Morning Brief, Thursday, April 26

Europe AFP/Getty Images U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Russian fears about a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe are “purely ludicrous.” Her remarks followed after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of a European treaty on conventional arms during a pugnacious state of the union address, which he said would be his ...

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602288_070426_putin_05.jpg

Europe

AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Russian fears about a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe are "purely ludicrous." Her remarks followed after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of a European treaty on conventional arms during a pugnacious state of the union address, which he said would be his last.

Europe

AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Russian fears about a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe are “purely ludicrous.” Her remarks followed after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of a European treaty on conventional arms during a pugnacious state of the union address, which he said would be his last.

So much for losing gracefully: Centrist also-ran François Bayrou evidently considers Nicolas Sarkozy a budding dictator and Ségolène Royal an economic moron, so he’s not endorsing either candidate for the French presidency.

Tony Blair has yet to collect his Congressional Medal of Honor from the United States. Why? Because he doesn’t want to look like “some sort of poodle,” says Britain’s ambassador to Washington.

Middle East

By a vote of 218-210, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure ordering the president to begin withdrawing from Iraq by October 1. In Iraq, there’s been little progress on key political benchmarks. 

The ex-commander of a U.S. detention facility in Iraq faces charges for “aiding the enemy,” among other things. 

This just in: Saudi Arabia isn’t making progress on political reform.

Asia

Japan’s largest trading partner is now China, not the United States. China says it’s not going to be number one in greenhouse gas emissions, however.

They deserve each other: North Korea and Myanmar are making nice

Osama bin Laden is alive, says a top Taliban commander. 

Elsewhere

Carbon credits are often no good, the Financial Times reports after a thorough investigation.

Famous last words? Somalia’s prime minister is ready to declare victory over Islamist insurgents. Nearly 340,000 people have fled the Somali capital since the fighting began.

Paul Wolfowitz and his new lawyer are fighting back aggressively against efforts to oust the World Bank president.

Oil prices are down, but corn prices are up due to weather concerns. 

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