Morning Brief, Friday, September 21

Middle East JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images A huge crowd gathered for the funeral of Antoine Ghanim, the anti-Syrian MP who was killed by a car bomb Wednesday in a Beirut suburb. President Bush saw intelligence from the Israelis before a Sep. 6 raid on a suspected nuclear site in Syria, Glenn Kessler reports for the Washington ...

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599189_070921_funeral_05.jpg

Middle East

JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images

A huge crowd gathered for the funeral of Antoine Ghanim, the anti-Syrian MP who was killed by a car bomb Wednesday in a Beirut suburb.

Middle East

JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images

A huge crowd gathered for the funeral of Antoine Ghanim, the anti-Syrian MP who was killed by a car bomb Wednesday in a Beirut suburb.

President Bush saw intelligence from the Israelis before a Sep. 6 raid on a suspected nuclear site in Syria, Glenn Kessler reports for the Washington Post. According to Kessler, “The target of Israel’s attack was said to be in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.”

Iraq’s Interior Ministry has found that Blackwater’s contractors fired unprovoked shots last Sunday in an incident that killed at least eight Iraqis.

At least five aides to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani have been killed since June. 

Asia

In a move sure to set tongues wagging in Islamabad, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf named a new intelligence chief and made some key military appointments. Speculation is rife that Pervez Ashfaq Kiyani, the former intel head, may replace Musharraf as Army chief of staff. Kiyani is apparently popular with Western officials.

Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker, apologized to China for damaging the country’s reputation.

No Olympic torch for Taiwan.

Europe

At last, the New York Times stops ignoring Belgium’s political crisis.

With Europe looking headed for an economic slowdown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is fighting for his right to criticize Europe’s central bank and its tight monetary policies. Meanwhile, Britain, awash in debt, stares into the abyss. 

NATO doesn’t have the money or capability to set up a proposed rapid-reaction force.

Elsewhere

A new deal between Zimbabwe’s ruling and opposition parties could ease the country’s political paralysis, but many analysts are skeptical the agreement, mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki, is really such a breakthrough.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson indicated the federal government may do more to ease liquidity woes in the mortgage markets.

Today’s Agenda

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Alpha Oumar Konare, head of the African Union, will co-host a meeting of the Enlarged Contact Group on Darfur.
  • The permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are meeting in Washington to discuss sanctions against Iran.
  • Yom Kippur begins this evening.

Yesterday on Passport

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