Morning Brief, Monday, July 2

Europe Pool/Getty Images British police are moving at breakneck speed to roll up the plotters of the recent botched car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow. British authorities believe, without offering evidence, that al Qaeda is involved. So far, seven suspects are in custody, most of them of South Asian descent. Even as U.S. President ...

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600830_070702_glasgow_05.jpg
GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: Police go over the scene at Glasgow Airport after a blazing car was driven into the airport's main terminal July 1, 2007 in Glasgow, Scotland. Strathclyde Police are treating yesterday's incident as terrorism; linking it with the car bombs found in central London the day beforehand. (Photo by Mark Runnacles - Pool/Getty Images)

Europe

Pool/Getty Images

British police are moving at breakneck speed to roll up the plotters of the recent botched car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow. British authorities believe, without offering evidence, that al Qaeda is involved. So far, seven suspects are in custody, most of them of South Asian descent.

Europe

Pool/Getty Images

British police are moving at breakneck speed to roll up the plotters of the recent botched car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow. British authorities believe, without offering evidence, that al Qaeda is involved. So far, seven suspects are in custody, most of them of South Asian descent.

Even as U.S. President George W. Bush tries to convince Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, of the need for a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe, support for the project is flagging in Washington, Prague, and Warsaw. 

A missing U.S. defense attache has now turned up dead in Cyprus. 

Americas

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says he will push to hold the White House in contempt of Congress if Bush administration officials don’t cooperate with Congress’s requests for documents.

U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised at least $32.5 million in the second quarter of 2007. Among his competitors for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton raised $27 million, and John Edwards trails with $9 million. Fund-raising totals for Republican candidates are not yet available.

Asia

Rising wages in Bangalore, India, have driven a Silicon Valley firm to pack up its offshore operation and return the jobs to California. 

When Japan’s defense minister said that the U.S. atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were “inevitable,” many Japanese people got upset. It’s another PR fiasco for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose approval rating is around 30 percent.

Over the weekend, the United States and South Korea signed a free-trade agreement that must still be ratified by the U.S. Congress. For the United States, it’s the largest such deal since NAFTA.

Middle East 

The U.S. military is accusing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of working with Lebanon’s Hezbollah to train Shiite militias in Iraq. Military officials also say that the Iranians have planned attacks that have killed American troops. In an indication that he approves of what’s going on, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei endorsed an “aggressive stance” on foreign policy in a Saturday speech.

Is Iraq getting less dangerous for civilians? (It seems to be getting more dangerous for bridges.)

Israel is resuming financial relations with the rump Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, with $120 million in Palestinian funds released Sunday. 

Elsewhere 

McDonald’s plans to fuel its delivery trucks in Britain with biodiesel made from cooking oil.

Thabo Mbeki is looking to stay on as head of the African National Congress.

Authorities in Senegal seized $100 million worth of cocaine. West Africa is fast becoming a smuggling haven for South American drugs.

Today’s Agenda

  • After a second day of hanging out with the Bush family in Kennebunkport, Putin heads to Guatemala for an International Olympic Committee meeting.

  • With Portugal taking over leadership of the European Union, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso visits Lisbon to meet with top Portuguese officials.

  • The African Union summit continues into its second day in Accra, Ghana.
  • China’s foreign minister is in North Korea to work out a date for resuming the  six-party talks over Pyongyang‘s nuclear weapons program.

  • Today is the ten-year anniversary of the start of the Asian financial crisis. It’s also the 60th anniversary of the Roswell, New Mexico, “UFO” crash.

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