Morning Brief, Friday, July 20

Middle East MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images A top U.S. general in Iraq says he needs until at least November to assess the surge. U.S. commanders are cutting either unsavory or pragmatic “handshake agreements” with insurgents, depending on your point of view. As promised, Israel freed 250 Palestinian prisoners with ties to Fatah. Europe Tit for tat: ...

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600463_070720_odierno_05.jpg

Middle East

Middle East

MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images

A top U.S. general in Iraq says he needs until at least November to assess the surge.

U.S. commanders are cutting either unsavory or pragmatic “handshake agreements” with insurgents, depending on your point of view.

As promised, Israel freed 250 Palestinian prisoners with ties to Fatah.

Europe

Tit for tat: Russia kicked four British diplomats out of the country

Nicolas Sarkozy wants to “harmonize” French and British positions on the European Union.

Harry Potter fanatics, some in costume, are already lining up in London to buy the seventh book in the series.

Asia

Fearing inflation, China’s central bank raised interest rates.

The six-party talks in Beijing ended with no road map toward ending North Korea’s nuclear program. 

Extremist attacks have killed 183 people in Pakistan since Saturday. The good news? Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of restating its suspended chief justice.

Elsewhere 

The United Nations released its 2007 Least Developed Countries report. The report’s lead author urged poor countries to embrace technology.

Separatists win in Nargorno-Karabakh. Will independence follow?

Ethiopia released 30 opposition leaders after facing U.S. and international pressure. 

Today’s Agenda

  • Colombians celebrate their independence from Spain.
  • The National Black Arts Festival begins in Atlanta (and no, it has nothing to do with Harry Potter).

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