Morning Brief, Monday, January 7

2008 Elections EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images Most of the latest polls have Barack Obama and John McCain in the lead over rivals Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, in some cases by double-digit margins, going into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primaries. Asia The U.S. military faces growing problems at its secret prison in Bagram, Afghanistan. The New York ...

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597279_newhampshire_05.jpg
Democratic presidential candidate New York Senator Hillary Clinton (L) walks past fellow Democratic hopeful Illinois Senator Barack Obama (C) and Republican candidate Arizona Senator John McCain (R) during the ABC/Facebook New Hampshire debates in Manchester, 05 January 2008. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

2008 Elections

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Most of the latest polls have Barack Obama and John McCain in the lead over rivals Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, in some cases by double-digit margins, going into Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries.

2008 Elections

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Most of the latest polls have Barack Obama and John McCain in the lead over rivals Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, in some cases by double-digit margins, going into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primaries.

Asia

The U.S. military faces growing problems at its secret prison in Bagram, Afghanistan.

The New York Times profiles Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who took over from President Pervez Musharraf late last year as Pakistan’s chief of Army staff. Responding to another Times story, Pakistani officials denounced possible U.S. plans to launch counterterrorism operations in Pakistan.

Former Indonesian dictator Suharto, 86 and ailing, is said to be near death.

Europe

Iran deported a German diplomat for alleged involvement in “non-diplomatic activities.”

For the first time since the 1800s, British incomes may surpass those of Americans.

Poland’s new government appears to be backing away from U.S. plans to install parts of a missile shield in the country.

Is Nicolas Sarkozy getting married

Middle East

Al Qaeda operative “Azzam the American” called for the assassination of George W. Bush during the U.S. president’s visit to the Middle East this week.

On his trip, Bush will be looking to reinvigorate Middle East peace talks and shore up crumbling Arab support for isolating Iran. For its part, Tehran characterized the trip as “interference in the relations of the countries in the region.”

Buoyed by success in Iraq, the U.S. military is getting along better with the press these days.

Elsewhere

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has been reelected with 52.8 percent of the vote. The opposition is crying foul, but Western observers say the vote was free and fair.

Kenya’s opposition leader canceled protests slated for Tuesday, saying he preferred international mediation to resolve his country’s election crisis. Thousands of members of the current president’s tribe have fled the violence in Nairobi in recent days.

Russia’s Gazprom is close to inking a deal to develop Nigeria’s extensive gas deposits.

Today’s Agenda

  • The war-crimes trial of ousted Liberian President Charles Taylor resumes in The Hague.
  • In a landmark case, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments over whether lethal injection constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.”
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visits South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Ethiopia.
  • At last, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert return to late-night TV.

Web Exclusive

The List: Five Elections to Watch in 2008

Election mania is gripping the United States, where Americans are turning out in droves for one of the most exciting primary seasons in memory. But elsewhere in the world, voters are looking at their own electoral contests with a dollop of trepidation and, in some cases, a healthy dose of dread.

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