Morning Brief, Monday, June 11

Europe  JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images Met everywhere else in Europe with jibes and jeers, U.S. President George W. Bush basked in the unabashed pro-Americanism of Albania. Prime Minister Sali Berisha declared Bush “the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times.” For his part, Bush again called for the independence of nearby ...

601356_070611_tirana2_05.jpg
601356_070611_tirana2_05.jpg

Europe 

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Met everywhere else in Europe with jibes and jeers, U.S. President George W. Bush basked in the unabashed pro-Americanism of Albania. Prime Minister Sali Berisha declared Bush "the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times." For his part, Bush again called for the independence of nearby Kosovo.

Europe 

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Met everywhere else in Europe with jibes and jeers, U.S. President George W. Bush basked in the unabashed pro-Americanism of Albania. Prime Minister Sali Berisha declared Bush “the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times.” For his part, Bush again called for the independence of nearby Kosovo.

The center-right party of French President Nicolas Sarkozy could win at least 383 and as many as 501 of the parliament’s 577 seats in France’s legislative elections, which began this weekend and will continue June 17.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a “new architecture of international economic relations” that, in his view, would better reflect the needs of emerging economies like Russia, Brazil, India, and China than the current system, which is dominated by Western creations like the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. He called these institutions “archaic, undemocratic, and unwieldy.”

Belgian’s Christian Democrats are poised for a return to power after eight years in the wilderness. 

Middle East

Extending the “Anbar model,” the United States is working closely with Sunni militant groups with insurgent ties in an effort to isolate and fight al Qaeda throughout Sunni parts of Iraq.

Militants fired shots at the home of Hamas leader and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as fighting escalated between warring Palestinian factions in Gaza.

The U.S. military is allegedly holding up production of the Bull, an armored vehicle that would offer enhanced protection against Iraq’s roadside bombs. 

Asia

China’s trade surplus was $22.45 billion in May, larger than expected and an amount likely to raise eyebrows in the U.S. Congress and in Europe.

Severe flooding has displaced as many as 600,000 people in southern China.

Does India have fewer HIV/AIDS cases than previously thought? 

Afghan President Hamid Karzai easily survived what looked like an assassination attempt in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. 

Elsewhere 

Even as the U.S. administration works to isolate the Sudanese regime over Darfur, it cooperates with Sudanese officials on counterterrorism. 

The price of milk is soaring worldwide, due primarily to growing demand for protein from a wealthier Asia, according to the Times of London.

Did the Bush administration pack immigration courts with partisan judges? 

The World Bank plans to launch a $250 million pilot project to pay Indonesia, Congo, Brazil, and other tropical countries to preserve their rain forests. 

Today’s Agenda

  • On the last stop of his European trip, President Bush meets with the president and prime minister of Bulgaria in Sofia. Preliminary details here.
  • The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency begins a meeting in Vienna to discuss Iran’s ongoing efforts to enrich uranium. After hearing from IAEA Secretary General Mohamed ElBaradei, the 35-member board is expected to issue recommendations for further action to the United Nations Security Council.
  • Member states of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, a joint initiative of the United States and Russia, meet today and tomorrow in Astana, Kazakhstan. Representatives from new member Pakistan will be there.
  • The Council of Europe hosts a two-day conference on cyber crime.
  • The U.S. Senate will likely vote on a symbolic no-confidence measure against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

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