Morning Brief, Thursday, April 5

2008 Barack Obama’s $25 million haul in the first quarter is just the tip of a big blue iceberg, the New York Times reports.  Middle East James Baker III takes to the Washington Post to argue that Congress and the White House haven’t embraced the Iraq Study Group report strongly enough and have become too ...

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602798_070405_sailors_05.jpg

2008

2008

Barack Obama’s $25 million haul in the first quarter is just the tip of a big blue iceberg, the New York Times reports. 

Middle East

James Baker III takes to the Washington Post to argue that Congress and the White House haven’t embraced the Iraq Study Group report strongly enough and have become too polarized over troop withdrawals.

Israel is holding up U.S. arms sales to Gulf countries.

On leaving Damascus, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters, “There is no division on policy between us and President Bush, be it on Israel, Palestine or Syria.”

BRUNO VINCENT/Getty Images

Europe

Britain’s captured sailors and marines returned to London today, two weeks after their capture by Iranian forces. Four British soldiers were killed in southern Iraq via a roadside bomb. 

The Financial Times urges French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy to be more careful with his populist rhetoric.

The Pope writes that Western powers “plundered and sacked” Africa. His first book, Jesus of Nazareth, will be published April 16, the Pope’s 80th birthday.

Asia

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao warned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to visit the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, underscoring Japan expert Gerald Curtis’s recent comments to FP. (Neither China nor Japan is eager to slay the goose that laid the golden egg, their growing economic ties.)

China’s central bank is seeking to dial back a dangerous investment bubble. 

Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, vows to overcome a ban on his participation in politics.

This just in: Another country bans YouTube

Elsewhere

The International Monetary Fund released its World Economic Outlook for April 2007. The IMF finds that a slide in U.S. growth won’t wreck the world economy and that globalization is driving down the wages of skilled workers in the developed world.  

Prosecutors in Los Angeles are working closely with federal officials to quickly identify and deport gang members who are illegal immigrants.    

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