Morning Brief, Wednesday, November 21
Global Economy CHIP SOMODEVILLA/Getty Images Oil prices pushed past $99 a barrel on a weakening dollar and a downbeat report from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Gold stayed above $800 an ounce. Asia Chinese electronics are undermining the North Korean government’s totalitarian monopoly on information about the outside world, defectors say. In an intriguing development, U.S. ...
Chinese electronics are undermining the North Korean government’s totalitarian monopoly on information about the outside world, defectors say.
In an intriguing development, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State met with the Pakistani Army’s second in command this past Saturday.
An advanced Chinese naval destroyer will visit Japan in a sign of warming ties between the two countries.
Thousands of Iraqis are returning home from Syria.
The Bush administration is scrambling to get high-level Arab representation in Annapolis for next week’s Middle East peace conference, which is to be held Nov. 27.
Sabotage has hit France’s high-speed trains. Faced with growing strikes that were set off by his liberal economic reforms, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday, “We will not surrender, and we will not retreat.”
Jacques Chirac, embezzler?
British PM Gordon Brown was forced to apologize for the loss of 25 million child-benefit records.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has frozen a Rumsfeld-era plan to draw the number of U.S. troops down to 24,000 in Europe.
In a new book, former White House spokesman Scott McClellan accuses U.S. President George W. Bush of complicity in the Valerie Plame leak case.
One of Hugo Chávez’s closest allies in the military has broken with the Venezuelan strongman over his proposed constitutional changes.
Ian Smith, a staunch defender of white rule in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), died at the age of 88.
Scientists in Wisconsin and Japan have made a breakthrough on stem cells developed from skin cells, not embryos.
- Portugal and England still have a shot at qualifying for soccer’s 2008 European Championships.
- Prediction: Thousands of Americans will be stuck in airports today, many without their luggage.
- The release of monthly U.S. crude-oil inventories data could send oil prices over $100 a barrel today.
- Today is the 10th anniversary of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention.
Yesterday on Passport
- Find the Easter eggs in Google’s Australian elections site
- Does the Bomb Iran! crowd have any credibility left?
- Quotable: Ban Ki-Moon on Jay-Z, “My man”
Note: Passport will be on hiatus until Monday, Nov. 26, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Blake Hounshell is a former managing editor of Foreign Policy.
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