, was arrested along with 20 of his staff.

The Bush administration is rushing to complete trade deals in Latin America and South Korea before a Saturday deadline. 

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