Morning Brief, Tuesday, October 23

Middle East PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images The U.S. State Department cannot account for $1.2 billion it paid DynCorp to train Iraqi police. Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for Iraq’s reconstruction, said, “[W]hen you put two people on the ground to manage a billion dollars, that’s pretty weak.” Turkey’s foreign minister is in Iraq, where he hopes ...

598565_071023_dyncorp_05.jpg
598565_071023_dyncorp_05.jpg

Middle East

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. State Department cannot account for $1.2 billion it paid DynCorp to train Iraqi police. Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for Iraq's reconstruction, said, "[W]hen you put two people on the ground to manage a billion dollars, that's pretty weak."

Middle East

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. State Department cannot account for $1.2 billion it paid DynCorp to train Iraqi police. Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for Iraq’s reconstruction, said, “[W]hen you put two people on the ground to manage a billion dollars, that’s pretty weak.”

Turkey’s foreign minister is in Iraq, where he hopes to reach a last-ditch agreement with the central government regarding the PKK. The Turks are running out of patience, they say.

The New York Times reports on Iraqi Kurdistan’s explosive second front, where PKK-linked guerrillas in the PJAK are battling Iranian security forces.

Asia 

G7 countries are officially calling on China to let its currency appreciate faster.

A NATO air raid in Afghanistan killed at least 13 civilians, local officials say.

Friday’s explosion in a Manila shopping mall was a due to a gas leak, not terrorism.

Europe

Microsoft gives in to European antitrust regulators. But in another key decision that could have broad implications, regulators are letting Porsche buy Volkswagen.

The Mafia accounts for 7 percent of Italy’s GDP, a new study has found.

French police have detained a Swedish online gambling executive.

Elsewhere

The World Health Organization says that safer syringes could save some 1.3 million lives each year.

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation says it is ready to assume more risk in order to help poor people.

Today’s Agenda

  • Space shuttle Discovery is due to launch today despite safety concerns.
  • The Queen of England will honor CNN’s Christiane Amanpour as a Commander in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (one rank less than knighthood).
  • The Airbus A380 lands in Beijing.
  • Russia’s foreign minister visits Tokyo to discuss the contested Kuril islands.
  • U.S. President George W. Bush addresses the National Defense University.
  • First Lady Laura Bush meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice welcomes the prime minister of Armenia.
  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is in Prague.
  • Lebanon was scheduled to hold a presidential election today, but it was delayed.

Yesterday on Passport

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