Morning Brief, Thursday, June 21

Asia STR/AFP U.S. envoy Christopher Hill is in Pyongyang today to convince the North Koreans that, now that they’ve got their $25 million back, it’s time to uphold their end of the nuclear bargain made in February. It’s the first trip to North Korea by a U.S. official since Hill’s predecessor, James Kelly, accused the ...

601040_070621_hill_05.jpg
601040_070621_hill_05.jpg

Asia

STR/AFP

U.S. envoy Christopher Hill is in Pyongyang today to convince the North Koreans that, now that they've got their $25 million back, it's time to uphold their end of the nuclear bargain made in February. It's the first trip to North Korea by a U.S. official since Hill's predecessor, James Kelly, accused the North Koreans of harboring secret uranium enrichment ambitions in 2002.

Asia

STR/AFP

U.S. envoy Christopher Hill is in Pyongyang today to convince the North Koreans that, now that they’ve got their $25 million back, it’s time to uphold their end of the nuclear bargain made in February. It’s the first trip to North Korea by a U.S. official since Hill’s predecessor, James Kelly, accused the North Koreans of harboring secret uranium enrichment ambitions in 2002.

Japan’s exports to Europe and China are booming

The Taliban’s new target: Kabul

Child labor is common in China, and the government often looks the other way. 

Middle East

The fighting between U.S. troops and Sunni insurgents in Baquba, Iraq, goes on. In Diwaniya, Shiite groups are squabbling violently for power. One of Iraq’s three vice presidents, a Shiite, tried to quit the government in frustration last week. And the U.S. State Department is considering filling its staff shortages in Baghdad by ordering foreign service officers to go there.

The United States is making no secret of its wish to give outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair the worst job in the world: Middle East envoy.

As Hamas makes not-so-subtle threats against Fatah in Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas is planning to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for a summit hosted in Egypt next Monday. Arab leaders like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak are frightened to death of Hamas and the Islamic trend it represents.

Europe

Nicolas Sarkozy is making big promises on economic reform: “Everything I said before the elections, I will do,” France’s new president said Wednesday. 

The Poland-Germany spat over the EU treaty/constitution is getting nastier: Now the Poles are demanding a greater share of the votes in compensation for all the people killed by Germany during World War II.

Mob killings in Italy are down significantly in recent years.

Elsewhere

Insurgent unrest and strikes in Nigeria over high gasoline prices are pushing up the price … of oil.

Starbucks reached an agreement with Ethiopia over licensing and trademarks for its coffee. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is not so secure.  

Today’s Agenda

  • It’s the longest day of the year. And they’re partying it up at Stonehenge.
  • The European Summit is getting underway in Brussels, Belgium. It ain’t gonna be pretty.
  • Activists are holding the annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem over the objections of the city’s conservative religious groups.

Yesterday on Passport

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