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Morning Brief, Thursday, February 7

2008 U.S. Elections Getty Images Which Democrat won more delegates on Super Tuesday? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both claiming a narrow victory. This campaign has been “a political analyst’s nightmare,” says Charlie Cook. With the delegate count so tight, DNC Chair Howard Dean said he’d like to avoid a brokered convention. Hillary Clinton ...

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2008 U.S. Elections



Getty Images

Which Democrat won more delegates on Super Tuesday? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both claiming a narrow victory. This campaign has been “a political analyst’s nightmare,” says Charlie Cook.

With the delegate count so tight, DNC Chair Howard Dean said he’d like to avoid a brokered convention.

Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that she had loaned her campaign $5 million; some Clinton staffers have volunteered to go without pay. Now it’s on to Virginia, where Clinton hopes to pull off an upset.

Morton Kondracke observes that Democrats outvoted Republicans by 4.6 million votes on Super Tuesday, but David Broder cautions that John McCain is a “formidable” opponent for the Dems.

Asia

Is NATO failing in Afghanistan? U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says yes; NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says no. Both agree, however, that more troops are needed.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Minister David Miliband flew to Kabul to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over his country’s growing security troubles.

Are tribal militants crying uncle in northwest Pakistan? Some fear the militants would use a truce as cover to regroup.

Middle East

“Whoever breaks the border line will have his foot broken,” warns Egypt’s foreign minister in a comment aimed at Palestinians in Gaza.

Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr instructed his flock to maintain its truce with U.S. forces.

Al Qaeda may be training boys to fight in Iraq.

Europe

A top European election watchdog group says it will boycott Russia’s upcoming presidential election.

Jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khordokovsy, on the ninth day of a hunger strike, speaks to the Financial Times.

The Bank of England cut interest rates to 5.25 percent, but the European Central Bank is holding firm. Can Europe ride out a U.S. recession? We’re about to find out.

Elsewhere

The United States imposed travel bans on 10 Kenyans linked to ethnic violence.

Chad’s President Idriss Déby claims his forces have vanquished the rebels. Ongoing tensions with Sudan, however, run deep.

Today’s Agenda

  • The U.S. House Select Intelligence Committee holds a 10 a.m. hearing on “world wide threats.”
  • Congress hosts the 55th National Prayer Breakfast.
  • Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan is in Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Belize holds legislative elections.
  • In Asia, it’s the Lunar New Year. Welcome to the Year of the Rat.
  • The space shuttle Atlantis may finally take off this afternoon for a mission to the International Space Station, but weather could again delay a launch.
  • NATO defense ministers are meeting in Lithuania.
  • A brief solar eclipse will be visible today in Antarctica, New Zealand, and Australia.

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