Morning Brief, Monday, June 25

Middle East Pool/Getty Images Chemical Ali, Saddam Hussein’s cousin, was sentenced to hang along with two other men convicted of war crimes.  A suicide bomber struck at Sunni tribal leaders who were meeting in a hotel near Baghdad’s Green Zone.  This is “clear and hold”? Al Qaeda mostly fled before the sweep operations in Baquba, ...

600985_070625_chemali_05.jpg
600985_070625_chemali_05.jpg

Middle East

Pool/Getty Images

Chemical Ali, Saddam Hussein's cousin, was sentenced to hang along with two other men convicted of war crimes. 

Middle East

Pool/Getty Images

Chemical Ali, Saddam Hussein’s cousin, was sentenced to hang along with two other men convicted of war crimes. 

A suicide bomber struck at Sunni tribal leaders who were meeting in a hotel near Baghdad’s Green Zone. 

This is “clear and hold”? Al Qaeda mostly fled before the sweep operations in Baquba, and Iraqi forces can’t hold the cleared territory.

In Lebanon, an explosion killed six U.N. peacekeepers from the Spanish army. 

Asia

North Korea confirmed that it has received its $25 million and that it will move to shut down the Yongbyon reactor as agreed. The devil is now in the details.

Japan’s sushi chefs are running out of tuna. Is it Europe’s fault?

NATO has killed more civilians in Afghanistan than the bad guys have, the BBC reports. And now, NATO is even killing civilians in Pakistan.

Japanese banks are putting the financial squeeze on Iran. 

Europe

Alan Johnston, a BBC reporter who was kidnapped in Gaza over three months ago, appeared in a hostage video wearing a belt of explosives

Has the European project been saved

Tony Blair formally handed the Labor Party leadership over to Gordon Brown, his successor as British prime minister.

Elsewhere 

Time for higher interest rates? Citing creeping inflation and global trade imbalances, the Bank for International Settlements warned that central bans may need to tighten the money supply.

Yale professor David Gelernter argues that “it is hugely unlikely, though not impossible, that a conscious mind will ever be built out of software.” 

Despite heavy lobbying by top executives from Google and Microsoft, Congress isn’t budging on allowing more H1-B visas.

The number of African-Americans joining the U.S. military is down sharply.

Today’s Agenda

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosts U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, followed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rice is also in Paris for France’s international conference on Darfur, a priority for the new French administration.
  • Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,  and Jordan’s King Abdullah to Sharm el Sheikh for talks on bolstering Abbas.
  • British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett speaks at the Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference in Washington.
  • Witness are scheduled to testify in the trial of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian strongman accused of crimes against humanity.
  • Toomas Ilves, the U.S.-educated president of Estonia, visits the White House. Officially, the talks are about Iraq and Afghanistan; unofficially, they’ll be about Russia.
  • The first round of championship tennis begins in England as Roger Federer attempts to win his fifth straight Wimbledon tournament.

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