Morning Brief, Thursday, July 5

Middle East Facing growing unrest within the Republican Party, U.S. President George W. Bush called for patience over the war in Iraq.  Al Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri aired a special July 4th message of his own under the title, “The Advice of One Concerned.” (You can watch it here courtesy of Howie at mypetjawa.mu.nu. Thomas ...

600780_070705_zawahiri_05.jpg
600780_070705_zawahiri_05.jpg

Middle East

Facing growing unrest within the Republican Party, U.S. President George W. Bush called for patience over the war in Iraq. 

Al Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri aired a special July 4th message of his own under the title, "The Advice of One Concerned." (You can watch it here courtesy of Howie at mypetjawa.mu.nu. Thomas Friedman gets a mention.) And in Iraq, al Qaeda's franchise is mending fences with other Sunni jihadist groups. During his 95-minute tape, Zawahiri urges these groups to accept al Qaeda as their allies.

Middle East

Facing growing unrest within the Republican Party, U.S. President George W. Bush called for patience over the war in Iraq. 

Al Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri aired a special July 4th message of his own under the title, “The Advice of One Concerned.” (You can watch it here courtesy of Howie at mypetjawa.mu.nu. Thomas Friedman gets a mention.) And in Iraq, al Qaeda’s franchise is mending fences with other Sunni jihadist groups. During his 95-minute tape, Zawahiri urges these groups to accept al Qaeda as their allies.

The construction of the mammoth U.S. embassy in Baghdad is turning into a cluster-you-know-what.

Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the selection of his country to host the 2014 Winter Olympics as, “a recognition of our growing capability, first of all economically and socially.” Meanwhile, his top deputy is threatening to put cruise missiles in Kaliningrad (a part of Russia sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania) if the United States goes forward with its missile shield plans in Poland and the Czech Republic.

British police reportedly found a suicide note from one of the Glasgow bombers.

The European Union’s farm commissioner proposes that the worst 5 percent of Europe’s vineyards be uprooted so that European wines can outshine imports from Chile, Australia, and the United States.  

Asia

Pakistani security forces captured the leader of a group holed up in an extremist mosque in Islamabad when he attempted to escape wearing a woman’s burqa, but the siege of the Red Mosque continues

China’s stock markets had a bad day today, but nonetheless the country is poised to become the world leader in initial public offerings sometime later this year. 

Meet Turkmenistan’s new boss: same as the old boss? 

Elsewhere 

Al Gore’s son was busted with marijuana, Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, and other drugs in his car after being pulled over for driving his Toyota Prius hybrid at over 100 miles an hour.

Oil majors who are pulling up stakes in Venezuela are complaining that the U.S. Congress undermined their negotiating position with the government of Hugo Chávez. And what’s more, replacing their holdings with oil sands in Canada is going to be tough. 

Joey Chestnut ate his way to a new world record in the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July competition: 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Rival Takeru Kobayashi managed just 63.

Today’s Agenda

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon hosts Global Compact, a two-day summit in Geneva billed as “history’s largest and most significant event on the topic of leadership and corporate citizenship.” (I.e., top executives from multinational corporations like Coca-Cola, Tata Steel, Goldman Sachs meet their counterparts from the non-governmental organizations that give them grief about social responsibility.)
  • Some 300 MPs from member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe are meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, to discuss regional security, energy,  human rights, and other issues.

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