Morning Brief, Friday, July 27

MARIO TAMA/Getty Images Markets After yesterday’s big Wall Street sell-off, Asian investors shed shares of companies with extensive U.S. business, but volatile European markets eventually stabilized. Steven Pearlstein wonders if the credit bubble is finally popping.  Middle East Is Saudi Arabia funding Sunni working to undermine the government of PM Nuri al-Maliki? Anonymous U.S. officials ...

600318_070727_wallstreet_05.jpg
600318_070727_wallstreet_05.jpg

MARIO TAMA/Getty Images

Markets

After yesterday's big Wall Street sell-off, Asian investors shed shares of companies with extensive U.S. business, but volatile European markets eventually stabilized. Steven Pearlstein wonders if the credit bubble is finally popping

MARIO TAMA/Getty Images

Markets

After yesterday’s big Wall Street sell-off, Asian investors shed shares of companies with extensive U.S. business, but volatile European markets eventually stabilized. Steven Pearlstein wonders if the credit bubble is finally popping

Middle East

Is Saudi Arabia funding Sunni working to undermine the government of PM Nuri al-Maliki? Anonymous U.S. officials all but say as much to the New York Times ahead of next week’s Middle East trip by Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates.

In a letter to Sen. Hillary Clinton, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that the Pentagon is working on contingency plans for a reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq, where even Baghdad’s safest neighborhoods aren’t safe anymore

Iraqi refugees are turning to people-smuggling gangs, Interpol reports. 

Europe

Former French PM Dominque de Villepin is being preliminarily charged with plotting a smear campaign against President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Migrant children in Spain’s Canary Islands face squalor and abuse, Human Rights Watch reports.

A hugely popular Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister, might be tempted to call snap elections

Asia

It’s been a bad few months for China’s propaganda bureaucrats. 

Good question: What will happen to North Korea’s nuclear scientists? 

Thought the Red Mosque siege was over? Think again

Don’t mess with Hu Jintao. 

Elsewhere

Raúl Castro intends to open Cuba’s statist economy to foreign investors. But his brother’s looming presence will make reform difficult.

The United Nations accuses Eritrea of arming insurgents in Somalia

Today’s Agenda

  • The U.S. Commerce Department releases second-quarter GDP figures.
  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Hall of Fame Weekend kicks off in Cooperstown, NY. Baseball greats Cal Ripkin and Tony Gwynn will officially enter the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Yesterday on Passport

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