Morning Brief, Tuesday, May 29

Middle East U.S. and Iranian officials met in Baghdad to discuss ways to cooperate in Iraq, but made little headway.  Israel’s Labor Party voted out Defense Minister Amir Peretz as leader, but no clear winner emerged between Ehud Barak and Ami Ayalon. Both candidates have pledged to force Ehud Olmert to step down as prime ...

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601631_070529_crocker_05.jpg

Middle East

U.S. and Iranian officials met in Baghdad to discuss ways to cooperate in Iraq, but made little headway. 

Israel's Labor Party voted out Defense Minister Amir Peretz as leader, but no clear winner emerged between Ehud Barak and Ami Ayalon. Both candidates have pledged to force Ehud Olmert to step down as prime minister.

Middle East

U.S. and Iranian officials met in Baghdad to discuss ways to cooperate in Iraq, but made little headway. 

Israel’s Labor Party voted out Defense Minister Amir Peretz as leader, but no clear winner emerged between Ehud Barak and Ami Ayalon. Both candidates have pledged to force Ehud Olmert to step down as prime minister.

U.S. military officers in Iraq are looking to redefine success ahead of a Congressional review of the “surge” that is slated for September. 

Most prostitutes in Syria are now Iraqi, the New York Times reports.

Europe

The pope reinstated the Council for Interreligious Dialogue, a Vatican department dealing with Islamic affairs that he had previously downgraded.

Spanish police arrested 16 would-be jihadists, most of them of Moroccan origin. 

German police clashed with several thousand anti-globalization demonstrators in Hamburg. 

Asia

Japan’s agricultural minister committed suicide ahead of a parliamentary inquiry into a corruption scandal.

The former head of China’s food and drug agency was sentenced to death for accepting bribes. 

A mysterious disease has killed millions of pigs in China, causing the price of pork to skyrocket. 

Rising violence in northern Afghanistan has raised fears that even the relatively quiet parts of the country are now becoming unstable. 

Elsewhere

Robert Zoellick is the leading candidate to replace ousted World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, according to the Financial Times.

Hugo Chávez is shutting down another television channel.

By “corporate-style accounting standards,” the U.S. federal government lost $1.3 trillion last year.

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