Morning Brief, Friday, February 1

Middle East AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images A horrific pair of bombings killed at least 64 people in Baghdad. The Kurds’ political leverage is shrinking as they push policies that antagonize Iraq’s Arabs, the New York Times reports.  Asia Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al Qaeda commander, is thought to have been killed in an air strike ...

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596726_iraqbomb_05.jpg

Middle East

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

A horrific pair of bombings killed at least 64 people in Baghdad.

Middle East

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

A horrific pair of bombings killed at least 64 people in Baghdad.

The Kurds’ political leverage is shrinking as they push policies that antagonize Iraq’s Arabs, the New York Times reports. 

Asia

Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al Qaeda commander, is thought to have been killed in an air strike in northwest Pakistan. His killing ends a long drought for U.S. al Qaeda-hunters.

The United States is seeking more troops for Afghanistan.

China’s inflation is beginning to hit American shelves.

Europe

France is sending more troops to protect French nationals in Chad.

Russia is accusing the OSCE, a European electoral watchdog group, of “sabotage.”

Elsewhere

Microsoft is offering $44.6 billion for Yahoo.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is urging Kenya’s factions to make peace.

Climate change is already taking a toll in the American west, a new study has found.

At an “extraordinary” meeting in Vienna, OPEC rejected calls to increase output. That’s more good news for Exxon-Mobil.

Decision ’08

In a congenial one-on-one Democratic debate in California, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama trained their guns on the Republicans rather than each other.

Clinton’s national lead over Obama is shrinking, new numbers from Gallup show.

Today’s Agenda

  • Iran begins its independence celebrations, a 10-day affair.
  • Taiwan’s new legislature, a strong Kuomintang majority, takes office.

Yesterday on Passport

Web Exclusives

Photo Essay: China vs. the Blizzard
What happens when the full force of winter strikes the world’s most populous country? This week, freak snowstorms left a trail of chaos through nearly half of China, wreaking havoc on transportation networks and disrupting the Lunar New Year travel plans of millions.

Ask the Author: Graham Fuller
In his January/February cover story, “A World Without Islam,” Graham Fuller takes issue with those who blame religion for the rift between East and West. He imagines what the world have looked like without Islam—and argues that it would look much the same. Now, he answers your questions about the role of religion, the future of the Middle East, and whether America invites terrorism upon itself.

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