Morning Brief, Wednesday, August 29

Middle East: Chaos in Karbala; Catch and Release in Baghdad STR/AFP/Getty Images Rivalry between the Mahdi Army militia and government troops loyal to Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki spilled over into violence at a Shiite religious festival in Karbala. Maliki claims he’s now in control of the situation, while Mahdi Army leader Moqtada al-Sadr denies involvement. ...

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599691_070829_karbala_05.jpg

Middle East: Chaos in Karbala; Catch and Release in Baghdad

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Rivalry between the Mahdi Army militia and government troops loyal to Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki spilled over into violence at a Shiite religious festival in Karbala. Maliki claims he's now in control of the situation, while Mahdi Army leader Moqtada al-Sadr denies involvement.

Middle East: Chaos in Karbala; Catch and Release in Baghdad

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Rivalry between the Mahdi Army militia and government troops loyal to Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki spilled over into violence at a Shiite religious festival in Karbala. Maliki claims he’s now in control of the situation, while Mahdi Army leader Moqtada al-Sadr denies involvement.

U.S. President George W. Bush is seeking another $50 billion for the Iraq war.

The U.S. military detained—and quickly released—representatives from Iran’s Energy Ministry who were visiting Baghdad. This as the war of words between Washington and Tehran heats up again.

Brilliant: Iraqis who want to sign up for refugee status in the United States can’t do so in Iraq itself

Asia: Koreans Free at Last 

The Taliban released eight of 19 South Korean hostages, with the rest to follow in a couple days.

A power-sharing arrangement between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and exiled PM Benazir Bhutto may be nearing completion. Ousted PM Nawaz Sharif plans to return for Ramadan.

Parts of China’s Great Wall could disappear within the next two decades.

Europe: Turkey’s New President

Abdullah Gul, the new president of Turkey, is expected to approve the cabinet of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Top military leaders, suspicious of his Islamist roots, snubbed Gul’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.

Manuel Noriega won himself an all-expenses-paid trip to French prison

British Foreign Minister David Miliband says British troops will leave Basra based on “the situation on the ground in Basra, not the situation on the ground in Baghdad.”

Elsewhere: Stocks Down; Drugs Stable; Castro Not Dead 

The U.S. stock market dropped 280 points yesterday amid a “gloomy mood” for investors. Meanwhile, subprime’s fallout continues to fall.

The global trade in illicit drugs is no longer rising, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reports, despite pockets of growth in places like Afghanistan.

Fidel Castro predicts in his latest newspaper column that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will team up to lead the Democrats to victory in November 2008.

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