Morning Brief, Monday, February 11

2008 U.S. Elections Alex Wong/Getty Images Barack Obama racked up big victories over the weekend in Nebraska, Lousiana, Washington state, and Maine. He even picked up a Grammy last night. Hillary Clinton’s camp says it is not surprised by Obama’s success in these states and is looking ahead to bigger states like Virginia (Feb. 12), ...

596552_080211_obama2.jpg
596552_080211_obama2.jpg

2008 U.S. Elections

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barack Obama racked up big victories over the weekend in Nebraska, Lousiana, Washington state, and Maine. He even picked up a Grammy last night. Hillary Clinton's camp says it is not surprised by Obama's success in these states and is looking ahead to bigger states like Virginia (Feb. 12), Wisconsin (Feb. 19), Ohio and Texas (Mar. 5), and Pennsylvania (Apr. 22). But Clinton did name a new campaign manager, indicating a need to shake things up.

2008 U.S. Elections

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barack Obama racked up big victories over the weekend in Nebraska, Lousiana, Washington state, and Maine. He even picked up a Grammy last night. Hillary Clinton’s camp says it is not surprised by Obama’s success in these states and is looking ahead to bigger states like Virginia (Feb. 12), Wisconsin (Feb. 19), Ohio and Texas (Mar. 5), and Pennsylvania (Apr. 22). But Clinton did name a new campaign manager, indicating a need to shake things up.

Republican voters, meanwhile, aren’t quite ready to coronate John McCain just yet. Mike Huckabee carried Kansas and Louisiana, while making a strong showing in Washington state. President Bush all but endorsed McCain Sunday and called him a “true conservative,” which should help.

Next up: Voters in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. head to the polls Tuesday in the “Potomac Primary.”

Middle East

The U.S. Army buried a RAND study citing serious problems with the postwar planning for Iraq.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates favors a “pause” in troop withdrawals from Iraq once the five surge brigades are pulled out.

A key conservative party is under pressure to withdraw from Ehud Olmert’s governing coalition after a senior Palestinian leader said Israel was considering dividing Jerusalem. Discontent is also growing on the Israeli right over the government’s failure to stop rocket attacks from Gaza.

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt challenged Hezbollah, saying his side is ready for war if necessary.

Asia

José Ramos-Horta, East Timor’s president and a Nobel laureate, was shot and badly wounded Sunday, allegedly by a rogue military officer.

Pakistani authorities say they’ve arrested Mullah Mansour Dadullah, a top Taliban commander.

Suspected arson destroyed Namdaemun, a 610-year-old gate that is one of South Korea’s most-cherished national icons.

Europe

Russia’s defense minister called for new arms-control talks with the United States.

Sec. Gates warned Europeans that a failure to stabilize Afghanstan could lead to terrorist attacks in Europe.

Art thieves stole paintings worth more than $91 million from a Zurich museum.

Elsewhere

Markets shrugged after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to cut off oil supplies to the United States in response to an ExxonMobil lawsuit.

Refugees are streaming into Chad from Darfur after fresh attacks by the janjaweed, militia forces backed by the Sudanese government.

Global losses from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis could rise to $400 billion, Germany’s finance minister warned.

Today’s Agenda

  • It’s Thomas Edison’s birthday.
  • The United Nations is hosting a debate on climate change.
  • IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn visits India.
  • The U.S. presidential candidates are campaigning in Maryland and Virgina.

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