Morning Brief, Monday, December 10

Europe VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images Russian President Vladimir Putin has tapped first deputy PM Dmitri Medvedev to be his successor. More on Medvedev here. The European Union is reportedly close to reaching a common position in favor of Kosovo’s independence. Singapore and an unnamed Middle East investor bailed out struggling Swiss bank UBS to the tune ...

597691_rsz_78349624_05.jpg
597691_rsz_78349624_05.jpg
(FILES)-Picture taken 13 September 2007 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and acting First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) visiting to the Tavrovo cottage township outside Belgorod. President Vladimir Putin has backed First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as presidential candidate to replace him after he leaves office next year, Russian news agencies reported 10 December 2007. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN / VLADIMIR RODIONOV (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe

VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has tapped first deputy PM Dmitri Medvedev to be his successor. More on Medvedev here.

Europe

VLADIMIR RODIONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin has tapped first deputy PM Dmitri Medvedev to be his successor. More on Medvedev here.

The European Union is reportedly close to reaching a common position in favor of Kosovo’s independence.

Singapore and an unnamed Middle East investor bailed out struggling Swiss bank UBS to the tune of $10 billion.

Asia

With the help of the U.S. State Department, the New York Philharmonic has agreed to play a concert in North Korea this coming February.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the world’s patience with the Burmese junta is wearing thin.

NATO-backed Afghan forces have taken a key Taliban town in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the opium-poppy capital of the world.

Middle East

Iran signed a $2 billion deal with China’s Sinopec to develop the Yadavaran oil field.

The CIA has been encouraging scientists and others associated with Iran’s nuclear program to defect to the United States.

British forces plan to hand control of Basra over to the Iraqis within the next two weeks.

The Washington Post reports on Saudi Arabia’s program to reintegrate former Guantánamo detainees.

Elsewhere

A BBC World Service poll reveals that only about 56 percent of those surveyed in 14 countries strongly support a free press.

In a victory for leftist President Evo Morales, Bolivia’s special “constituent assembly” gave the go-ahead to proceed with a popular referendum on a proposed new constitution.

Facing declining demand for loans, the International Monetary Fund plans to lay off up to 15 percent of its staff.

As expected, the United States rejected efforts to agree on binding emissions targets at the Bali conference on climate change.

Today’s Agenda

  • Ban Ki-moon expects to receive a report on Kosovo that will likely lead the breakaway Serbian province to declare independence.
  • The IAEA is in a new round of talks with Iran.
  • Christina Fernández de Kirchner is to be formally sworn in as president of Argentina.
  • The trial of former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori begins in Lima.
  • Nobel Prize winners are to receive their awards in Stockholm.
  • Libyan leader Moammar al-Qaddhafi kicks off a trip to Europe by visiting Spain. France is next on the itinerary.
  • Today is international Human Rights Day.

Web Exclusive

  • The List: The World’s Worst Places to Be a Kid
    Growing up is never easy, but imagine trying to make the long journey into adulthood in the middle of a war zone or while holding down a dangerous, backbreaking job. FP surveys five places where you’ll never want to raise your children.

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.